Why Traditional Sourcing Just Won’t Cut It

October 18, 2022

Recent research revealed that almost 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs (88%) intend to increase headcount in the near future, but 96% cite talent issues as a major challenge to growing their business – both the availability of a skilled workforce and the ability to attract and retain the right talent. Talent has always been critical for businesses but now even more so and yet at the same time it has never been as challenging to recruit the best people. 

One of the main challenges is identifying prospects who have the right skillset and who may be interested in working with your company. In today’s highly competitive candidate driven talent market, strategic sourcing and planning your sourcing actions and path are key as some of the older inbound practices lose value. 

But why is strategic sourcing so key? 


The Stats That Matter

According to Gem, HR managers report that more than 42% of resumes they receive are from candidates who do not meet the role’s requirements. Clearly, companies can no longer rely on candidates coming to them and instead must seek them out. 

Further research has found that on average 86% of your ‘perfect-fit’ candidates are already employed by a competitor and not actively on the hunt for a new role. This means that often who you are looking for are settled in a role with a company. 

Additionally, it is important for Talent teams and companies to recognize that 70% of the global workforce are passive candidates who are not actively reviewing new roles advertised – so when you post a job, you’re only tapping into 30% of the workforce, many of whom will apply anyway despite not meeting the specified requirements for the job.  

In spite of all this, 90% of global professionals are open to discovering new opportunities, even if they are not actively looking and that is where sourcing and engagement comes in.

As a collective, these stats demonstrate why strategic sourcing is so important to talent management, explaining why many companies are evolving to having dedicated sourcers on their Talent teams, and why traditional methods are just not going to cut it.

Considering this, we suggest developing a strategic sourcing plan that identifies where and how to attract the best passive talent for your needs. 


Traditional Sourcing vs Strategic Sourcing 

Traditional sourcing targets the open to opportunities candidates, your active pool, and really entails posting a job and reviewing the traffic that comes through and sifting through resumes to find a fit. There is often a haphazard and disconnected nature to the work and it is more through luck than strategy that a hire is made. Taking the previous stats into consideration, this method holds a low probability of success in today’s market as you will likely be inundated with applicants that do not meet the role requirements.

Strategic sourcing on the other hand requires planning, insights, analysis, while also going after that passive pool of potential candidates. It involves identification, engagement, qualification, and submission of candidates into the process who would not have applied otherwise . The goal is to have a continuous pipeline of talent, so when that next role opens, it can be quickly filled with the talent you’ve been nurturing all along.

This involves gaining insight into talent market forces, interview processes, salary guides, technology stacks, ideal candidate profiles, boolean search strings, demand and availability in key markets, talent pools and community sources as well as competitors that hire for the same skill set – which is the value customers of are reaping.

Your strategic sourcing process should include things like:


This passive talent pool is not going to come knocking on your door, but the perfect fit for the role is more likely to be found within them. That is why strategically targeting and successfully sourcing those candidates brings a neat combination of predictability, reduced risk, efficiency, and quality to the hiring process as it leads to improved quality of hire, reduced time to hire and therefore cost of hire, while building a strong employer brand that can be trusted and recommended. That’s music to every business leader’s ears. In short, strategic talent sourcing is about proactively finding the perfect fit, even if they’re not looking. 

It is no longer enough to have an approach based on inbound applicants or volume only ‘spray and pray’ methods, this traditional model is transactional and outdated. Sourcing needs to be strategic and Talent teams need to be better equipped with more than a few keywords on a job spec to find the right candidate. The best results will come from talent sourcers having a deeper understanding of the market and arming themselves with knowledge and insights to guide their sourcing. 


We believe that Talent has become strategic and those companies who are open to giving Talent Acquisition the strategic importance it requires will be best placed to succeed. To do this it will require knowledge, data and insights to be able to plan and be proactive to meet your talent goals. 

Talent teams will need to have an ‘Always Evolving’ attitude. Not allowing themselves to get stuck in the same old processes just because they’re what you know or what’s always been done before you. Always be open to trying new strategies and streamlining old ones. Keep on top of market trends and don’t be afraid to experiment, in our experience being agile and flexible in your strategy can only do you good. 

When sourcing, gathering intelligence and insights, and reviewing previously successful tactics and plans will pay off. As your Talent team gains more market knowledge and improves their strategic sourcing skillset, pre planning and sourcing will become more efficient and easier each time a new role opens up. 

We hope that highlighting the benefits of strategic sourcing motivates a re-evaluation of your talent function and how critical it is to your recruitment efforts. 

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