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Why Sourcing is Superior to Posting Jobs

Written by Kimberley Startup | August 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

A controversial subject? Perhaps.

But in light of recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics stating that only 10% of relevant candidates are actively looking for a job – the below blog post by Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting on sourcing passive candidates raises some very interesting points!
Here’s a shortened version. The original can be found here.


Posting a job online is perhaps the first action most companies take to attract talent when they have an opening.
However, posting jobs in an attempt to attract qualified talent has many intrinsic flaws, and here are the top 4 in my opinion:

1. Posting jobs a passive strategy
2. Posting jobs offers no control over candidate qualifications
3. Job advertisements only attract candidates who are actively looking
4. Posting jobs isn’t social!

In comparison, sourcing from Internet, LinkedIn, online resume databases, ATS/CRM systems and similar resources to discover and identify qualified candidates is an active strategy which offers significant control over candidate qualifications, can be used to specifically target passive and even non-job seekers, and is 100 times more social!

Read on for a more in-depth analysis of posting jobs vs. sourcing candidates, as well as to have your eyes opened to a new way of looking at the value/ROI of posting jobs.

Job Posting is a Passive (lazy?) Strategy

Posting jobs online is a passive, sit-back-and-wait talent attraction strategy wherein there is no action taken other than that of publishing the job to various sites.

If identifying, attracting and hiring top talent is critical to any company’s ability to create and maintain a competitive advantage, does it make sense to rely heavily on a method of talent attraction that involves little-to-no effort?

Posting jobs online anywhere – whether it be on a corporate site, LinkedIn, Facebook, or a niche job board – is essentially the lowest level of effort anyone can take towards the goal of hiring your next game-changing employee.

Job Posting Attracts the Smallest Percentage of Job Seekers

Not only can you not control who responds to your job posting, but the only people who are going to get “snared” by the trap you’ve set are people who are actively looking for a job, and active job seekers represent the smallest percentage of the available talent pool.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, here is the breakdown of job seeker status:

• 32% passively looking
• 34% not looking
• 20% casually looking
• 14% actively looking

Now, unlike many people, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with active job seekers – they are not all desperate, unemployable people (can you believe people in the recruiting industry actually believe that?).
However, the real issue at hand is that with job posting, you are essentially missing the other 86% of the workforce.

That means that when you post a job for an opening you need to fill in the next 2 weeks, you are realistically only tapping into 14% of the available workforce.  On top of that, many people who respond will not actually be qualified for the position.

That’s an issue!

One could argue that some of the people who are “casually looking” might stumble across your ad, but even if all of them did (which is highly unlikely), you are still missing 66% of the available workforce.

Posting Jobs isn’t Social

Social Recruiting continues to the quite the rage in the talent acquisition community. However, most people HR and recruiting professionals agree that posting jobs online isn’t social, even if they are on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

That’s simply because in order for something to be social, it has to involve engagement and interaction between people.

Sourcing is an Active Strategy

Whereas posting jobs online is a passive method of attracting talent (I would argue that it’s not even a method of identifying talent), searching for candidates in Applicant Tracking Systems, recruiting CRM’s, job board resume databases, and LinkedIn is an active method of talent identification.

Instead of setting a trap and taking no effort other than to wait for the right person to stumble across it (aka, “post and pray”), when you create and execute searches to source for potential candidates, you are actively “hunting” for talent – targeting people with specific qualifications and experience, who live in specific areas – regardless of their job search status.

Instead of waiting (and hoping) for the right people to respond to a job posting, sourcers take decisive action to go out and identify and proactively engage and attract talent.

To read this blog in full, click here.

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