Recruitment in focus: Direct sourcing – deeper engagement, better candidates and reduced cost

All too often the expediency of using a recruitment agency is chosen instead of properly engaging with the wider audience of quality applicants through direct and well-branded communications.

Research constantly repeats the message that the vast majority of jobseekers would rather apply direct to a potential employer than respond to an agency ad where the employer is unknown.

The digital world – which jobseekers prefer more and more – has changed the resourcing landscape. Yet many employers have failed to adapt their behaviour accordingly.

From volume roles through to senior professional level (where the increasing ubiquity of sites such as LinkedIn means more and more people are managing elements of their career online), the choice between a branded candidate experience and meeting the needs of line managers who want instant results is no longer in conflict.

HR departments have begun to ask themselves ‘Can we really just stop using recruitment agencies and move to direct advertising, while delivering great candidates in the right time frame?’

Well, simply turning off the agency channel is probably not the way to go, but there are steps you can take that will lead to a drastic, yet natural, reduction in your reliance on them.

First, be clear about your offer. Understand your employer brand – this will provide a foundation for consistent candidate messaging through the candidate journey.

Next, ensure your website provides a great branded experience for all talent groups, allowing them to search and apply online. Critical to direct sourcing success is your site’s ability to allow candidates to register for jobs that you might not have today, but may have in the future. If you overlay this with a planned approach to maintaining a relationship with registered candidates, you are moving towards building your own database of candidates.

If you build your brand as a direct recruiter and post your roles on the generalist and specialist sites, you will be accessing the same talent pools as before, but now allowing candidates to access you directly. This way you are creating your presence in the market, building your reputation in the sector and providing a better candidate experience while moving away from agency reliance towards direct sourcing. It’s a relatively simple process and you will soon be recruiting high-quality, deeply engaged candidates at a fraction of the current cost.

Gareth Edwards, client lead, TMP Worldwide

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