The 5 must-know tech sourcing tips for the modern recruiter

Oct 07, 202210 minutes read

2022 has brought its fair share of challenges to recruiting teams, from record-breaking job growth to economic anxiety to unprecedented employee churn

However, there’s still time to update your tech sourcing practices to match the new recruiting reality and close out the year strong.

Why is tech sourcing today broken?

Quick show of hands: have any of these issues been plaguing your talent team?

  • Being the first on the chopping block when executives think “recession”

  • Little interest from contacted candidates in your outreach effort

  • Losing strong candidates to other companies

  • Lack of diversity in the target talent pool 

  • Fewer resources to tackle your hiring goals

If so, or if you’re just trying to make overall improvements to your hiring process, we’ve got tech sourcing answers for you. 

Let’s tackle three of the most common reasons why TA teams are struggling right now. 

Recruiters are up against unprecedented challenges

The pandemic, the Great Resignation, and the $8.5 trillion tech skill education gap are just a few of the factors contributing to the severe shortage of qualified tech workers. And to make matters worse, companies are cutting TA budgets even as they remain desperate to hire developers.

And the stats back it up — recruiter burnout reached a staggering high of 98% this year. 

Tech talent is tuning out recruiters

Developers are clicking “delete” on recruiter emails without even reading them, and who can blame them when they are being spammed by endless, irrelevant, recruiting messages?

tech sourcing

With high-profile cases of an Amazon recruiter trying to get the CTO of Microsoft interested in a level 2 software engineering position or a recruiter screening out the creator of FastAPI for insufficient FastAPI experience … developers are increasingly less likely to read messages from recruiters.

Recruiting is treated like a cost center, not a value center

Placing candidates is often seen as Talent Acquisition’s sole deliverable. That means that when economic times are tough, the conversation becomes all about slashing stats like cost-to-hire and time-to-fill to ruthlessly low levels.

Many recruiters aren’t yet sufficiently data-driven and struggle to communicate the value they are adding through equally important metrics like culture fit and retention rate.

5 tips for great talent sourcing in 2022

Let’s tackle four of the most common stumbling blocks: sourcing, engagement, experience, and process. These are all vital to a robust talent pipeline — improving any of them will improve your chances of retaining candidates through each step of your hiring process. Polish all four, and you can count on a marked improvement in finding and closing candidates. 

#1. Recalibrate your radar to find hidden gems

Many companies, especially early-stage startups, find suitable candidates primarily by tapping into their professional networks. Try putting the following tenets into practice, and you’ll be building and maintaining a solid foundation for your hiring pipeline as well as your professional reputation. 

Nurture your connections

Build long-term trust by helping others with their dilemmas or giving them a leg up when you can. Some assistance you might offer include passing along a job opportunity, sending congratulations for job or life milestones, offering advice or mentorship, or providing a recommendation. As a technical recruiter and hiring manager, it’s important to develop your relationships so that candidates see you as genuine rather than being solely interested in meeting a hiring quota. 

Find your technical candidates where they actually are

Have you ever tried sourcing technical candidates from LinkedIn, only to come up with barren profiles, blank profile pictures, and outdated information? If so, it’s probably worth spending some time trawling through GitHub, Stack Overflow, Kaggle, Women Who Code, and other technically-minded communities where your next QA engineer or back-end developer is busy working on the next big thing — not polishing up their LinkedIn profile. 

Just be aware that there is some nuance to sourcing on Github and finding candidates on Stack Overflow.

#2: Up your game with advanced (but easy) sourcing techniques

Sometimes recruiters hesitate to try these sourcing techniques without realizing how easy they are (and how much they can boost your talent pipeline). Here are the sourcing techniques you must try in 2022:

Boolean Search to target the exact candidates you need

Boolean Search, or the strategy of using commands like AND, OR, and NOT,  is an invaluable tool for recruiters. With Boolean search, you can sift through vast amounts of data from job boards, career sites, ATS or CRM databases, and even Google directly for more precise candidate matches.


Must-have Sourcing Tech

Long gone are the days when recruiters had to individually read hundreds of resumes for a role or keep track of candidates in spreadsheets.

And besides eliminating manual, repetitive work, automation technologies can take your talent sourcing to the next level — email lookup tools, web scrapers, people search engines, and data tracking tools are just a few of the TA tech breakthroughs you might want to embrace.

Here are a few (free) low-hanging fruit that can help save time:

  • Saving email templates can help you automate up to 90% of your communication with colleagues and candidates

  • Taking it a step further, populate common message screens on LinkedIn and other web forms with recipient-customized responses using a Chrome extension such as Magical 

technical sourcing
  • Self-scheduling tools like Calendly or Microsoft Bookings can help you eliminate back-and-forth time in setting up interviews

  • We also recommend OneTab for sourcers, to consolidate all the inevitably many open browser tabs into one linked page that you can revisit anytime or share with a colleague

Looking for more ways to leverage new technology and automation in your sourcing? Our interview with NVIDIA sourcing leader Glenn Gutmacher has more great strategies.

#3: Build memorable interactions

As we mentioned earlier, talent teams are battling uphill to attract developers’ attention in today’s market. Here’s how you can ensure you stand out from the throng of JD-waving recruiters:

Add a personal touch to your pitch

The average response rate to cold emails is between 5% to 8%. With personalized emails to highly matched candidates, that number can jump up to a 30% response rate

Here are a few quick and easy tips.

  • Reference common backgrounds like education, work history, geographic location, and mutual connections to transform from “pushy recruiter” to “near acquaintance”

  • Emphasize values by highlighting your high Glassdoor rating, “great workplace” awards, and featuring diverse members of your team.

  • Follow up 2-3 times on your recruiting emails. According to our own data, about two-thirds of candidate replies come from follow-up emails. It’s crazy how many more interested replies you can net!

  • A/B testing subject lines is a must. Think of how many candidates you contact in a day. If you can boost the efficacy of your subject line just a little, even by 10%, that comes out to dozens of extra candidates in just a few days!

Build influence through multiple channels

It takes multiple interactions with your brand before a candidate becomes interested in your opportunities. To boost the probability of converting candidates, you can:

  • Share informational or news posts relating to your industry on LinkedIn

  • Host or participate in webinars, discussion panels, and hands-on workshops to develop relationships with potential candidates

  • Advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media to get your company’s name out there (and stick in your candidate’s subconscious)

  • Create a blog to feature your team culture and share useful industry knowledge (and don’t forget SEO to maximize the chances of a candidate coming across your content!)

#4. Candidate Experience: The Faster, The Better

Nobody likes waiting. That’s why every day (or even an hour) that you can shave off your start-to-finish recruitment time is invaluable. Being quick and efficient in moving forward contributes to a great candidate experience.

Streamline your hiring

Top candidates only last on the market for about ten days, according to research by Bersin by Deloitte. Plan to complete the entire interview process and make an offer within that timeframe to beat your competitors.

Quick tips:

  • Reduce your number of interviews — Google found that you capture 86% of the value produced by interviews in the first 4, with sharply diminishing returns after.

  • Block off time for interviews in your hiring team’s calendars to ensure that candidates aren’t left hanging

  • Have interviewees use numerical ratings to avoid getting caught up by minor, one-off negative comments — and focus on the criteria that truly matter for the job

  • Standardized and modernized assessment. A coding test site like HackerRank or Codility can help administer evaluations efficiently and objectively compare candidates

  • Be flexible to fast-track the process in two to three days for urgent cases. After all, preventing your hiring process from dragging on can save tens of thousands of dollars

Communicate timely and respectfully

Don’t let candidates who already showed interest slip away during the interview process. Proactive communications and timely follow-ups will make it as easy as possible for candidates and go a long way toward a successful closing.

sourcing tech

Being candid about compensation range and job responsibilities is now expected (by 66% of candidates and more every day). It can also give you an edge in a competitive market and stand out from companies that are still clinging to outdated practices and hiding the ball.

#5. Building your brand is more important than ever in 2022

Here are two stats that are interesting to consider together. 98% of tech candidates are already employed. On the other hand, 92% of candidates would consider leaving their jobs if contacted by an employer with an excellent brand and reputation.

Values are crucial to Millennials and Gen X will make up 75% of the workforce in 2025 — and they increasingly value career alignment, flexibility, and company culture over salary.

Here’s how to build your brand:

Respond to reviews

86% of candidates look up reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed before deciding whether they’re interested in a job. And if you get a subpar one, don’t despair — 80% of candidates’ perceptions improved when companies responded openly and honestly. 

Showing that you listen, constantly improve, and care about candidates’ experiences are all signs of a great place to work. 

Offline events

Industry conferences and events attended by the people you’d like to meet can be great places to network and source candidates. By going offline, you don’t have to compete with every employer on the globe — and candidates will be more likely to reply to your recruiting messages if they’ve met you in person. 

And let’s face it — after two years of online interaction, many of us are burnt out on email, phone, and Zoom.

tech talent

Social Media

Posting pictures and stories on LinkedIn, contributing to a company blog, and speaking at conferences are just some of the ways in which your talented employees can help build your brand. 

At Celential, we’ve recently featured thoughts from our VP of AI on making AI that can match passive candidates to open roles with the speed and accuracy of a team of veteran technical recruiters. We also heard from our Customer Success Lead on how much it actually costs to hire a software engineer in 2022. Don’t just tell candidates that your team is passionate — show them.

Learn the lingo

If a candidate gets the sense that you have no idea about what a tech job is and what its qualifications are, they are — rightly — unlikely to trust you with their career prospects. For more meaningful conversations and a boost to your employer brand, you need a basic understanding of tech skills, tech stack, team hierarchy, and engineering roles.

Luckily, you can pick up all of this knowledge quickly with a technical recruiting cheat sheet.

Use the right service for 2022

With sourcing more challenging than ever this year, why not let trusted professionals take it off your plate?

Celential’s AI-powered solution delivers high-quality and engaged talent with zero effort on your part — lightening your talent acquisition team’s workload and freeing up their time to ensure excellent candidate experience and close hires more efficiently.

A 3-Day average turnaround with warm talent ready for interviews appearing in your inbox or ATS in 1-5 business days.

80% average acceptance rate of tech candidates for competitive, specialized roles like Fullstack, Backend, Frontend, Data, DevOps, and Machine Learning engineers, Tech Leads, Architects, and Managers.

Instant flexibility to scale up and down your recruitment efforts as your hiring needs, role priorities, and budget shift during these uncertain economic times.

Schedule a call today to find out how we find top-quality tech talent for you for up to 50% less cost.


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