Sourcing talent

Sourcing Prospective Employees

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Sourcing Prospects Guide

Looking to proactively source prospective talent?  This Sourcing Prospects Guide provides your staff and HR with the recommended approach and tools they need to effectively source future employees and capture prospective future employee information in a way that allows HR to access it and contact potential candidates for future job openings in your company.

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You want to hire the best people. But where are they?  Chances are they’re already working for someone else. 

One of the ways to keep recruitment costs down is to proactively identify and source prospective employees.  All staff can participate in the process of sourcing top talent but Hiring Managers have a core responsibility to proactively source prospective employees and seek to establish relationships with potential future staff.

Passive candidates, or prospects as we call them, are already working for other companies. So it’s up to you to identify them and think of ways to get them interested in your company and keep them “warm” until an opportunity presents itself. Of course, just because you source prospective employees doesn’t mean they will accept a position with you but, chances are, they might.

This guide provides your staff with guidance, scripts and checklists to source prospective future employees in a respectful and professional manner, get the right information, and follow up appropriately.

Providing reference information and guidelines for your staff to follow when sourcing prospective employees is an optional process. But given the big bang you get for the relatively small effort of customizing a pre-written guide, we're going to rate this one as 'strongly recommended'. 

Why use it

  • Equips and encourages your staff to always have an eye open for top talent when that talent has no idea you're essentially conducting a pre-qualifying interview when watching them in action. 
  • Promotes your company as a business that recognizes, values and proactively seeks high performers.
  • Replaces the need for a headhunters & recruiting agencies
  • Can save you a lot of money on recruiting costs.

What's the risk of not using it

  • Every time you have an open position, you either start with a blank page or draw on the same pool of candidates as everyone else in your industry 
  • Well-meaning staff approach potential future candidates inappropriately
  • You miss great opportunities!
  • Recruiting is more expensive

Sourcing Prospective Employees as a Sales Function

Selling your company as a great place to work when sourcing prospective future employees is no different than prospecting for future customers: 

Selling a Product or Service

When you meet a potential customer, your typical sales process looks something like this:

  1. You put on your marketing and sales hat to promote your company and products.
  2. You discuss the benefits and advantages of using your products/services.
  3. You provide the prospective customer with sales contact information so they can reach out and learn more.
  4. You alert the Sales team to follow up with the prospect.
  5. You enter their information into your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution.

Selling your company to a Prospective Future Employee

Sourcing prospective employees is akin to sales – prospects should be considered potential customers, and you should approach the sourcing process in a similar way.

We all know someone who would be a perfect fit for our business, but they’re happily ensconced elsewhere. Or we happen to meet someone in our daily lives whose knowledge, skills and abilities impress us.

If you know, know of, or meet a talented individual who impresses you with their skills or aptitude:

  1. Make a connection with them.
  2. Tell them a little about your company.
  3. Let them know you’re always on the lookout for talented people.
  4. Tell them what they’ve done to impress you or why you think they’d be a great fit.
  5. Tell them you’d like to enter them in your company’s “top prospects” database for when a suitable open position becomes available, and ask if they’d mind providing you with one or all of the following:
    • Their contact information, particularly their email address.
    • Their business card
    • Their LinkedIn profile link
  6. If they agree to provide you with the information, proceed with one of the following, as appropriate:
    • Connect with them on LinkedIn.
    • Follow up with them.  Contact them as soon as appropriate using your business email to confirm your meeting, and advise of potential next steps.  

A follow up script and how to record the prospective employee is included in the guide. Preview and download it


  • Always copy HR in your communications when sourcing prospective employees so that the purpose of obtaining their contact information is confirmed as a legitimate business connection.There’s a fine line between coming across as a business associate whose intention is to provide the prospect with a future job opportunity and coming across as someone who is harassing or looking for a personal connection. Keep it professional at all times. 
  • If you're going to encourage managers and staff to actively source prospective employees and top talent, you have to be prepared to handle the leads you get and have a process in place to manage this specialized pool of candidates.  Use the Master Applicant Spreadsheet to track all solicited and unsolicited applications. It includes a process for highlighting and easily finding prospective employees who were sourced and did not apply as a result of a job ad
  • You'll have to be careful that you’re not seen as poaching other company’s employees.  Talk to management about identifying company's where sourcing prospective employees is off limits. 

Can I preview & download this HR template?

You bet.  To preview, just click on the blue link below.

Sourcing Prospective Employees Guide

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Which HR kit is it included in?

The Sourcing Prospects Guide can be used on its own as a stand-alone tool, or as part of the Tracking Applicants kit for Managers, which is one of 4 ConnectsUs Recruiting & Hiring Kits.

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