The Art of Sourcing: Effective Strategies for Attracting Passive Candidates

May 28, 2023

4 min read

Did you know that 90% of people are open to learning about new opportunities, but only 36% actively search for a new job? The solution lies in effective sourcing techniques!

Take the time to understand who they are and what they do to target your potential candidates and know how to engage with them.

What is Sourcing? 

Sourcing refers to the process of identifying and attracting potential candidates for a job opening. It involves searching for candidates through various channels, such as social media, job boards, employee referrals, and talent pools. The goal of sourcing is to build a pipeline of qualified candidates who can be considered for future job openings.

Sourcing vs. Recruiting

Sourcing is not Recruiting! They are closely related but they include distinct activities that serve different purposes. 

Sourcing is the first step in identifying potential candidates, while recruiting is the process of selecting and hiring the best candidate for a specific job opening.

Where can I source potential candidates? 

Here is a list for you!

Use Talent Pools

Talent pools are groups of potential candidates who have expressed interest in your organization or who you have identified as potential hires. 

Use your ATS to create talent pools by collecting resumes, contact information, and other relevant data from job fairs, networking events, and online sources.

By building talent pools, you can create a pipeline of potential candidates to reach out to when new positions become available.

Employee Referrals

Your current employees can be your best source of candidate referrals. Encourage your team members to refer their friends and colleagues for open positions. You can also offer incentives to employees who refer successful hires. Employee referrals can help you identify candidates who are an excellent cultural fit and who have the necessary skills and experience.

Online Channels

Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, can be powerful tool for sourcing potential candidates. As well as online job boards, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster, are popular platforms for job seekers to find new opportunities. 

The choice of the right channel depends on your target candidate. 

For example, there is a high opportunity to find on GitHub rather than Instagram developers who are actively contributing to open-source projects. Did you already try it?

Niche job boards

Look beyond the major job boards and consider posting job openings on niche job boards that cater to your industry or specific skill set. This can help you attract candidates with the right experience and qualifications. In the article Navigating the 7 key stages of the hiring process, I mentioned IProgrammatori, as a tool to find developers in the Italian markets. 

Offline Events

Going offline and meeting people face-to-face at events is a great way to source new candidates, learn about their experience and skills, and potentially make connections that could lead to future hires. Job fairs and networking events are great opportunities to promote your organization and build brand awareness. You can also host your own open house event to invite potential candidates to your office, where they can meet with your teams.

Internship Programs

Reach out to alumni associations or groups from universities or training programs related to your industry to find potential candidates. This could be very useful especially when you are looking for Junior roles. 

Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is using marketing techniques to attract and engage potential candidates. You can use tactics like email marketing, and content marketing such as blog posts and videos, that showcases your company culture.

Talent Communities

Search for talent communities on social media, such as Reddit, and Slack, related to your industry to engage potential candidates and keep them updated on job openings and company news.

Recruitment Agencies

If you have a budget and you are stuck in finding candidates, you might reach out to the Recruitment agencies which can help you save time and effort by sourcing candidates on your behalf. They have access to a wide network of candidates and can help you find the right fit for your open positions.

How to Get the Attention of Passive Candidates

Personalization is key! Use a template and make sure to include specific details about the candidate in the first sentence to keep them engaged. Remember that the same person might have received different requests from various recruiters on the same day.

By visiting their LinkedIn or social media profile, you can find relevant information to personalize your message and increase the chances of a response.


“Hi [Developer Name],

I saw you are [specific stack] Developer and you are working in a [SaaS company]. 

At [our company name] we are using that stack!

I was really impressed by your experience in [specific skill or technology related to the job]. As we're currently looking for a talented [job title], I thought I'd reach out to you directly.

If you're open to new opportunities, we'd love to chat about the role. Here's a link to learn more about the position: [insert a link to the job description].

Hope to hear from you soon!”


We spend a huge amount of time screening profiles, resumes, and sourcing for potential candidates and sometimes it can take longer for hard-to-fill roles. 

By targeting the right person and using personalized messaging, you can increase your chances of success.

So, don't get discouraged; give yourself time to find the right fit!

Remember, the best candidate may not be actively looking for a job, but they're out there waiting to be found 😉

Your Friendly TA Ivana


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© 2023 Ivana Evola

Made with 💙 by Daniele

Let's connect!

© 2023 Ivana Evola

Made with 💙 by Daniele