Use AI Sourcing With Traditional Methods To Find Top Talent

Chris Murdock
5 min readAug 24, 2022

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This article about AI sourcing techniques first appeared in March 2019, and all content and statistics have been updated to reflect new information as of August 2022.

It can be difficult for a recruiter to keep up with all the changes, tools, and technologies entering the sourcing industry every day. Of late, the most influential example of technological advancement is the entry of AI into the world of candidate sourcing.

Rather than looking at these advancements, process adjustments, and new technologies as a challenge, view these sourcing changes as an opportunity to find your niche. Supplement your sourcing strategies with these unique ideas:

Invest In Automation Tools

Modern sourcing strategies have been rocked by innovative technology. Nearly daily, brand new tech is emerging, promising to level up your recruiting process. Some of this software can be extremely expensive or decidedly not-user-friendly. However, leveraging AI to find and attract passive candidates is getting easier and more cost-effective every day.

AI sourcing technology crawls the web and collects and analyzes a massive amount of candidate data. This technology searches through anything from resumes to social media activity. Doing this manually in a timely manner simply isn’t feasible.

Based on the data it collects, AI tech predicts which passive candidates will be open to new career opportunities and which likely won’t, making it easier for recruiters to prioritize those candidates.

Have no fears; AI sourcing isn’t going to make recruiters obsolete. Strong sourcing strategies require efforts from both humans and technology. Integrating AI into your sourcing strategy takes minimal effort and often has a significant payoff.

Pick Up The Phone

AI sourcing technology can do many time-consuming and less personal aspects of sourcing, but most candidates crave connecting with an actual human. Highly effective sourcing strategies include a blend of human interaction and AI tech assistance, meaning calling candidates is still effective and necessary.

You’d be surprised by how few recruiters call candidates in this day and age. Calling candidates can be a way to stand out as many candidates respond to being called on the phone positively. Candidates recognize and value the time and effort it takes to have a customized conversation rather than send a pre-built email.

Connecting authentically with candidates can make the difference between a successful hire and another ignored email. Dig deep into the importance of engaging authentically with passive candidates and how it can bolster your recruiting efforts.

But, be warned that this isn’t a great approach for every candidate. Some candidates, especially younger ones, may find phone calls inconvenient and dislike the impromptu nature of phone conversations.

Young professionals who grew up texting have grown accustomed to having time to construct a message and feel caught off guard when recruiters call them without warning. Try scheduling phone calls via text using a chatbot. This way, it’s more likely candidates will pick up the phone, and the conversation will be more beneficial to both parties.

Use LinkedIn To Connect With Candidates

There’s a fine line between automation and SPAM. While automated messages are convenient to speed up communications and, in some cases, the hiring process itself, you want to be careful you don’t push candidates away by sending them too much.

If you’re a recruiter, you’re probably using LinkedIn, but are you getting the most out of what LinkedIn has to offer? LinkedIn Ads have some features that are super convenient and useful.

LinkedIn paid messages use AI and automation to help you send messages to candidates and audiences you might not be connected with, but still share the same desired recruiting parameters you’re looking for.

The site discourages automated messages it deems as SPAM, so using AI and automation to maximize communication and provide value to candidates is one thing, but flooding a candidate’s inbox with generic or irrelevant messages is another. You can still automate messages without coming across as being too spammy — the key is to personalize your outreach as best you can.

Using communication tools like LinkedIn Ads is a great way to bridge the gap by engaging candidates from different angles while still capitalizing on the benefits of AI and automation. While AI sourcing and automation are great tools for research and outreach, they’re not end-to-end tools, and they simply won’t solve all your sourcing issues. They’re most effective when used hand-in-hand with human interaction via tools like personalized messaging or social communications apps.

Ask Recent Hires For Feedback On Your InMail Messages

Auto-responses might be a convenient tool for recruiters to create immediate touchpoints with candidates, but AI sourcing and automation can only lift so much. For example, you can automate a thank-you response for application submissions on a job posting and maybe even set up a chatbot to engage and screen candidates further, but the underlying task is to follow up with a personable message filled with a genuine human connection.

Candidates don’t want to talk to machines and auto-responders the entire time — they want to communicate with a physical person that knows the job and can fill them in on how they meet the qualifications for the position.

While AI sourcing and automation can easily determine how qualified for a given position a candidate is based on the information in their LinkedIn profile, testing for culture fit and soft skills are traits AI and automation cannot seamlessly mass-analyze (yet).

Candidate engagement is the missing link to the AI and automation sourcing mix. Get honest feedback on your inMail messages by asking recent hires if your messages resonate with them. You can ask them about your tone and style of writing as well as if they’d respond to the message. More often than not, recent hires have interacted with their fair share of recruiters and will be willing to give real feedback.

Recruiters are finding talent using new methods every day, and it can be challenging to keep up. While AI sourcing and automation simplify tasks, they can’t manage the entire sourcing process. Embrace these new options for your sourcing strategies and find what works best for your organization.

This article was originally published on IQTalent’s blog by Chris Murdock.

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Chris Murdock

Chris is the Co-Founder & Senior Partner at IQTalent Partners, a professional service firm focused on finding, assessing and hiring key talent for teams.