Advanced Recruiting Strategy and Sourcing Practices to Increase Consistency, Speed, and Flexibility.

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Wowledge Expert Team
Principal level
127 Wows earned

This guide is part of a progression set comprised of Core, Advanced, and Emerging Recruiting Strategy and Sourcing practices.

What it is

Taking recruiting strategy and sourcing practices to the next level demands a reliable infrastructure, deep and highly productive relationships, and an analytics function that provides the organization with increased consistency, speed, and flexibility to access the right talent at the right time. It involves developing a position definition governance strategy driven by business plans and objectives, internal and external data, and future trends that will determine the nature of jobs (and their associated duties and requirements). It creates a panel approach to developing and managing these requirements for consistency and relevance across functions, job levels, and business units. It identifies and evaluates hiring sources in a structured and measured manner, enabling a more objective- and data-based way to assess the quality and quantity of candidates produced through human and technological pathways. Leveraging the data and insights from those ongoing analyses, the organization can make more solid bets and investments in where and how the open positions are posted and promoted.

This requires differentiated approaches for strategic, critical, core, and support positions by employing distinctive mechanisms that enable the company to identify and build connections with active and passive candidates. 

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These practices include optimizing technologies that will allow more streamlined and efficient workflows, promoting the ability to process and proactively manage hundreds or thousands of applications, applicant screenings, job interviews, hiring, and onboarding activities. It leverages creating and proactively managing selective talent pipelines that enable a patient, long-term approach to developing candidate pools most typically filled with passive but highly targeted, skilled, and qualified external workers. It creates a quantified projection of staffing requirements that allow for formal planning and detailed, time-sequenced sourcing designed to generate sufficient hires according to business needs. It also calls for HR to work closely with functional managers under clear governance, responsibilities and review cadence to ensure that job projections and profiles are approved and met promptly and efficiently.

Why use it

As companies grow and competition intensifies, finding the right talent for their key positions is no longer sufficient; they also need to accomplish this with speed and efficiency. A formalized, well-governed, and efficient approach to the definitions of requirements and attraction of appropriately skilled candidates, in a way that engages leaders and hiring managers as process partners (and co-owners), helps build a sustainable process. A solidly multi-sourced approach to finding actively managed talent creates an ecosystem based on finding the candidates wherever they are, with multiple avenues for identifying and engaging them. The use of measurement brings more certainty to evaluating each source for its efficiency and effectiveness, helping to justify and maximize the investments made in each.

The organization’s recruiting programs and processes should be designed to meet long-term talent demands while quickly reacting and adjusting to short-term needs from changes in the market, new business opportunities, and internal turnover. These practices work together to create a foundation for a significant expansion of candidate volumes, which are well-aligned with business needs, adaptive and agile to changing conditions, and able to address staffing needs on a more ready-now basis. By applying a targeted approach to developing and managing pipelines, highly specialized approaches can create heightened returns on recruiting efforts, particularly for those representing the most valuable and strategically essential skill sets.


Practices at this level create a more formalized, structured, and sustainable ecosystem for candidate attraction and identification.  They establish a well-defined set of processes for maintaining and updating position requirements and details for communicating the “why” of considering an offer from the organization. They incorporate analytics-based views of various candidate sources to develop a prioritization based upon the effectiveness, outputs, and effort/cost-efficiencies that can be reviewed and updated as market and candidate preferences changes take hold. They establish a clear process for the use and ongoing evaluation of recruitment technologies to ensure they deliver on their promises. At the same time, the recruiters and managers fully utilize their capabilities. Perhaps the greatest importance is the creation and ongoing management of talent pipelines where candidates are identified, attracted, and nurtured through the development of an ongoing relationship that builds towards ultimately becoming candidates for a specific job.

Practice guides at this level

Establishing effective governance for consistent job profiles.

A clear and inclusive governance structure will enable consistency as the basis for improved effectiveness and efficiency of the recruiting process and brand enhancement.

Building long-term relationships with strategic talent sources.

Investing time and resources to build long-term relationships with the most productive talent sources that can result in increased speed and efficiency of the recruiting process.

Integrating applicant tracking systems to manage the end-to-end recruiting process.

Understand key needs, evaluate system providers, and integrate applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help streamline and manage all phases of the recruiting process.

Managing talent pipelines to enhance speed and flexibility.

Establishing a strategic approach to speeding up time-to-hire for near or longer-term future positions through the development and nurturing of talent pipelines.

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