What is candidate sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of identifying top talent that matches your required skills, education, and interests for the open jobs in your company or your client’s company. Candidate Sourcing seeks both active and passive candidates and attempts to recruit them for the role you need. 

What is Candidate Sourcing Software?

Candidate sourcing software enables you to source, screen, and schedule interviews with candidates, effortlessly. With modern candidate sourcing software, you can post to multiple job boards in a single click, create a personalized career page in minutes,  screen candidates with ease, and more. Check out the entire list of candidate sourcing software functionalities here.

Sourcing vs Recruiting


Candidate sourcing is the search for talented profiles to fill your present and future job needs through various platforms.


Recruiting is screening, selecting and appointing candidates through an interview process.


Studying and requirements in various teams and writing relevant job descriptions. 

Evaluating resumes


Posting jobs to job boards, communities, and social media channels


Giving feedback on the quality of sourced candidates


Researching on candidates


Scheduling interviews by collaborating with candidates and hiring managers


Emailing or calling candidates. Sometimes reaching out to them on channels  they are most active on like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook


Focusing on engaging and communicating with the candidates throughout the recruitment process


Collecting and screening resumes


Ensuring that candidates have an impressive recruitment experience irrespective of whether they end up joining the organization or not


Building the employer brand over a period of time


Collecting feedback through multiple interviews from different interviewers to facilitate wise hiring decisions


Gathering and passing on the best of talent to the recruiters


Running background checks on potential candidates and releasing offers to candidates.


Building a database of exceptional candidates who don’t have immediate opportunities but might be a perfect fit at a later time


Negotiating terms with candidates whenever necessary


Working with recruiters to optimize the recruiting process by improving on the sourcing side


Optimizing the recruiting process with the help of recruiting metrics, and feedback from hiring managers and candidates

How to Source a Candidate?


The first step is to identify any roles that might open up instead of waiting for the Hiring Manager to raise a job requisition. By being proactive, you get yourself more time to filter and find the perfect fit for the role. 

Once you know what are the different roles you need to fill, research thoroughly to understand best about the role, this way you as a TA can easily filter the applicants before moving them to interview stages and prevent you from losing on ROI. 

Once you know your role well, you can start searching for the perfect fit candidates. LinkedIn is a great place to begin as you can find potential candidates with role-based keywords and you can also know about the candidate extensively from their profile. There are also many other platforms to source your candidates

Once you have a shortlisted list of candidates you are interested in, (active or passive), you can start pursuing them. Call or message or email showing your interest in the candidate and explain about the role and your company a bit in the first communication, as this will pique the interest of even the passive candidates. Just saying you are interested might not result in a conversation. 

Got your desired number of candidates in a conversation? Screen them. Screen their resume, their qualifications, and skills, and begin short-listing the candidates you really want to take to the next level. 

Once you have the last set of potential candidates, you see fit for the role, pass the list to the recruiter of the job, and be happy that you have done a great job :) 

And how to be sure you have done a great job? You can let the numbers do the talking. 

Key candidate sourcing metrics

The key to sourcing competitive talent is measuring your sourcing process over different periods of time to optimize or realign resources invested different sources.

Here’s a list of 5 diagnostic candidate sourcing metrics to track:

Time for hire by source

The metric is the time taken to hire a candidate from the time he was first sourced. The time for hire by source helps adjust resource allocation to channels that yield right fits at the right time. At the same time, it helps you locate and iron out any bottlenecks in the hiring process that are affecting the time for hire.

Cost per hire by source

The metric gives you the ability to track the returns on all your sourcing investments, the ROI.

Candidate pipeline throughput

Candidate pipeline throughput or the funnel throughput is the candidate conversion rate at each stage of the recruiting process. It proves very powerful especially for roles that hire often or hire in huge numbers. It gives you insights into the quality of applicants a particular source brings which leads you to spot the sources or job boards that are working in your favour or otherwise.

Rejected candidates by source

The metric gives you insight rejected candidates and the source they came from. This helps you observe rejection trends and drop or adjust channels that do not bring candidates that fit your roles. For example, if you notice that most of your rejected candidates came from LinkedIn, you can either tweak your job description or requirements or drop the channel all together.

Offer declined reasons by source

Candidates turn down offers for a variety of reasons - counter offers by current employer, hesitant to relocate, non-competitive compensation, etc. Understanding why candidates turn down your offers helps you modify offers, or change sourcing and recruiting strategies to spot and hire the right candidates.

What advantage does an ATS add to candidate sourcing?

Manage all your sourcing channels through a single platform - job boards, career site, referrals, social media, etc.
Post jobs to all the major job boards such as Indeed, Adzuna, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and manage them from a single central hub.
Applicants from all sourcing channels will flow automatically into one system (the ATS), in which you can manage them.
All conversations with candidates are filed under one roof (the conversations tab). Your co-sourcers can refer to them, anytime!
Collaborate with your team over sourcing decisions, view candidate profiles and leave comments for each other in a single referable place.
Archive the best candidates you come across to a talent pool, engage with them, and when appropriate roles open up, invite them to pursue it.
Build a thriving talent pool by archiving the best profiles you come across during the sourcing process
Post jobs to social media and track their status within the ATS. Source social talent with a lot more ease.
Optimize your sourcing by pulling out reports such as time to fill, cost per hire and pipeline throughput.



 Freshteam for candidate sourcing

Freshteam helps you source your candidates in style. It is smart and automated, giving you time to focus on finding the real talent instead of doing transactional tasks like posting in different channels individually or manually collecting information from candidate resumes. Let’s see how Freshteam ATS makes your candidate sourcing process 10X times better, 

Career site

Freshteam allows you to quickly create and setup a powerful careers page to attract talent to the open positions in your organization. You can further customise the page to add the look, feel and credibility of your brand.

Managing Job boards

With an ATS, you’ll no longer have to log in and out of multiple job boards during the day to create, edit, and follow up on job posts. Instead, you can take them all over from Freshteam.

Freshteam integrates with all the major boards - Indeed, Adzuna, Linkedin, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter. Any edit you make to your jobs on the ATS will immediately reflect to all the job boards.


Freshteam facilitates efficient referral drives. Your employees can refer friends and family to open jobs in the ATS. And, also keep track of the status of their referral via the ATS. Thus, eliminating a number of follow-up emails and conversations.

It adds more transparency to the whole process ensuring that every referral is given a fair chance.

Social sourcing

The best of candidates are already employed and not actively looking for a job, social sourcing is the way to reach out to them and attract them.

Freshteam allows recruiters to share their job postings to social media channels in a few clicks and then, automatically streamlines the the incoming applications right back to the ATS.

Talent pool

An ATS helps you make the most out of your sourcing efforts. It helps you build a robust talent pool full of time-worthy candidates. In other words, everytime you come across an exceptional candidate who doesn't fit an immediate role, Freshteam allows you to archive them to a talent pool when you can nurture them and build a connection with them. Eventually, when an appropriate role opens, you can invite them to pursue it.

Engaging with Candidates

When applicants apply though your job boards, career site or social media posts, they are automatically get added to Freshteam as candidates.

Freshteam also identifies and associates the medium and source from which the candidates come in to help you identify the channels that are working in your favour.

Candidate sourcing metrics

Your ATS helps you pull reports to see how your sourcing process is performing, and then shift or pursue candidate sourcing strategies based on them.

You have a report for almost anything - Time to fill, cost per hire, pipeline throughput, etc.

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