Six step sourcing strategy

Six simple steps to sourcing strategy success!

Ever wondered what a successful sourcing strategy looks like? Now you know!

It’s becoming harder and harder to find tech talent, and as tech companies want to hire candidates immediately, it is tempting to dive head first into sourcing without taking the time to set up a strategy. When it comes to chocolate (or wine!), the Nederlia team are useless at resisting temptation… but we’re actually pretty good at resisting temptation if it’s sourcing-related . The strategy is as important as the search: it’s no good diving in head first if we’re not looking in the right places, for the right people. So no matter how much time pressure we’re under, we take the following 6 steps before we start to hunt for candidates. Creating well-researched, carefully-planned strategies means we deliver super relevant candidates who thrive in their new roles and drive the success of our clients’ businesses.

Here is our six-step strategy for sourcing the world’s best software developers:

1 We interrogate the client… yes, you.

We don’t use the word interrogation lightly. Before we set up a tailored sourcing strategy, we want to know everything – from the way the tech team is structured to the type of coffee the CTO drinks. The more information we can get from our clients at this point, the more targeted we can make the search – and the less we will need to ask later! The Account Manager will play good cop/bad cop until they’ve got a caseload of information about the team, the product and what the ideal candidate looks like. We also ask for:
  • profiles of existing employees, so we can dig a little deeper into their skills, tech stack and previous experience
  • any specific problems (time pressure, an unusual tech stack, not being able to find the right type of candidates, etc)
  • why candidates have been rejected in the past (wrong culture fit, not passing the technical test, etc)
  • the role’s impact on the business (level of responsibility, market knowledge, experience setting strategy, etc)

2. The Account Manager briefs the sourcing team

Once we’ve sufficiently interrogated our client, the Account Manager will brief the sourcing team. In order to make sure we know the candidate market like the back of our hands, we have a whole team responsible for nothing else but finding dream candidates from the minute they wake up to the second they go to sleep. Kidding! But they tell us it’s what gets them up in the morning… Having a separate team dedicated to sourcing helps us stay on top of the latest recruiting technologies and makes sure we know how and where to find the top candidates. Once we’ve kicked off the search, the Account Manager and sourcing team will hold regular catch-ups to review, iterate and improve the strategy based on internal KPIs and feedback from the client.

3. We research the company, technologies and market

With the sourcing team briefed and raring to go, they work with the Account Manager to research the company’s core business and product, as well as the technologies they use, in order to make sure they can identify the perfect candidate within seconds of looking at their profile. As a result, the sourcers can reach more candidates in a shorter amount of time, and can make sure every single candidate they speak to has the right skills, background and technical experience. The aim is to become subject matter experts before we start the search, so we can make sure the candidates we send to clients are 100% relevant. There’s nothing worse than seeing a full inbox of CVs from a recruitment agency and thinking Christmas has come early, then realising none of the candidates would be a good fit! The sourcing team use tools like Crunchbase and Alexa to conduct market analysis and find out:
  • the company’s position in the market
  • how long they’ve been around
  • whether they have any direct competitors whether the market is competitive
  • the company’s reach (EU? Global?) how well-known they are

4. We stalk existing employees

With their detective hats on, next in line for the sourcing team’s scrutiny are the profiles of existing employees. At this point we’re not looking for info on individual team members, but an overview of the company. We check for things like:
  • the total number of employees
  • how many are in frontend or backend
  • where employees come from (university, startups, consultancy, etc) specific technologies
  • whether employees’ tech stacks match the client brief
We also check out Glassdoor, Monster and reviews on social media to see what developers say about working at the company… good and bad!

5. We create a list of target companies

We have an organic list of global tech companies that we add to and amend on a weekly basis, so that’s always our first port of call. Based on this master list and the sourcing team’s research, we create a list of target companies with similar cultural environments, tech stacks and products. It’s incredibly important candidates are a good culture fit, so they slot naturally into the team and start contributing to the company as soon as they sit down at their new desks. That’s why we work hard at this stage to make sure we understand the client’s culture and which other companies have similar working environments.

6. We pick our tools

The final step is to pick the tools we’ll use to carry out our search. We almost always use LinkedIn, then depending on the client, role and location we use a range of other tools and social media platforms including Xing, Stack Overflow and Github. We aim to send the first candidates to clients within five days of kicking off the search. For some profiles or companies it might take a little longer, but it shouldn’t ever take more than seven days.

And there you have it, our six-step sourcing strategy. If you want to know how we implement it to find incredible developers for our clients, download our sourcing e-book!


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