Recruitment used to be painless.

HR managers simply drafted job descriptions with an application deadline and slapped it on a few job boards. Pronto, top candidates trooped in.

But now, let’s just say HR managers are feeling a little stressed.

The quantity of applicants hasn’t seen much drop, but the quality has taken an immense dive.  Worldwide, 47% of companies say that very few qualified applicants indicate interest for the positions they have open. If you are an HR professional in Africa, that data point is nothing new.

In South Africa, 55% of surveyed recruiters indicated that high-quality candidates in limited talent pools is a major obstacle for their company.

Quality talent won’t be dropping into your laps.

That’s why your candidate sourcing strategy needs an upgrade. Like the halcyon days of posting simple job descriptions on job boards, the effectiveness of deploying run-of-the-mill strategies (like social sourcing, employee networks or outreach messages on LinkedIn) have declined.

To build a robust pipeline of quality talent for your company in 2017, use these often-ignored elements in your sourcing strategy:

Be on the same page with the hiring manager

Have a long conversation about your company culture, needs, what a strong candidate looks like and how those candidates will fit in at the company. If you are a hiring manager, then you should be having this conversation with your recruiter.

When any party in the recruitment process isn’t clear about the details, it’s easy for the resulting candidate pipeline to be anemic. All parties (CEO, hiring manager, and recruiter) should run some sample searches together to know why some candidates may or may not be a good fit for your company or the roles. Also, review existing talent pool to understand if perhaps the job requirements need to be eased or tightened.

As an extension of this strategy, ensure there is a full understanding of the company such that you can source for roles you don’t yet have open.  This proactive approach to recruitment lets your company get ahead on roles you’ll need to hire for in the future.  

Combine sourcing across offline, online and niche channels

It’s not unusual for companies to limit their talent sourcing exclusively to online channels or offline activities. Fifty-percent of recruiters submits that their first port of call to new talent is their professional network and another 28% say they turn to LinkedIn. But those are already overfished waters, talent wise.

If you want to reach the widest amount of quality candidates, deploy  a blended approach. Look at less explored sources like specialized online gatherings like GitHub for developers or Dribble for design candidates. Those sort of industry-specific gatherings also exist offline in form of meet-ups. Attend those meetings and seed your business cards. If you don’t know where those meet-ups happen, rely on your existing talent by asking them where people with their skills set congregate.

Also, consider working with a recruiting outfit who already combine offline and online channels with tested HR technology trends.

Fix your retention strategy

When retention is on lock, then you won’t need to hire a lot and often. A hack to fixing retention is to, ab initio, hire professionals who will stay.

Only 37% of employees globally see themselves staying long-term at a company, for three or more years, according to LinkedIn’s 2016 Talent Trends report.

As LinkedIn questioned the data point, they discovered that there was one major difference between the 37% percent who will stay long term and the 63% who won’t. The professionals who stayed were purpose-oriented.

Their primary motivation is using their work to advance a greater good, a higher cause, a mission they deemed worthy of working toward. In contrast, other professionals are motivated mainly by status — career advancement, prestige, and working for a hot brand [and money].” – LinkedIn.

In addition to sticking around for longer, these purpose-minded professionals are happier with their jobs.

As part of the sourcing process, therefore, bring on board only talent that are willing to play the long game. That way, you are not back on the recruitment mill after a few months.

Other ideas exist that your company can explore in sourcing talent, but these ideas should form the foundation of your sourcing strategy. If you go looking for talent without a clear idea of your company needs, it would only amount to a major time wasted. Also, combine online and offline sourcing platforms to maximize your reach, and finally, look out for talent that will stay for the long haul.

The African Talent Company combines tested online and offline sourcing strategies with the latest HR technology trends and the understanding of the client’s needs to handpick the best professional talent for the best companies across Africa. We can help your company. Call or leave us a message to start.

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