Talent sourcing solutions: Offering improvements beyond efficiency


Posted by Matthew Shannon on January 11, 2019.

Healthy economic growth in recent years has spurred talent markets in which job openings currently outnumber job seekers.1 Yet, recruiters still spend an average of more than 12 hours per week seeking new candidates.2 The challenge many talent acquisition (TA) organizations face is finding additional resources that can help them identify and engage top candidates before their competitors. Fast-changing technological advances position the TA function to benefit from new tools to augment the time-consuming task of sourcing talent. Our new research assessing different talent sourcing solutions provides insights into which next-generation capabilities can streamline the recruitment process, improve recruiter productivity, and enhance candidate experience.3

Today’s Sourcing Solutions
While the previous generation of talent sourcing solutions improved the efficiency of recruiting processes, TA organizations today have access to more candidate information than ever before. Recruiters need sourcing solutions that offer compatibility with current options, data migration with existing systems, and scalability for growth.

Powered by cognitive capabilities,4 sourcing solutions can enable recruiters to focus on the right candidates for the right roles while offering a responsive, customized candidate experience. These solutions can aggregate candidate information to assess a person’s potential to fill a specific job and score them against profiles of other candidates. This automated analysis helps recruiters focus on engaging priority candidates.

Beyond Efficiency: Experience and Productivity Capabilities
TA organizations are familiar with the pressures to quickly provide quality candidates, but advanced sourcing solutions go beyond just performing the same activities better and faster. They can augment recruiter workflows by managing mundane transactional tasks and freeing up recruiters to focus on building relationships with their hiring managers and prospective candidates.5

Our research examined the groupings of sourcing capabilities available within solutions that support either improvements to recruiter productivity or candidate and hiring manager experiences.

Sourcing Solution Capabilities That Improve Productivity and Experience


Source: Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2019.

Instead of manually searching for candidates by scanning profiles and resumes with Boolean search strings, TA professionals can leverage sourcing solutions for more productive search capabilities. For example, contextual search and natural language processing can interpret the many variations of job titles and indicate whether a professional profile might be outdated. Additionally, advanced search capabilities can predict whether passive candidates might be willing to accept a new position, based on factors such as time in their current role and press releases about their current employer. These capabilities can limit the time spent on manual work (e.g., scanning high volumes of candidate information or providing insights about priority candidates).

Candidates’ expectations have also changed—today they anticipate a responsive and tailored experience. As a result, sourcing solutions offer capabilities to personalize the recruiting experience. Through automated messaging and recruitment marketing campaigns, prospective candidates can receive information about potential job opportunities that fit their interests. Also, sourcing solutions with the capability to update existing data reduce the number of times candidates input the same information.

Taken together, these advanced capabilities can allow improve sourcing processes beyond efficiency. Recruiters have more time to build relationships with candidates while candidates can experience a seamless recruiting process—a win-win for TA organizations looking to remain ahead of the competition in today’s talent market.

Bersin™ members can access our Talent Sourcing Solution series, which will publish throughout January 2019. The series includes the following assets: Market Primer, Market Findings, Market Capabilities and Differentiators, and Vendor Profiles. The series will also include our Market Navigator infographic, which can help organizations understand the current availability of sourcing capabilities and where to find them, and our Capabilities Checklist and Evaluation tool for assessing current capabilities and evaluating new ones.

Matthew ShannonMatthew Shannon is a senior research analyst, Solution Provider Market Research, for Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP.


1 U.S. Department of Labor Data Shows That American Job Openings Exceed Job Seekers for First Time on Record, U.S. Department of Labor / Eric Holland, 2018, https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20180605.
2 “The 2017 State of Sourcing Survey – The Technology,” sourcecon.com/Shannon Prichett, October 23, 2017, https://www.sourcecon.com/the-2017-state-of-sourcing-survey-the-technology/.
3 Sourcing Solution Survey, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018.
4 “Cognitive capabilities” in this instance refers to next-generation cognitive technologies, such as natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, which are fueling the next big leap in recruiter productivity.
5 “Prediction: Talent Acquisition Will Use AI and Predictive Data to Become Truly Embedded in the Business,” Capital H Blog, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Denise Moulton, December 5, 2018, https://capitalhblog.deloitte.com/2018/12/05/prediction-talent-acquisition-will-use-ai-and-predictive-data-to-become-truly-embedded-in-the-business/.

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