Sourcing Techniques: Push and Pull Activities

Sourcing techniques for job applicants is like searching for date ideas. You can do it actively or passively. You can reach out to prospects or play it cool and let them notice you first. When a business initiates contact with potential recruits, it uses what are called “push activities” – but when it's waiting for applicants to make the first move, it uses “pull activities.” It’s sort of like walking up to a person on the dance floor versus standing by the jukebox making cow eyes. If you’re looking for recruiting targets that are relationship-quality material (and not just tantalizing “what-ifs”), both approaches can help you jumpstart your recruitment program.

Push Activities

How do you make contact with passive recruiting targets? Since two wallflowers will never break the ice, you're going to have to actively pursue these types of candidates.

  • Phone Sourcing Techniques. If you were the sort of person who lacked the courage to call up your high school crushes, here’s your chance to make up for it. That's right – you can cold-call prospective applicants. If you need phone numbers, you can get them from LinkedIn profiles or by calling companies and requesting the business line of the people you're interested in. If you feel nervous about making the call, don't be. Just imagine that the person on the other end of the line is naked. Hey, it works for public speaking.
  • Internet Sourcing Techniques. You know, you could’ve just sent your old crushes love notes instead of calling them, and this also works when you're contacting applicants. Instead of using LinkedIn as a makeshift phonebook or pestering a company switchboard operator, just email the person you want to talk to. Sending emails is less direct than cold calling, but it lets you craft your words to perfection – something that’s hard to do over the phone (unless you use a script).

Pull Activities

With active candidates, you've got the option to just sit at the bar looking pretty. These folks are actively looking for opportunities, and if you sell yourself well, they'll come to you.

  • Job Postings. When you post a job ad, you're setting out the honey water and waiting for the hummingbirds to arrive – and in the current economy, arrive they will. Be sure that you have application tracking software to handle all the resumes you’ll receive (The Resumator – cough, cough). An applicant tracker will help you monitor the status of candidates as they go through the application process, and it will help you organize the information you collect while conducting interviews.
  • Social Media Pages. Social websites are as useful for attracting job applicants as they are for pretending that you have over 2,000 friends. When potential recruits view a business’s well-developed Facebook page, they see the social side of the company. If a motivated candidate likes the culture that your company projects on Facebook, she’ll connect with your page faster than a lonely teenager takes to Twitter on a Friday night.

Push and pull activities are sourcing strategies that help kick off the recruiting process. Whether you’re looking for passive candidates who are already working or for active prospects that are searching for jobs, these tactics are a great way to start searching for the darlings of your recruitment program.

Have you found ways to actively or passively source job candidates?

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