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5 common mistakes in active sourcing and how to avoid them

In today’s highly competitive job market, simply posting job ads and waiting for applications to come in is often not enough. To find and attract the best talents, more and more companies are turning to active sourcing. This proactive method allows recruiters to actively search for suitable candidates, engage with them, and get them excited about the company.

In this article, we discuss the five most common mistakes in active sourcing and provide practical tips on how to avoid them:


  1. Unclear target audience communication
  2. Lack of preparation and research
  3. Failure to communicate value
  4. Inadequate follow-up
  5. Neglecting candidate feedback


Why You Should Use Active Sourcing:

Active sourcing offers many advantages: companies can not only find suitable specialists faster and more efficiently but also improve the quality of their talent pool. According to a LinkedIn survey, between 40 and 48 percent of workers are passive candidates. This means these individuals are not actively looking for jobs but are generally open to new job offers. This is where active sourcing plays an important role.

If you are looking for a trusted active sourcing partner, check out our 100% success-based recruiting offer.


1. Active Sourcing Mistake: Unclear Target Audience Communication

The Problem:

Many companies make the mistake of not clearly defining their target audience. They create general messages that often miss the mark or lack relevant information. As a result, potential candidates are not engaged or do not feel addressed.

The Solution:

Create detailed candidate profiles (personas) that accurately describe your ideal candidate group. Consider what qualifications, experiences, and interests your desired candidates should have. Tailor your messages individually to address specific skills and interests. A personalized approach shows candidates that you are genuinely interested in them and not just sending mass emails.


2. Active Sourcing Mistake: Lack of Preparation and Research

The Problem:

Another common mistake is insufficient preparation and research. Recruiters often resort to standard templates without thoroughly examining the candidate profile first. This can result in messages appearing irrelevant and failing to establish a connection with the candidate.

The Solution:

Take the time to thoroughly research each candidate. Look at their profiles on LinkedIn, GitHub, or other relevant platforms. Note details about their career stages, projects, and special skills. Mention specific aspects that you noticed in your message. This shows the candidate that you made the effort to get to know them and that you have a valid reason why you are reaching out.



3. Active Sourcing Mistake: Failure to Communicate Value

The Problem:

Many companies focus too much on the needs of the company and too little on the candidate’s needs in their communication. They fail to communicate the value and benefits that the position and the company offer from the candidate’s perspective.

The Solution:

Emphasize the value that the position and the company offer to the candidate in your communication. What career opportunities, training offers, or special working conditions are there? Explain what the candidate can gain by choosing your company. Also, consider why this is the right next career step for the person. Communicated value increases the likelihood that the candidate will show interest.


4. Active Sourcing Mistake: Inadequate Follow-up

The Problem:

Another common problem is the lack of follow-up. Many recruiters send an initial message and then hear nothing more from the candidate. Often, they forget to follow up or do not systematically track whether and how the candidate responded. This prevents companies from improving the active sourcing process in the long term.

The Solution:

Implement a structured follow-up system and keep track of the candidates who have been actively approached. Schedule regular reminders to contact candidates again after a certain time. Be polite and respectful, and avoid coming across as intrusive. A well-planned follow-up shows professionalism and genuine interest.


5. Active Sourcing Mistake: Neglecting Candidate Feedback

The Problem:

Some companies ignore the feedback they receive from candidates, whether positive or negative. Without this feedback, they miss the opportunity to optimize and improve their sourcing process.

The Solution:

Systematically collect feedback from the candidates you contact. Ask for their opinion on your sourcing process, communication, and the entire application process. Analyze this feedback and make necessary adjustments. This helps you continuously improve and avoid future mistakes. This is especially important if you work with external recruiters.


You currently don’t have the internal capacity for active sourcing? Then working with external recruiters might be a good solution. External recruiters bring extensive experience and networks to specifically and efficiently find the right candidates for your open positions. They can take over the active sourcing process, saving you valuable time and resources. Make sure to choose a trusted partner who understands your company goals and culture and can meet your specific needs. Feel free to check out our 100% success-based active sourcing offer here.


Conclusion: Using Active Sourcing Correctly

Active sourcing is an indispensable tool to find and attract the best talents in today’s competitive job market. Simply posting job ads is often not enough to reach the right candidates, especially considering that according to a LinkedIn survey, between 40 and 48 percent of workers are passive candidates.

In this article, we discussed the five most common mistakes in active sourcing and how to avoid them. By avoiding these mistakes, companies can not only increase their efficiency but also improve the quality of their applicant pools. Clear target audience communication, thorough preparation and research, value communication from the candidate’s perspective, a structured follow-up system, and systematic collection of candidate feedback are crucial factors.

Overall, it is essential to improve the active sourcing process continuously. With the right strategies and possibly the support of external experts, you can ensure that your company attracts the best talents and remains successful in the long term.

Picture of Luca Planert

Luca Planert

Recruiting Lead DACH

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