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What is Candidate Sourcing and Why is it Important?

August 17, 2023

Picture this: You need to hire for your growing tech team and have a month of time for the same. The first thing you do is get the JD from the team and post it to multiple job boards and LinkedIn. Within a couple of weeks, you have a hundred applicants. You shortlist 25 resumes and start screening them. Further, 10 of them move forward to the interview. It’s been more than 3 weeks already, the tech team interviews them and they find that none of them is skilled enough. The result? Almost a month is gone, you couldn’t hire anyone and don’t have more candidates in the pipeline. Why did it happen? You missed out on candidate sourcing and didn’t have a strategy.

To avoid being in such a scenario, you need to focus on building the right sourcing systems, following them consistently and optimizing at every iteration. How do you do that? Let’s find out.

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate sourcing refers to researching, identifying, and reaching candidates for current or future open roles at your organization. Sourcing includes discovering both active (people looking for jobs) and passive candidates (who aren’t looking for jobs candidates and adding them to your talent pipeline. 

Here are some statistics telling you its significance

Why Do You Need to Source Candidates?

As a recruiter, you’re always evaluating hundreds of profiles and selecting candidates among them. No doubt it’s a mammoth task in itself. You might wonder why source more candidates?

That’s a fair thought - however, if you have not realized it yet, these stats will help you to -

31% of all the hires are proactively sourced and 1 in every 72 Sourced candidates is hired against 1 in 152 applicants. That means sourcing candidates takes half the effort and time to fill an open position. Here are a few more reasons for supporting talent sourcing:

  1. Quality of Hiring: We all are aware of the war for top talent out there. Sourcing gives you the independence to acquire even passive candidates. As much as 42% of applicants aren’t fit for the job requirements on average. And 86% of the most qualified candidates are employed and not looking to switch. This makes sourcing the go-to strategy for recruiters and CXOs.

  1. Talent Pipeline: No matter whether you are a startup or an established organization, hiring almost never stops. Keeping your talent pipeline full immensely helps as whenever you have open positions for various roles, you know where to find them. 

  1. Time & Cost of Hiring: Hiring cycles are usually long when leads come through job boards as multiple rounds of shortlisting are involved. When it comes to sourcing, you usually have a filled talent pipeline which helps fill the positions quickly and hence cuts down the cost of hiring too.

How Has Sourcing Evolved Lately?

The goals of sourcing candidates remain the same: hiring the best available talent in the shortest time possible. However, the systems and processes have completely transformed. 

If you have been in the recruitment space for a while, you can’t deny the fact that sourcing and recruiting are completely different to what they used to be. The market is more candidate-driven than ever before. 

From newspaper ads for open roles and prolonged campus placements in colleges to sourcing candidates through social media, technology has pushed recruitment a long way. Job portal sites like Indeed, third-party sourcing agencies, and professional platforms like LinkedIn are the mainstream sourcing options now. 

With so much noise, recruiters are always racing against time when it comes to sourcing and recruitment. Managing the talent pipeline and filling it manually can be a daunting task. 

Fortunately, a recruitment automation platform can take care of your entire hiring journey: from sourcing to outreach and candidate experience. So you can focus on identifying candidates and interviewing them while the platform takes care of your talent pipeline.

Sourcing vs Recruitment: What’s the Difference?

Do you often confuse candidate sourcing with recruitment? Well, you are not alone and it’s not your fault either. Corporates have been using these terms interchangeably since decades, but now as the dynamics of hiring have evolved - these two have become exclusive parts of the hiring cycle.

While sourcing refers to identifying and qualifying the right candidates with the objective of filling your talent pipeline, recruitment involves everything that follows. Let’s dive deep into the differences between sourcing and recruitment to set the right mindset:



Candidate sourcing involves searching and qualifying talented candidates for present or upcoming open roles

Covers the journey of screening candidates, tests, interviews and ends at appointing them as employees

Acquiring and understanding the role requirements from the relevant vertical or team

Filtering Cvs

Researching for candidates with the right skillset and experience

First screening call and scheduling further interview (if the call goes fine)

Outreach through LinkedIn DMs(mostly), Facebook, Emails

Continous communication regarding updates and solving the queries of candidates

Frequently posting your requirements on job boards, social media, communities

Doing background verification for qualified candidates

Creating and managing a database (talent pipeline) who might be a great fit for the company later on

Giving Feedback to the sourcing team or individual

How to Create an Outstanding Candidate Sourcing Strategy? 

An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it. 

~Dee Hock

The people you hire define your company’s future trajectory. In fact, the primary idea of sourcing candidates is to take complete charge of who you want to hire.

On the other hand, retaining employees has become a huge challenge too. 25% of the overall employees in the workforce are looking to switch their jobs after the pandemic. Sourcing talented candidates for your talent pipeline has never been more important.

As a recruiter, you have got a lot to do. It all starts from candidate sourcing and execution without a strategy would just eat up your time. Don’t worry though, we have got your back. Let’s discuss how you can create a stellar sourcing strategy and hire the ‘creamy layer’ talent.

  1. Create Your Candidate Persona

If you haven’t already guessed - it’s just like salespeople and marketing teams create a buyer persona. Before you even begin sourcing, you should know exactly what an ideal candidate for a certain role looks like. Evaluate in terms of hard skills, educational background, relevant industry experience, personality type, soft skills, career trajectory, community engagement and background. These are just a few core parameters, you might need to add role-specific ones too. 

  • Take the help of your hiring manager and create your candidate persona(s) - one for each role.
  • Interact with relevant vertical heads for knowing more about the right candidate. For example - product head for product managers, tech lead for developers, marketing head for digital marketers and so on.
  • Try out matching a few candidates to the create persona with your hiring manager.
  • More importantly, in a few days - review the talent pool and decide if you need to expand or contract the scope of your requirements.

  1. Explore More Sourcing Channels

Why stop at LinkedIn or Indeed when you can explore a variety of platforms? Mix up the most popular channels with the less used ones. Even the biggest of the recruiters hire through social media like Facebook, Instagram (especially for creative roles)and Reddit. Niche-specific job posting websites are hidden goldmines. For example - Dice, GitHub Jobs and StackOverFlow Careers are some of the best places to find tech talents. If you’re a startup - AngelList can be a great choice for hiring startup fanatics. Similarly, if you are hiring content marketing talent, Slack communities like superpath can bring you the best candidates.

  1. Work On Employer Branding

Finding and reaching out to the top talent is fine. How about making the best talent want to work with you? And do you know what defines the chances of a candidate responding to your outreach? It’s your employer brand.

Recruitment is more of marketing than just hiring in 2022. More than 69% of candidates would reject a job offer from an organization with a bad reputation. It’s important to understand that establishing your employer's brand is not an overnight process, think of it as a journey. Employer branding is a continuous process and involves everything around your organization’s reputation among the workforce. Here are the steps you can take towards building your employer brand:

  • Encourage reviews on job sites like Glassdoor and consistently respond to them
  • Share organizational milestones - funding, PR mentions and awards
  • Share Business milestones - Growth rate, ARR and key statistics. 
  • Showcase your company culture through LinkedIn posts, host events and employee engagements
  • Ask your employees to share their professional stories on LinkedIn posts or dedicated blog posts
  • Executives should work on their personal brand on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter because they are the primary faces of your organization 
  • Be consistent in posting about new joiners, work anniversaries. Focus on more employee-centric content.

  1. Leverage Your Employees’ Network 

Sourcing candidates is primarily related to one’s network. Imagine if all of your employees utilized their networks for candidate sourcing. It would be a double win in terms of both quality of candidates and the time required to source them. 

Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and even numerous communities are driven by personal brands. Here’s how you can leverage your employee’s networks for sourcing quality candidates:

  • Utilize platforms like Teammable - to get recommendations based on your employees’ social networks.
  • Allow your employees to join in and introduce the candidates to you
  • Keep exciting rewards for successful referrals 
  • Ask your employees to share about the open roles with their networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more platforms/communities.

  1. Make the Best Out of Automation Tool

Manually sourcing the candidates, managing their contact details and engaging with them can collectively freak you out. Your productivity goes for a toss when working on a hundred spreadsheets, doing naive iterative tasks of managing those candidates’ data and whatnot.

What you need is an automation tool that helps you scale your sourcing efforts and fill your recruitment pipeline rapidly. NurtureBox makes sourcing hassle-free and allows you to focus on more critical tasks like screening and interviewing. How does it do that? By connecting to your existing ATS, Gmail, LinkedIn and WhatsApp so that you don’t need to perform repeatable tasks for each candidate.

Best Practices You Must Follow for Candidate Sourcing

One thing is for sure, the best candidates don’t apply for jobs anymore. With so many recruiters and executives approaching them, there’s no reason they would think about applying themselves. 

The question is, are you one of the recruiters approaching them? Are you doing it the right way? Let’s find out. Here are the five best practices you must follow for candidate sourcing.

#1 Begin Sourcing With Your Existing ATS

Most of the organizations have an internal database of rejected/unconsidered resumes for various roles. The point to consider here is these people wanted to work with you once. 

Before putting up efforts to find out candidates with relevant skills on various platforms, re-screen these candidates in your ATS. The probability of them upskilling or gaining experience by now are high, which makes them even more valuable. 

#2 Don’t Judge Candidates Only Based on Their Social Profiles

Most candidates (especially passive ones) don’t usually update their LinkedIn profiles with skills and experiences. As a recruiter, you need to analyze and judge them based on their years of experience, current industry and role and the organization they are a part of currently. Most of the uploaded resumes on LinkedIn and other job profiles are outdated. 

For example - A growth marketer with 4 years of experience in the SaaS industry might not have an updated resume or LinkedIn profile with a detailed description of all their skills. However, a candidate with 8 months of experience has briefly mentioned all the skills and has an updated resume. If your hiring requirements are for a marketing head - who would you choose?

An updated resume cannot be the only basis of judgment.

#3 Level Up Your Search Game

Searching for the most common keywords would lead to common results that everyone is getting and most recruiters are probably behind them. However, searching with keywords related to their daily work in their jobs (not the job title) can help you find untapped talent. Search with keywords like ‘managing’, ’leading’, ‘consulting’, ‘executing’, ‘building’.

Additionally, think beyond the conventional dimensions of a role. For example - If you’re hiring a copywriter, don’t just search with the keyword - ‘copywriter’. Try more semantics like ‘storytelling’, ‘design thinking’, and ‘ brand messaging’. 

Club the daily work keywords with the work keywords and you will find some good unapproached talent for sure.

#4 Maintain Talent Pipeline

Your sourcing process, ideally, should never stop. Even when you are on a hiring spree and onboarding tens of employees daily. Keep working on your sourcing strategies and always have an eye for worthy candidates that you can consider now or in the future. Add them to your talent pipeline. As a recruiter, your role is not only limited to reaching out to people and pitching them the role. You also need to build relationships and network genuinely with people. Your rapport with the talented candidates helps you source candidates who are as good as them. 

#5 Know Your Sourcing KPIs

KPIs or key performance indicators are resultant metrics that suggest how did your campaign perform. The key to scaling up your sourcing and hence upgrading your recruitment is by experimenting and analyzing which approach works the best. So that the next time you have similar requirements - you know how to go about candidate sourcing. Here are a few KPIs you should track as a part of sourcing:

  • Top sources for successful candidates
  • Time taken to hire for each different role
  • Qualitative feedback from vertical heads

How Nurturebox Does the Sourcing Automation for the Recruiters to Source Quickly?

Here’s a brief breakdown of how NurtureBox helps you optimize your sourcing. From finding candidates and adding them to your ATS to outreach and tracking the performance, NurtureBox's chrome extension helps you avoid all the repetitive tasks in your sourcing cycle:

  • Find candidates on LinkedIn. Use integrations like Recruitee, Rocketreach and SIgnalhire with NurtureBox extension to find your target prospect’s contact details. You can then directly add them to your campaign database.

  • Automate your engagement through multiple channels - WhatsApp, SMS, LinkedIn DMs and email.

  • Track your outreach results to find out what’s working. Double down on that approach of sourcing.

Being highly productive as a recruiter means focusing on critical tasks that need deep human intelligence and analysis which is mostly interviewing the candidates. Sourcing the right candidates is the key to quality recruitment. If you are planning to optimize your hiring strategy and scale up your recruitment processes, automating the mundane tasks is the way forward. 

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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