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Don’t Let These 3 Fatal Candidate Sourcing Mistakes Ruin Your Hiring Efforts

Don’t Let These 3 Fatal Candidate Sourcing Mistakes Ruin Your Hiring Efforts

Every hiring professional has made their fair share of candidate sourcing mistakes. Many mistakes have an easy fix, but some are costing you quality talent.

Unfortunately, in a climate where more than 60 percent of recruiters say the talent shortage is in the top three recruiting challenges of 2017, according to Bullhorn’s 2017 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report: Above and Beyond Business as Usual, these mistakes turn from costly to fatal for many companies.

Don’t Let These 3 Fatal Candidate Sourcing Mistakes Ruin Your Hiring EffortsFor the past six years Jamie Finnegan, head of talent at, an online comparison tool, has been mastering the ins and outs of candidate sourcing. One of the biggest lessons he’s learned is what to do when a major mistake is made.

“Fix it. To properly do that you need to address the issue quickly. Take accountability in solving the problem rather than passing on the blame,” he said.

And when you’re in charge of your company’s global hiring needs, taking accountability is a crucial step in finding and solving hiring challenges. However, the first step is recognizing what candidate sourcing mistakes you could be making, but are not completely aware of.

When Finnegan is out looking for the best talent for his team, here are the three fatal mistakes he stays away from:

1. Not sourcing for character.

Hiring based solely on skills and experiences isn’t enough anymore. Companies have found their success lies in the dynamics of their team. It’s a solid culture that attracts employees and entices them to stay for the long haul.

In fact, a recent LinkedIn report found both recruiters and candidates agree company culture is crucial when it comes to standing out from other employers.

However, according to Finnegan, “finding great talent who can not only do the job but are a good fit culture-wise is arguably the number one challenge facing hiring teams, whether they are recruiting for one or multiple markets.”

It becomes even more of a challenge when you’re recruiting for roles in seven different markets all over the world, but Finnegan says this is no excuse. In fact, he suggests having one consistent culture in place across all offices — no matter what time zone they’re in.

Finnegan’s best advice for avoiding this mistake?

Start taking steps to know your culture from the beginning.

“Trying to assess if someone is a good fit for the company when you’re still building that office and individual culture can be a challenge,” explains Finnegan. “The people you hire in the beginning will be the most important drivers of the business growth, so it’s crucial to get it right.”

Recommended Reading: Check out our article on knowing when skill trumps experience in your talent pool.

2. Not maximizing network reach.

When recruiting for a role in a network you’ve not yet built up, candidate sourcing becomes a major puzzle. It’s full of pieces that are scattered all over unfamiliar territory, which creates an overwhelming task to overcome.

Not having a pre-established network in a new market can definitely make finding great candidates more difficult, however, it’s surprising how far you will find your existing network can stretch. I’ve often had great leads in one country from a contact somewhere entirely different,” Finnegan shared.

Using your network, no matter how far disconnected they may initially seem, will save you from making the mistake of outsourcing too early. Which, according to Finnegan, has you wasting hours that should be spent on learning the market yourself.

When it comes to finally making that leap to outsourcing candidate sourcing to improve your hiring process, Finnegan advised, “You can do this eventually, but it shouldn’t be what you start out doing. It should be something you consider doing once you’ve gathered the info and data to back up the decision.”

3. Blindly following trends.

You need to keep your eye on trends, but you should always be cautious of them. Many trends make you aware of what’s working for others in candidate sourcing. But there are plenty that only work in certain situations or markets.

“Launching in a region/market because it’s the trendy thing to do or just because other businesses have seen success there doesn’t mean you should do the same,” Finnegan warned.

“For example, just because someone has built a successful tech team in San Francisco or an off-shore development team in Manila, doesn’t mean it’s applicable to all.”

There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution for candidate sourcing.

This truth is brought out even more for small businesses because their hiring decisions are even more impactful on the company’s culture, moral, and bottom line. Stay updated on trends, but proceed with caution.

If you’re unsure about how well a trend will work for your team, go straight to the source and ask. Everyone on your team has been through the company’s candidate sourcing process. They will have the best insight on whether a new trend will work for or against your efforts.


What major candidate sourcing mistakes have you seen hiring pros make? Let us know!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.