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6 Talent Sources to Use for Future Open Roles

6 Talent Sources To Use For Future Open Roles

The need for talent is a constant. Even if you’re not currently filling open roles or placing candidates, the future holds endless possibilities. Beating competitors and ensuring top talent lands in your pipeline requires you to always be sourcing. 

Of course, finding the right talent for future open roles is no easy feat. It’s critical you spend your time and resources searching only the most productive talent sources. 

We reached out to recruiting experts and asked them to reveal their favorite places to look for top talent for future open roles. Here’s what they shared: 

1. College job boards

Dana Case Talent SourcesI use college job boards for entry-level and internship positions. College students are hungry for the work experience and ready to show you they have what it takes to do an amazing job in what is, essentially, their first real job. 

Dana Case, Director of Operations at

2. Niche marketplaces

Jagoda Wieczorek Talent SourcesMy recommendation is to hit niche marketplaces (e.g., FlexJobs, StartUpers, Handshake) where the cream of the crop hangs out. While general-purpose job boards serve as a central hub designed to source talent across a variety of verticals, niche marketplaces help source candidates with specific skill sets and expertise that will have a much better chance of fitting your future hiring needs.

Jagoda Wieczorek, HR Manager at ResumeLab

3. Employee referrals

Pete Sosnowski Talent SourcesTried and tested and still as valid as ever — birds of the feather (do indeed) flock together and that applies in business environments, such as talent sources, as well. 

Say you’re looking for the next superstar programmer to join your team; well, odds are quite high your team may already know someone with the necessary pedigree as well as culturally fighting personality. The auto pre-vetting process of having an insider vouch for a new candidate is truly what makes this strategy a perennial classic.

Pete Sosnowski, VP of People, Zety

4. Local recruiting firms

Sourcing top talent takes patience and a strong network. To locate and attract top talent, I first turn to small, local recruiting firms that I’ve assisted in the past. Together, we utilize our network to pull candidates we have in our database, as well as candidates that were referred to us. 

By utilizing another small firm, we can search through 100,000+ candidates to find resumes that align with the needs of our clients. The ability to share resumes with another agency is the best way to locate top talent quickly. 

Summer R. Chancey, President and Founder at Viking Recruiting

5. Candidate referrals

Summer R Chancey Talent SourcesChances are, your senior-level candidates will know someone that may be open to exploring new career opportunities. We pay for referrals! If a candidate refers someone to our firm and they’re hired or placed, we pay for the referral. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Summer R. Chancey, President and Founder at Viking Recruiting

6. Your employee and customer base

Dan Bailey Talent SourcesWe use targeted advertisements (mainly through Facebook) as one of our key talent sources. Our employees and customers are used to create a look-alike audience. The idea here is to find people who have interests and skill sets common to those working for us and those using our service. 

Sometimes these will naturally be people the initial reference employee or customer knows, which can help when vouching for someone. Most of the time they’re not, but we’ve still got a good range of very qualified, interested applicants.

For example, we found one of our current web developers this way. The ad for the job posting was served to her on Facebook because she had a (distant) connection to a current customer. 

Because they shared interests and hobbies (landscaping, gardening, DIY), we were able to find someone who not only had the right skills but who would be passionate about creating a good customer experience.

Dan Bailey, President, WikiLawn


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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.