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Active sourcing
for an effective recruitment process 

What do you want when searching for qualified specialists and executives? We're pretty sure you are looking for a process that is fast, targeted and, above all, as effective as possible. Don't you think? 

“Active sourcing” is the magic word in modern recruitment – an extremely effective method that helps you find – and ideally retain – the few highly qualified specialists out there. 

So, if you are eagerly awaiting applications from suitable candidates and find your recruitment process is dragging on, why not turn the tables? Reach out to the ideal candidates yourself! Active sourcing means leaving your passive, wait-and-see approach behind and taking on an active role. Search intensively for future employees on social networks, job portals or with the help of recruitment agency databases.  

Establish direct contact through personal messages or telephone calls. As part of this process, you can also approach candidates who are not actively looking for a job but have a strong interest in prospects and further development.  

Definition of active sourcing 

Active sourcing is gaining more and more importance in recruiting, enabling companies to actively search for qualified candidates themselves. This is precisely what distinguishes active sourcing – companies assume a proactive approach to finding qualified talent, whether on job portals, social media channels or using recruitment agency databases. However, the particular challenge here is that the suitable candidates are often already in permanent positions, making it difficult to identify any intention to change jobs.

In order to win over these candidates for their own company, recruiters establish direct contact with them through personal messages or telephone calls and attempt to awaken their talents’ interest in a change by telling them about the company and the vacancy to be filled.  

Active sourcing should not be confused with social media recruiting.

Active sourcing – no efficiency without focus

Active sourcing ensures a high level of quality in recruitment and increases the efficiency of the process. After all, the concept enables you to reach candidates that are an ideal match for your company, your requirements and even your team in a relatively short time.

How does active sourcing work?

With the active sourcing method, you – or we as recruitment experts – embark on a search for suitable candidates for your company or the vacancy to be filled. The first step is to search through applicant databases, social networks and job portals for future employees. Analyse what qualifications they have and try to find out as much as possible about their profile. The next step is to learn more about the candidates by establishing personal contact with them – the “funnel” principle will help you to find that one person out of many who is a perfect fit. 

The following steps are usually part of every active sourcing process:
  1. 1  
  2. Definition of candidate requirements 

  3. 2  
  4. Intensive search for suitable talents in (digital) networks 

  5. 3  
  6. Prioritisation of potential candidates 

  7. 4  
  8. Personal contact via e-mail, chat or telephone 

  9. 5  
  10. Initial meeting with candidates 

  11. 6  
  12. Detailed interview with suitable applicants 

  13. 7  
  14. Presentation of the vacancy and company 

  15. 8  
  16. Document preparation and check 

  17. 9  
  18. Introductory meetings at the company 

  19. 10  
  20. Decision for or against an employment relationship 

What active sourcing channels are available? 

Even if active sourcing is mostly carried out online and you successfully search for employees in databases, on social networks like Xing and LinkedIn or job portals, take advantage of other ways to attract interesting talent, too. 

For instance, if you are looking to employ qualified candidates who are just starting out in their careers, visit trade fairs or even universities directly. This will give you the opportunity to hold conversations in a relaxed atmosphere, promote your company and make valuable contacts at the same time.  

Depending on which active sourcing channel you use, there are subtle differences that should be considered when communicating with your ideal candidates. On social networks like Instagram and Facebook, for instance, it is a good idea to use first names, be more personal and approachable and convey state-of-the-art messages. You can present yourself as a friendly, affable company.  

On professional networks like Xing or LinkedIn, on the other hand, you should address your chosen candidates considerably more formally. Use your first communication with them to refer to the profile of your company’s contact person, perhaps briefly introduce the vacancy and write in a tone that suits your company.  

The active sourcing process with Hays 

Active sourcing is a resource-intensive process that requires a lot of time and patience. After all, you will (have to) trawl through countless profiles in your database and social networks whether you like it or not. This task is extremely time-consuming and cannot be done “on the side”. By outsourcing active sourcing to Hays, you save your HR department a significant amount of time and avoid staff turnover through frustration. 

As soon as we have had an in-depth discussion about your vacancy and your requirements concerning qualifications and candidates, we will analyse the recruitment market and develop a customised recruitment/candidate attraction strategy. We will start our search for suitable applicants in our extensive pool of experts. We also consider those who are not actively looking for a job at the moment.  

As part of our active sourcing strategy, we make use of the following recruitment channels: 

  • Our own pool of candidates with over 200,000 quality-assured profiles 

  • Active contact in networks and career portals such as Xing, LinkedIn, Monster or StepStone  

  • Trade and recruitment fairs (with own trade fair presence)  

  • Print and online media and active Internet research  

We contact potential candidates directly and vet them both professionally and personally. As soon as we have found a convincing applicant with a strong desire to change jobs, we will send you the relevant application documents.  

Then it’s over to you: You hold interviews to get to know the top candidates recommended by us and make your decision. By outsourcing active sourcing, you save yourself a lot of time and effort – especially in terms of administration work. 

We guarantee the following benefits to you: 

  • We carefully structure the recruitment management process according to specialist areas 

  • Our recruitment experts are always up to date with the latest knowledge in your specialist area 

  • We base our qualification and suitability assessments on objective, tried-and-tested criteria 

  • We establish initial contact and check the hard and soft skills of candidates 

Your benefits with Hays active sourcing 

As HR manager, outsourcing active sourcing means you are free to focus on your actual core tasks and proceed much more efficiently in the selection of candidates. This is because we only present you with candidates who are really suitable for you. Through a focussed search, we guarantee faster results, a reduction in your recruiting effort and thus a significant reduction in personnel and administration costs and resources. 

With Active Sourcing you save time! (Stopwatch icon)


Save money with Active Sourcing! (Euro-Icon)


Active Sourcing delivers good results reliably and quickly! (Target icon)


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Active Sourcing relieves the burden on your company - and still delivers good results! (Handshake Icon)


Active sourcing as the basis of our services

Active sourcing is the method to find the best talent for your company. This is why we also apply our tried-and-tested active sourcing methods to your needs. Whether in direct recruitment, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or when temporary employees receive a permanent contract and are retained for the long term (temp to perm), we find the right specialists and executives for you. 

Active sourcing isn’t enough? Then benefit from volume sourcing as a strategic key account 

Would you prefer to see the bigger picture in your recruitment process and not just use individual methods to find suitable talent for your company? Then volume sourcing is the ideal solution for your company. 

With volume sourcing, we don’t just look to fill one vacancy for you. We see ourselves as part of your holistic recruitment strategy. It enables us to increase the speed, accuracy and candidate retention in your interests. After all, tailored recruitment services encompass all measures required to search for, identify and pro-actively approach suitable talent – all the way to placement. This service is complemented by our high level of expertise regarding current compliance guidelines, our excellent communication skills and our professional candidate management. 

We bundle your search requests and fill your vacancies with top talent quickly, efficiently and reliably. 

Your benefits through volume sourcing with Hays Talent Solution (HTS): 

  • time savings, cost efficiency and planning reliability through customised recruitment with 100% transparency. 

  • A central contact person for the entire recruitment process. 

  • An exclusive team for you which understands your requirements and works together with you to create optimal processes. 

  • Ultra-efficient recruitment solutions to find qualified candidates. 

  • An analysis of the current candidate market as well as an assessment of your employer brand.  

Use volume sourcing regardless of your industry or company size. We are also happy to support corporate groups as well as SMEs and the public sector in their search for suitable talent. You receive the full support of our experts, who not only understand the requirements of all fields and skill areas, but also have a constant overview of the specialists available on the market.

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Filling vacancies reliably

Do you have several vacancies in your company? We can also search for you on a grand scale!

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We understand which people fit your company and find your future qualified managers.

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The right experts for every project

Are you looking for specialist project support in a wide range of industries? Engage self-employed per service contract!