The race to find talent at companies is back in full swing after the economic slowdown. Companies are hiring again and candidates feel confident to look for new opportunities. However, recruiters are finding that the old methods of just posting positions on the Internet is not resulting in the quality of candidates that may have been produced in the past. This is because the most highly sought-after “passive candidates” do not have the time or the inclination to be trolling through job postings on the boards. Recruiters who solely rely on this method of recruiting (or still run newspaper ads) will never be able to attract the right quality and quantity of talent.

Companies that are on the leading edge of recruiting in today’s market rely of what is known in recruiting circles as “creative sourcing.” Creative sourcing is all about identifying who the top talent is and then approaching that talent either through a trusted source or simply a cold call. This form of sourcing has always been around but is more difficult and time consuming. However, creative sourcing generally yields the best quality candidates. Many recruiters fall into the trap of only using the Internet boards to find candidates because it is the easy way out.

Creative sourcing is aided in today’s recruiting world by networking sites like LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is not set up as a recruiting site, it permits a recruiter to connect with a potential candidate either directly because that candidate is part of the recruiter’s LinkedIn network or the recruiter can connect to the candidate through a trusted source in the recruiter’s networks.

Connecting to candidates through creative sourcing is the key to successful recruiting in today’s market. Companies that do not use creative sourcing as part of their overall recruiting strategy will most likely be disappointed with the results of their effort.