What if You Only Had One Source to Find Candidates?

question markImagine that you were just assigned a position to recruit for and that you needed to present 2 fully screened, highly qualified and well matched candidates within 5 business days.

Your manager/client is requesting candidates with:

  • 3-5 years of related work experience (your choice – something not too vanilla/easy/common, but not “purple squirrel” either)
  • Experience in a specific industry, and experience working in a similar environment (size/scale/team/software, etc.)  to the manager’s/client’s
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline

Furthermore, let’s say that you don’t have any qualified candidates in your pipeline, so you are essentially starting from scratch.

Under those conditions and assumptions, if you were limited to only 1 method/specific source for identifying candidates to contact, engage and recruit, which would you choose, and why? 

Please Respond to the (100% Anonymous!) Poll

Why Would You Choose That Method/Source?

Okay, this part isn’t so anonymous.

I’m interested to know exactly why you would choose that specific source/method of talent identification.

I believe the question ultimately boils down to which source/method do you believe has the highest probability of enabling you to produce the 2 fully screened, highly qualified and well matched candidates within 5 business days.

Would your answer be the same if you had to produce the candidates within 48 hours?

What about 24 hours?

How about same-day?

What – does that sound crazy to you? If you’ve never had a manager or client ask you to produce candidates same-day before, it actually happens quite often (to me, more times than I can count!).

I’m looking forward to your responses and supporting arguments as to which source/method you would use and why, and you can expect me to challenge them. If I get a good number of responses – I’ll share with you what MY answer would be. :-)

Bring it!

  • Plain and simple – Hands down! You can take everything else away from me but don’t take away the Internet. The vast sea of information is my power tool! Knowing how to use it wisely for search is truely my advantage.

  • Ron Kubitz

    I would choose the internet because as an effective sourcer using google and other boolean search string methodolgy I will be led to both passive and active candidates on many of the sites mentioned including Linkedin, Monster, Facebook etc!

    Why use one site when the internet and boolean searching will lead you to many candidates on many sites??

  • Sourcing Samuri

    Producing 2 qualified candidates in 5 or less days, I would choose Monster without thinking twice.

    If I had 1+ week to produce a qualified resume, then I would go with LinkedIn.

    Linkedin requires too much dialogue for that quick of a search. Very few candidates on LinkedIn have full descriptions under each position, thus making it difficult to keyword search. You are mostly limited to searching by title, then would need to screen the candidates (based on title; NOT very efficient) to determine if qualified.

    In Monster, full resume’s are posted by candidates and searchable by Recruiters. Contact info is readily available, so I can literally call the candidate as they appear in my search results. I know exactly what I’m getting. Every candidate has a full description under each of their positions, and if I’m interested, a phone number is right there for me to call. No back and forth emailing games.

    LinkedIn will most likely present me with a larger candidate pool, thus making it more likely to find the best, most qualified candidate. But in LinkedIn I need to spend too much time emailing back and forth, requesting resumes, scheduling phone screens, investigating “possible” fits based on a title, and figuring out who is a job seeker and who is there to network. Not to mention the time you will waste emailing or talking on the phone w/ unqualified candidates.

  • Chetan

    If, in case, there is no time, then I would go for resume search in Monster…Dice….CB…..

    I would go for Job Postings (Different Job Boards) because I have 5 days in my hand for getting few good responses.

    I think TIME is Key factor for choosing the right approach..

    Every above mentioned approach has its own identity, depending upon the turn around time/reks we need to choose…..

  • This is a trick question! If I only had one source to find candidates, I’d find the resources to increase my options. Having a variety of sources is the only way to find the best candidate. Depending on the type of role and industry, certain methods are better than others. Maintaining a mind set of always using non-traditional channels and traditional channels is the only way to find someone and find someone good quick.

  • I agree with samuri.

    This depends on what is the job, location and salary. If its highly qualified jobs then i woudl go to Linkedin but again the problem remain same emailing, contacting, adding them to network or asking them for resume. Where if I have to fill up normal and easy job then i will straight go to monster or totaljobs or any other big job boards.


  • The way I read this question , if someone offered one free resource what would you take.

    For the purpose of this example I chose post on multiple job boards (for free). The reason is, by having the jobs posted on all popular job boards at once there is a possibility that I will get all the candidates I need within a few hours. This is parallel processing with candidates and recruiters outside the company feeding me qualified resumes.

    When I am not getting resumes, I will be busy sourcing on the free internet.


  • Andy Logan

    My own database without a doubt, I believe the information on the database is generally pretty up to date, you dont have to go through switchboards or anything like that, like you have to with LinkedIn to get hold of people.

    Plus the database would generally have candidates that have been qualified previously from your colleagues.

    I consider my database the first point of call for every position I work on.

  • I chose my own ATS because my information goes back in our local market at least to 1997. This 13 year history of resumes, conversations and contact info allows me to talk with people I have some relationship with who can help lead me to the right folks. Also, the searching I can do on my own information is pretty powerful.

  • I would mine from Monster and/or CareerBuilder’s resume database; especially given Glen stating…”Your manager/client is requesting candidates with: the 3-5 years of related work experience (your choice – something not too vanilla/easy/common, but not ”purple squirrel” either)”

    You can still retrieve some quality resumes from the resume databases. I think a lot of recruiters don’t leverage the tool the way they should. For example: it would be to your advantage to search for candidates all the way back to 365 days (the candidate may be poised to make a move, or just found out that his/her job will be eliminated soon).

    Lastly, Monster has a reference field where job seekers can provide their list of references, which is optional. This is another great way to generate leads. You can use the following search string: references NEAR “company name”

  • theo

    that might be an impossible scenario, because you cannot screen candidates in three days … but I would suggest pulling candidates from free resume databases, of which there are plenty (I happen to use http://www.cbcjobs.com for example) and just running background checks

  • Lenka Krivanova

    I would definitely go for Internet and use search strings to find appropriate CVs and to X-ray also networking sites like LinkedIn (the best source for me currently). Using LinkedIn (with the search string via advanced options) is the easiest way, but should I have only one source I would not limit myself to only one network site, thus Internet is my vote!

  • Joyce

    It’s linkedin for the following reasons:
    1) It’s Free!
    2) Candidates genuine in exploring opportunities would post a brief career history, along with educational qualification for recruiter’s validation.
    3) Based on the candidates’ connection, I can connect to other potential candidates.
    4) Ease of contacting the candidate via email/ mobile phone – my experience is they usually answer within a week, if not faster.

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  • I would use referyes.com :)

  • Sam

    I would definitely go for a free medium. Would make searches with different strings on Google or look for free/open resume sites. I think their are many.

  • Divya Shetty

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