AI Passive Candidate Sourcing: A Powerful Approach to Hiring

Imagine this: for every single position your company has to fill, you have an in-house executive recruiter. The staffing industry’s crème de la crème, these executive recruiters are infamous for filling critical roles with only the best talent. So how do they do it? What’s their process? 

The Best Hiring Practices at Your Fingertips

Simply put, the process of hiring an executive is exhaustive, expensive, and time-consuming. Their process averages anywhere from 4-8 months. But the strategy is simple enough: look everywhere, analyze everything, talk to everyone. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the time and money to invest in such comprehensive searches. But what if there was a way to make this incredibly expensive service affordable and readily available to all companies? And what if companies could use this service not only for executive searches but for all types of positions? Full time or part-time? From your new CTO to the latest salesperson on your team? 

In a world of AI technology, it might just be possible. Here are a few ways the latest AI technology mimics the executive recruiter process—not just for executive job searches, but for all open positions, full time or temporary—and cuts the drive-to-fill time to a fraction of its current length. 

AI-Driven Candidate Sourcing: A Holistic Approach

1. Executive recruiters look everywhere… Frankly, an executive recruiter doesn’t care if you’re happily employed or actively seeking a job. If you’re a good fit for the position, they’re interested in you. This practice of passive candidate sourcing opens up millions of applicants to executive recruiters—70% of the workforce, according to Forbes. Executive recruiters spend days—even weeks—researching these potential candidates and combing through resumes, all in an effort to find the best match.   

… so does AI technology. Now imagine that if instead of doing that research yourself, comprehensive AI-technology took over. AI-driven passive candidate sourcing leverages the power of state-of-the-art search engines, with the capacity to process over 3 billion pages of data a day. Instead of taking hours to go through LinkedIn pages, you could obtain the most relevant data for your search in a matter of seconds. And what’s more, the AI technology would sort that data for you, making it easy for you to choose your final candidates, so your entire team, from senior management to support services, is perfectly tailored to your needs. 

2. Executive recruiters analyze everything… Executive recruiters pay attention to much more than a candidate’s prior work experience and technical qualifications—although this is certainly an important part. But for such a dynamic leadership position, executive recruiters understand that there are a huge number of factors at play. A candidate’s learning style, working style, social skills, and workplace culture compatibility—all have a significant impact on a potential hire. Normally, executive recruiters would gather this data over time and through personal observation. It’s one of the most delicate parts of the job—and one of the most important.

…so does AI Technology. Strangely enough, it turns out AI-driven passive candidate sourcing is the most reliable way of conducting this interpersonal research. Like executive recruiters, AI algorithms prioritize these “soft” factors in hiring, curating candidate data from publicly available data forums such as Google, Github, Anglelist, and other focus user groups. But unlike recruiters, AI analyzes this information without personal bias and incredibly rapidly—so rapidly, they can perform the same analysis for every open position you have to fill. No stone is left unturned: the technology delivers comprehensive insights into potential candidates’ learning styles, motivators, and workplace values, offering an overall score on the candidate’s compatibility.

3. Executive recruiters prioritize accuracy… Executive recruiters have one goal: to find the best match possible for the position. Unlike other recruiters, these professionals don’t limit themselves to their database or job boards; they search the entire talent market, for the person who will meet every job requirement. Unfortunately, most recruiters don’t have the time to chase such accuracy. With hundreds of positions to fill, recruiters streamline processes by focusing on candidates within their database or on job boards, because these candidates are likely much more interested in the job at hand. And besides, it’s practically just too time-consuming to scour the whole field for the candidate that meets every requirement with 100% accuracy.

… so does AI technology. But with AI, recruiters can reach this 100%—and not just for C-level jobs with specific recruiters. AI-driven passive candidate sourcing will look through job boards and databases, but it will also look through every qualified candidate in the field. In doing so, AI technology gives recruiters an accurate picture of both the talent market and your database. If the algorithms find the best talent resides outside your database, it might be time to focus on outreach and locating new talent. After all, at the end of the day, you want to submit a winning candidate—and with AI, you can discover these candidates faster and reach out to them before the competition does.

The AI-Human Integration

And yet, despite these impressive capabilities, people are hesitant to outsource recruiting to AI. A recent Ceipal industry report found that 29% of people distrust AI, claiming recruiting is ultimately a human-driven industry. But studies show that even executive recruiters are prone to wide margins of error, with nearly 50% of all hires failing within 18 months. So how can we lessen that percentage—not only for executive positions, but for any open role? Is AI the way forward to increase placement success rates, opening executive recruiter practices to the entire staffing industry?  

It’s certainly worth a shot. Utilizing world-class search engines and artificial intelligence is a turning point in the industry, one that cannot be ignored. Studies show that AI-driven searches yield 91% accuracy, with a 23% improvement in talent retention in the first nine months. That’s because all good modern AI technology addresses the human element of recruitment, and AI-driven candidate sourcing does the same. The AI responds to your priorities, learning about your preferences as you engage with the technology. Dynamic AI systems base correlations and searches on detailed job descriptions, job types, and the overall context of your company and the candidate’s history. In practice, this artificial intelligence is the world’s best listener—as you reveal your wants, it responds, creating more and more specific searches. 

The power of AI is boundless: the technology leverages the power of the internet to help recruiters increase efficiency, eliminate bias, and—most importantly—source the best talent, wherever it’s hiding. 

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