What is Talent Sourcing and Why is it Important?

At HireEducation, we’re recruiters—headhunters, to be precise. We’ve explained what that means before, but we wanted to take a moment to pull back the curtain on more of what we do. In this post we examine talent sourcing and why it’s important. We asked Kinley Catania, our Director of Research, to break it down for us.

Talent sourcing is a proactive approach to securing top-tier candidates rather than passively waiting for them to walk in the door. As a part of our daily routine, we identify and engage with edtech professionals with a wide variety of expertise for current and future open positions. This involves nurturing relationships with those who may not be actively seeking new employment but possess the nuanced skill sets sought after by our clients. These individuals, often known as “passive candidates,” might be open to a new position, but only if it’s the perfect opportunity for them.

At HireEducation, we accept applications through our job portal, but when you rely solely on applications in the hiring process it limits access to those passive candidates, who tend to be a better culture fit, cover diversity and inclusiveness needs better, and will likely have a more streamlined and applicable skill set.

Sourcing, on the other hand, starts with a deep assessment of what a client truly needs. This often begins with a job description, but then we engage clients in a launch process that goes much deeper. Working from our search expertise (we’ve seen it all!) and industry knowledge, we ask questions that our clients may not have even thought were important to finding ideal candidates.

Kinley then gathers a robust group of candidates based on those requirements (known as a “pipeline”). She usually begins with our own proprietary CRM database, which contains 12+ years of carefully documented candidate information and relationships. Kinley and her research team also have several talent-specific tools at their disposal that most companies cannot afford on their own. As the sourced candidates are filtered and the list is refined, updated contact information is added and double-checked so outreach is as smooth as possible. This smaller pool of high-quality candidates becomes the outreach list for our recruiters, which saves time and resources and leads to better hiring outcomes.

[Wish you could have a list like that? Hint: keep reading!] 

Think of it like this: relying just on applications from candidates is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Talent sourcing is like finding all the best needles and arranging them in a nice needle case for our clients to review efficiently. It makes it much easier for them to select the sharpest needles without all the digging.


Does this mean you start from scratch with every search?

Definitely not! Finding top candidates is an ongoing, never-ending process, regardless of which clients we’re working with or which positions are available. Rather than waiting for an open position to come along before we begin our search, we proactively foster relationships with our top edtech candidates. We are constantly on the lookout for people with great experience selling, marketing, building, managing, and leading educational technology. Then when an opening comes along, we have already dug into their skill set and know they are qualified before the client even sees them.


Should sourcing be part of every talent search?

Maybe. Talent sourcing tends to be more effective for the positions that require more experience (~3 years+ in a specific area), not entry-level positions, which can include training and where the candidate pool is usually broader since the qualifications aren’t as demanding.


How big are these lists?

Our goal is to have full market coverage on every search (often around 100 candidates per position), but it depends on the job, location requirements, and other factors. Sometimes we can have more than 200 candidates for a job, and with other more specific positions it can be around 40. Once we have filtered for the best fit, we tend to target 40-50 candidates per search for full, targeted outreach and recruitment.


So can I get your help with sourcing even if I want to run the search myself?

We thought you’d never ask! Yes!

While we love delivering our top-notch search services from launch to placement, many clients find themselves with the capacity to screen and process candidates but are either lacking excellent talent in their pipeline or completely drowning in 100s of sub-par applicants.

In response, we now offer Sourcing Services at HireEducation, designed to help you start your search strong with a curated list of potential candidates ripe for outreach. Our tailored packages are designed to cater to your specific needs, ensuring you get the most out of your recruitment efforts.


📦 Package 1: The Essentials

Get a list of ~40 to 50 top candidates matched to your Job Description. Receive full names, emails, phone numbers, LinkedIn profiles, and current details.


📦 Package 2: The Expertise Advantage

Experience a personalized approach starting with a Launch Call and producing a Stack Ranked list of ~40 to 50 candidates. We’ll categorize candidates as Hot, Warm, or Cold based on responsiveness and fit.

Sound helpful? Book a call with us to explore how these services can jumpstart your growth plans!

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