Understanding HR’s Move To AI Sourcing In 2021

AI Search People


Effective and efficient.

When HR and talent acquisition professionals choose their tools and resources, these two qualities are invaluable. As the economy recovers, effective and efficient resources will be necessary for teams to deal with hiring surges in 2021. While 70%of HR teams are expected to use AI tools to identify and manage candidates by the end of this year, there is still uncertainty surrounding how this technology works and whether its impact is worth the investment of time and resources.

Let’s explore why AI sourcing is becoming a “must” for HR and TA teams, and no longer a “nice-to-have,” when preparing for 2021 and the uncertainties it will bring.

As the economy recovers, talent acquisition teams will need effective and efficient tools to face an expected hiring surge. That's why @Hiretual argues that AI is a must. #HR #HRTech Share on X

What is AI Sourcing, and How Does It Work?

In previous years, recruiters would manually source by spending hours scrolling through numerous lists of unranked candidates on individual platforms. With AI sourcing, teams conduct automated searches with increased specificity through millions of candidate profiles across the open web simultaneously.

The most powerful AI Sourcing technology is driven by a knowledge graph, a self-expanding and self-learning infrastructure that makes contextual searches possible. To simplify what this means, let’s use Hiretual as an example.

Our knowledge graph is an intricate web of hundreds of millions of interconnected data points gathered from different social and recruitment platforms, search engine APIs, and software integrations within the recruiting tech stack. Once this candidate data is acquired, the knowledge graph augments and understands the relationship between these data sets.

Following a search across volumes of candidate data, hiring teams are presented with a dynamic view of candidate qualifications, patterns and trends within a specific talent pool. As teams continue to use this technology, the AI becomes familiar with their preferences, and provides increasingly accurate  results. 

Now that you understand how an AI sources, how can it help your team?

Multi-Channel Sourcing

Although Easter is still a few months away, the expression “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” is always sound advice for HR and TA teams. With over 700 million members, some recruiters are heavily reliant on LinkedIn for sourcing candidates. However, Hiretual’s 2021 Forecast Survey, which was conducted in November, revealed that only 9% of teams plan to source from LinkedIn next year. This metric shows that companies and recruiters are beginning to realize that qualified candidates exist on many online platforms.

Instead of LinkedIn, the survey found more recruiters are leaning toward niche professional platforms, like Stack Overflow and Healthgrades, and sourcing talent internally through their existing ATS or CRM. In fact, 96% of Hiretual survey respondents plan to source internally from their ATS. For those recruiters, AI can automatically synchronize candidate data across internal databases and external sourcing platforms to simplify talent rediscovery and ensure data hygiene. Additionally, in specific fields like healthcare and tech, AI sourcing refines searches across industry-specific platforms.

With AI, teams don’t have to limit themselves to sourcing from one place. They can source from numerous platforms and filter through hundreds of thousands of candidates within seconds. As competition for talent increases, this combination of larger talent pools and efficient filtering will help teams beat out competitors for top talent.

Seamless Integration

Think about the pool of college graduates who applied for an open position at your company a few years ago. While those candidates were inexperienced at the time, they have since garnered the skills and experience necessary for a job opening you posted today. Although they’ve expressed a prior interest in your company, how can you find them within your ATS?

With AI technology, teams can integrate their existing ATS/CRM with talent sourcing tools to tap into a pool of previously interested candidates. And they can do  this without spending hours poring  through duplicate data sets or heaps of spreadsheets in a non-systematic way.

Data Accessibility

Picture this. As you work from home, a recruiter on your team urgently needs insight into a candidate pool’s average market value. Unfortunately, this information is not readily accessible. The recruiter submits a request to the team leader or data scientist, then waits for a day or two before receiving an answer. Imagine how much time it would take for multiple requests in a fast-paced hiring cycle. While your team is waiting on data visibility, competitors are already sourcing and hiring qualified candidates.

This kind of scenario occurs daily. With AI technology, pipeline data can be easily accessed by all team members in a centralized dashboard. While one might assume that a data scientist is needed to decipher the information, AI helps simplify data extraction and analysis into comprehensible insights and reports.


As 2021 approaches, HR and TA teams are pushing closer and closer to adopting AI-based technology, especially in their sourcing work. With its proven effectiveness, ability to integrate, collaborative capabilities, and more, AI is the optimal tool to combat the coming year’s sourcing challenges. Now that you know what to look out for in 2021, how will you prepare?

To find out more, visit Hiretual here.

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