Sourcing applicants

Sourcing applicants

Once you have decided to recruit, consider where and how you will source an appropriate pool of applicants. A well-designed and targeted recruitment strategy will help you get an optimal number of applicants with the appropriate skill sets.

Your sourcing strategy will depend on a number of factors including:

  • the requirements of the job to be filled
  • internal talent pool currently available at Macquarie University
  • the strategic direction and objectives of your work area / team
  • diversity of employees that you have or would like to create in your team

Internal vs external sourcing

Recruiting from internal talent pool

Why recruit internally

  • Applicants are already familiar with Macquarie University and the university sector.
  • Increased morale and organisational commitment – employees may be motivated by the possibility of career advancement within Macquarie University.
  • There is already knowledge of the employee performance. This may be a better predictor of the individual’s success than the data you gather on external applicants during the selection process.
  • It is generally a lower cost approach to recruitment – it helps capitalise on the costs already invested in recruitment, selection and training of our current employees.

Considerations to keep in mind

  • It is important to follow a clear and transparent recruitment process and to handle the applications in the same way as in external process.
  • Ensure internal candidates undergo the same rigorous selection process as external applicants.

How to source internal talent 

  • Advertising positions on Macquarie University’s Job Opportunities website as an internal vacancy to give any existing employee the opportunity to put themselves forward for the role.
  • Sideways movement from another department or team – this may be a permanent move or a temporary secondment.

Attracting talent from outside Macquarie

If a suitable internal talent pool is not available, you can broaden the search to the external labour market.

Why source external talent

  • access to new skills, insights and know-how that may not exist at Macquarie University
  • larger talent pool to choose from
  • allows labour market testing to ensure Macquarie University is choosing the best available talent

Considerations to keep in mind

  • It may take longer to recruit (up to 4-6 months) and may be more time-intensive.
  • Reliance on one interview may increase risks of poor applicant selection. It is important to ensure you have a well-designed selection process to give you the best chance of assessing the applicants’ suitability for the job.

How to source external talent 

At Macquarie University, the main channels of sourcing external talent are:

  • advertising
  • using recruitment agencies.


All internal and external positions are advertised on Macquarie University’s Job Opportunities website.

Other advertising channels may include:

  • LinkedIn (for hard-to-fill positions)
  • THE Uni Jobs website (for academic positions)
  • Print media (for executive recruitment)
  • Industry specific publications or websites

Contact your HR Client team, who will work with you to develop an advertising strategy to suit your hiring need.

Using recruitment agencies

At times, it may be appropriate to use an external recruitment agency to assist in finding a suitable pool of candidates. For example, a recruitment agency can be used:

  • for short-term, temporary vacancies (i.e. 1-6 months)
  • when the role is specialist in nature and an obvious talent pool is not available
  • for executive roles

Engaging an agency to hire temporary workers

To assist with filling temporary, short-term vacancies (i.e. 1- 6 months), Macquarie University has an agreement with various labour hire agencies under the NSW Government’s Contingent Workforce Scheme.

These agencies are suppliers of skilled workers in various occupational areas including:

  • administration
  • information technology
  • finance
  • managerial and specialist
  • blue collar occupations

Under the agreement, Macquarie University already has pre-negotiated reduced rates and terms of engagement under which these agencies will operate.

Managers can access the list of labour hire agencies and contact any of these agencies directly, or can contact HR Client team to assist with the engagement process.

Engaging an agency to assist with a permanent position

When a position is hard to fill due to it being specialist in nature or when the market is weak for candidates that you are seeking, you may consider using a recruitment agency to source candidates on your behalf.

You can engage an agency to assist with a permanent position in two ways:

  • exclusively (one agency manages the entire process)
  • non-exclusively (you can use several agencies and run your own advertising campaign)

Contact your HR Client team if you are planning to engage an agency to assist with a permanent position.

Executive search

An executive search is sometimes undertaken for permanent senior or niche roles, in particular for senior academic roles.

Executive search agencies seek out candidates with the qualifications to match the requirements of the role. Such candidates may not necessarily be actively looking for opportunities themselves, but expect to be headhunted.

Executive search fees can be quite substantial and the process will generally take longer than a standard recruitment process.

Please notify your HR Client team prior to engaging an executive search agency.

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