A well-managed, robust direct sourcing solution has become a popular, efficient talent strategy for many organizations to find talent in a flexible, agile way. Companies realize the many benefits that come with building talent communities of on-demand resources and being able to easily access them for current and future roles.
As with any strategic initiative meant to improve your competitive advantage in the war for talent, there are limitations. As long as you know potential pitfalls and questions to ask during the selection and implementation of a direct sourcing solution partner, the benefits far outweigh any obstacles you may encounter along the way.
With direct sourcing, which includes leveraging talent communities, it’s critical to implement best practices or key tenants of the program from the onset to avoid risk of failure. These tenants include:
1-Stakeholder and program buy-in
Getting executive buy-in from leadership and business unit leaders that heavily utilize contingent labor is crucial. If a direct sourcing solution isn’t seen as a strategic initiative by the highest levels of the organization, the utilization rate, and key benefits of this model, will be lost.
2-Explicit, mutually agreed upon KPI’s
Provide your direct sourcing solution partner with clear metrics to set them up for success. This can be especially helpful if there are diversity and inclusion programs or other initiatives you’re looking to establish with contingent labor.
3-Source-first rule advantage
Establish clear guidelines for a workflow process for all open requisitions/positions. Giving curated talent clouds 2-3 days lead time over other staffing methods provides a sense of commitment to this pool of prospective talent. This commitment breeds loyalty, which means when a role opens, this known, vetted talent is ready to go.
4-The right technology
Having the right technology to leverage direct sourcing through both public and private talent clouds will ensure you have access to the most qualified candidates — both known resources that can be redeployed and talent being vetted and curated by your partner. It also automates all onboarding, payment, and engagement documentation, so the speed-to-hire is much faster than traditional staffing methods.
Talent today wants flexibility, transparency, engagement, a sense of connection to their workplace, and the ability to help shape their workplace culture in definitive, meaningful ways. Find a partner that takes this curation process seriously to put you in a position for success.
As with any new talent solution, communication is critical. Assign a single point of escalation internally, so there is accountability for both your partner and your organization. This also helps keep the process agile, which is why you implemented a direct sourcing solution in the first place.
Provide interview feedback for every candidate. There will be far less back and forth than with traditional staffing agencies or internal recruiters. Still, the only way to keep your culture and reputation in the market is to respond to talent in your talent cloud in a meaningful manner. This sets all parties’ success.
With these tenants in place, how can companies take direct sourcing solutions a step further?
Find a way to capture and refresh known talent from your existing applicant tracking system allowing your talent (interns, retirees, and silver-medalists) to be put into individual talent clouds to be easily tracked and redeployed.
Be very specific in defining and communicating your company brand and culture. Establish clear messaging that your direct sourcing partner can effectively communicate out to public and private talent clouds, so they feel engaged in your organization.
As contingent labor continues to grow in size and permanent roles are increasingly replaced with freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers, maintaining a strong culture is critical. It won’t be as easy as when everyone was under the same roof. Still, if your talent isn’t invested in you as an organization, you’ll never achieve ultimate success. Find a creative way to build a strong sense of culture regardless of worker type.
All of this will help your organization’s reputation in the market and allow you to succeed with your direct sourcing solution.
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