Direct sourcing in recruitment is the practice of an organisation engaging talent directly, without the need for an intermediary recruitment supplier. Direct sourcing in recruitment often refers specifically to contingent workers and requires an organisation to manage its own direct talent pool.
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The recruitment landscape is continually evolving and adapting to new workforce channels and engagement types – as highlighted in Staffing Industry Analysts' Workforce Solutions Ecosystem. Here's how to understand the differences between Direct Sourcing and Direct Work Engagement.
This is a recruitment strategy. It refers to a directly sourced talent pool of contingent workers, freelancers and contractors that bypasses intermediaries.
Generally, the objective of a direct sourcing strategy is about centralising the route to this population of contingent workers and increasing the efficiency of engagement. Over time, the best workers are identified and re-engaged reducing time-to-hire and reducing the need to go out to more expensive staffing channels.
A direct sourcing contingent workforce program can also be managed by an organisation's main staffing company's MSP (Managed Service Provision).
This is a category of workforce channels. It encompasses the broader topic, and includes other engagement types, such as statement of work and independent contractors.
Direct sourcing offers three main benefits:
By directly re-engaging existing talent, managed in private talent pools, an organisation can reduce the cost of recruitment or staffing fees.
Re-engaging existing talent reduces the time to hire significantly.
The investment in direct sourcing helps foster and create a more compelling employer brand and value proposition. This helps set the organisation up for longer term advantages in attracting the best talent, especially in areas of talent shortage.
Direct sourcing, whilst an efficient and cost-effective method of resourcing, also has some challenges:
Attracting and retaining external talent requires investment in employer branding and value proposition. Arguably, some of this burden is removed when working through an intermediary, who also shoulders some of the responsibility.
Direct sourcing also requires administrative and process management. When working through an intermediary recruitment or staffing agency, an organisation can be shielded from a large bulk of the admin and process management workload.
To manage direct sourcing efforts efficiently, specialist software and tools should be used. On-demand workforce management software capable of handling freelancers, independent contractors and statement of work is a must.
When introducing a direct sourcing program, it's important to remember it's not an all-or-nothing approach.
Direct sourcing is just one part of the talent management mix. Organisations will still need to, and should, use intermediated recruitment where it is more cost effective.
Managing a successful talent strategy is about blending all available workforce channels, including recruitment, staffing, contingents and direct work engagements for optimal results and business performance.
To effectively manage directly sourced work engagements, there are a number of tools/resources to consider. This list is not exhaustive:
Talent needs to want to work with you, instead of your competition.
Promoting and resourcing your projects will require some advertising, especially if you're looking to resource a project where you have limited coverage in your existing talent pools.
To ensure its talent pools and direct sourcing engagements are compliant, secure and expose minimal risk, an organisation should have and be able to implement vetting and onboarding processes.
As previously mentioned, direct work engagements need to form part of a blended talent strategy. Deep and insightful reporting on the cost, performance and utilisation of direct sourcing engagements is a fundamental part of understanding their role in an organisation's talent strategy.
Being able to incorporate direct sourcing engagements into a talent strategy starts with being able to connect systems. Integration between FMS, VMS and procurement/finance is key to ensure the organisation has visibility of its direct work engagements.
This is an underestimated factor when considering direct sourcing engagements. In most cases, the adoption and uptake of direct work engagement comes down to how easy the process (and this means software) is to work with.
Many organisations fail here by trying to incorporate or shoe-horn direct sourcing into an existing HR or procurement platform. It is import that specialist direct sourcing software is implemented in order to improve the adoption and utilisation of direct sourcing engagements, incorporating talent pools, freelancers, independent contractors and smaller statements of work.
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Using your brand to attract the best freelance and contract talent makes a direct sourcing strategy an attractive proposition for large organisations.
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