Direct sourcing is becoming more central to contingent workforce management strategies. Here’s how it works and why a vendor management system (VMS) is central to it.
What Is Direct Sourcing?
Direct Sourcing is when companies use their own brand to attract contingent talent instead of through a third party. With many technologies available, this growing segment allows organizations to leverage their employer brand and source talent beyond their existing staffing agency relationships. For more information about the logistics of Direct Sourcing, check out the Ardent Partners Direct Sourcing Toolkit.
Why Choose Direct Sourcing?
Direct sourcing has a number of efficiency and expense benefits. In a recent webinar we hosted in partnership with WillHire, research showed that direct sourcing decreases time-to-fill by an average of 32% and increases private talent pools by 30% each month.
These two stats alone show the clear benefits of direct sourcing. It is a highly effective and, when done right, efficient talent acquisition strategy. A key part of the process is improving the candidate experience which can prove incredibly valuable when working with a contingent workforce. A great candidate experience and employer brand can increase the quality of your private talent pool. It also helps you create strong ongoing relationships with the most reliable and valued members of this pool.
RECOMMENDED READING | The Closing Gap Between Direct and Contingent Labor
How To Create an Efficient Direct Sourcing Strategy
At its best, direct sourcing really comes down to three key component parts: Attract, Curate, and Engage.
Attract: Getting the Word Out to the Right Talent
Once the internal requisition is complete, it’s time to open the position in your VMS, then push it out to job boards and aggregates like Indeed or Monster. This will help to increase traffic to your vacancy. This is also another reason why your employer brand is so important, and should be consistent beyond your own internal job board or website.
Beyond job boards, there are other key ways to attract contingent talent to your organization. For example, known talent is a great place to start. These are alumni, silver medalists from your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) if you use one, and retirees. Modern recruitment technology is also a great way to engage retirees or people who have moved on from the profession you are hiring for. They can often be enticed back into freelance or contract roles on a temporary basis.
Employee referrals are also a great source for top talent. In our recent webinar with WillHire, CEO Praneeth said that according to research, 82% of organizations agree that employee referrals are the top and preferred source of hiring. This eases the retention of contingent labor and encourages returning talent. On top of this, employee referrals can considerably cut down hiring costs.
RELATED READING | 5 Reasons to Consider a Talent Ecosystem for Your Contingent Workforce
Curate: Creating a Private Talent Pool
The next stage of an effective direct sourcing strategy is to curate your candidate leads into a private talent pool. There are a number of ways to increase engagement with and data collected from candidates in order to populate this pool with the right information.
Emails and text messaging are great ways to keep contingent candidates engaged for future opportunities and keep them posted in their journey through the candidate lifecycle. Assessment tools can also be useful for particular types of vacancies, such as those requiring specific skills. Indeed for example has an in-built assessment tool allowing candidates to take part in assessments for skills such as critical thinking and written communication.
These assessment tools may not be applicable for all roles and human or in-person assessment may be more suited. Engaging live assessments, whether online or in-person, are great ways to network and build your talent pool without directly advertising your vacancies.
Attraction gets the word out there, and curation is the stage that helps you to gather the data and connect with attracted talent. Once this pool is curated, it’s time to engage your candidates.
MORE FROM THE BLOG | 3 VMS Integrations That Can Save You Time and Money
Engage: Approach and Sustain Contact
This is where a system like a VMS becomes a vital piece of the puzzle. Engaging your contractors and managing the engagements they are involved in can be an admin-heavy process. Without a system in place, you risk disrupting the candidate experience, making mistakes due to human error, and misplacing important or confidential information.
A VMS allows you to automate these interactions and the hiring and engagement processes while keeping all of your data in one place. This automation and centralized data collection also provide you with a deeper understanding of the talent and data collected at the curate stage.