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Direct Sourcing: From Strategy to Implementation & Beyond

TalentNet blog

QuantumWork Advisory and TalentNet co-hosted a roundtable talk on the recruitment strategy of direct sourcing. QWA Managing Partner, Mark Condon, and TalentNet's VP of Customer Success, Brian Spour, talked about this trending strategy to effectively source and hire the external workforce.  Read below to learn if your organization could benefit from direct sourcing, and if so how to successfully build and launch this temporary talent program. 

In this blog, we're going to discuss:

  • What is direct sourcing? 
  • Why is direct sourcing an important strategy now? 
  • How to build a business case for direct sourcing?
  • How to design a direct sourcing program?
  • Which technology features are critical for direct sourcing?
  • What are the keys to success for direct sourcing?


What is direct sourcing?


Direct sourcing entails a company leveraging its employer brand, technology and processes to systematically attract and curate a private database of contractor candidates. They're organized into talent pools to then efficiently place as contractors. Learn about the value of direct sourcing in our whitepaper. 


Why is direct sourcing an important strategy now?


The contingent workforce accounts for 47% of the workforce now, so Human Resources (HR), Procurement and the C-suite cannot ignore this workforce category anymore. Direct sourcing is a strong strategy to effectively manage temporary workers because it speeds the sourcing process with the enablement of powerful technology.

In the wake of the Great Resignation, we're going through an economic adjustment and workers' have more power in today's labor market. The concept that every employee or contractor is a potential customer for a company rings true post-COVID-19. The company's brand sets the tone of what the worker will expect in engaging with that company.


How to build a business case for direct sourcing?


Like with any digital transformation plan, it's important to get the stakeholders involved in this proposal early. Below are 5 key benefits of direct sourcing that should be included in building a business case:

  1. Higher quality control over the recruitment process for contractor roles
  2. Cost savings for the long-term; initially investment in technology may need to be made
  3. Consistent and strong company branding in the job market
  4. Improved Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) within your organization
  5. An enhanced candidate user experience (UX) with the help of AI and automation




How to design a direct sourcing program?


After a leader gets stakeholder buy-in for a direct sourcing program, the next step is to design it. Design-thinking methodologies remove bottlenecks in business processes and actually make these processes more enjoyable for both employers, employees and candidates. QuantumWork Advisory uses human-centered design-thinking  in 6 key steps:

  1. Empathize: Identify the biggest problem through in-depth problem statement framework questions.
  2. Define: Work on defining the main problem and discovering friction points visually with service design journey maps.
  3. Ideate: Brainstorm "How might we?" questions on solving this issue with UX workshops.
  4. Prototype: Reimagine the original journey map with a new blueprint and data flow diagram that resolves the various friction points.
  5. Test & Verify: Try out different prototypes to see what works and what doesn't.
  6. Make a Choice & Realize Benefits: Choose your worktech vendor(s) and build a project timeline. Then realize the benefits of achieving Digital Transformation! 


Which technology features are critical for direct sourcing?


Technology needs great functionality and a great user interface for a robust direct sourcing program. The talent platform needs to enable a company to build community, relationships and engagement with candidates in advance of the urgent talent acquisition need. This technology should also support seamless marketing with access to social channels and to traditional job boards. Lastly, job intelligence of resources and wage rates should be regularly updated. This is important for two main reasons: to stay in line with the rapidly changing labor market and to keep costs within budget.

Technology enablement impacts three main touchpoints for any given program: attracting and engaging with candidates, qualifying talent and organizing them into talent pools, and eliminating friction across these touchpoints for everyone involved. However, keep in mind technology isn't meant to replace the personal interaction in this recruitment process, but it's meant to facilitate it.


What are the keys to success for direct sourcing?


Brian Spour outlines his three keys to success:

  1. Understand who are the partners in your internal team and possibly a third-party partner in building this program.
  2. Have a clearly identified expectation for volumes and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  3. Program governance is critical. Some questions to consider: Who are you meeting with? How often are the KPIs going to be reviewed? How are the KPIs being shared with everyone involved?

Mark Condon shares his keys to success:

  1. Make sure you know what the program is trying to achieve. The knee-jerk reaction is that the goal is cost savings, but explore more than that obvious factor.
  2. Engage different stakeholders within the organization, including HR and DE&I, so that everyone is on the same page and their concerns are being heard.

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