Building an Adaptive Workforce Through Direct Sourcing

By MBO Partners | November 1, 2022

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Agile enterprises are better positioned to adapt to changes in the market and deliver more innovative solutions.

Direct sourcing gives managers access to in-demand skills and reduces the time and cost associated with traditional recruiting.

Technology can help streamline talent management and improve your direct sourcing strategy.

More than ever before, enterprises today need to be able to move quickly and effectively to adapt to changing businesses needs and disruptions. Building a workforce composed of a mix of full-time and contingent talent is one of the top ways savvy businesses are achieving workforce agility. 

Agile enterprises are better positioned to adapt to changes in the market and deliver more innovative solutions. Independent talent are an essential component to enterprise readiness because they provide companies with in-demand skills, staffing flexibility, and a lower overall cost of employment. 

Check out: 4 Ways to Achieve Workforce Agility 

Direct Sourcing: Staying Agile with Independent Talent

Direct sourcing gives hiring managers near total control over talent acquisition by shifting recruiter functions in-house. Using direct sourcing technology, managers can connect directly with independent talent rather than having to rely on a third party. 

A direct sourcing program allows managers to access in-demand skills when needed, retain top talent, reduce the risk of misclassification, and lower the time and cost associated with traditional recruiting. As one example, a Big 4 consulting firm was able to save an average of 35-40% on each requisition by moving to a direct sourcing model. Below, we look at four ways enterprises can build an adaptive workforce through direct sourcing.  

1. Build a Virtual Talent Bench

A virtual talent bench is a pool of pre-vetted independent talent that managers can quickly tap for project needs. This group of talent has already performed onboarding steps, so it is very easy to get to work quickly when a project need arises. A virtual bench can help companies scale their workforce according to demand, accelerate time-to-hire, and improve productivity.  

To integrate a virtual bench into your direct sourcing strategy, start by identifying the types of skills or experience your organization needs. Then, craft your direct sourcing plan around finding independent talent with those skills. Next, onboard contractors who have made the cut. This will help managers move quickly through the hiring process when the talent is needed. Last, officially place talent on your virtual bench and continue to nurture them until their services are needed. 

2. Use Technology to Streamline Talent Management

The most successful direct sourcing programs are backed by technology. Increasingly, this takes the form of an online marketplace where managers can post available opportunities and search for talent who meet their requirements. Independent contractors can also search for and apply to roles.  

Independent contractors are increasingly using marketplaces to find work, and these platforms help managers directly source talent internally without having to rely on a third party. Direct sourcing technology can also provide contractors with a system that automates many onboarding processes. Independent contractors value a fast and easy onboarding process, so a platform where they can easily access onboarding documents, view payment information, and access engagement documentation helps to create a better overall experience. 

3. Get Senior Leadership on Board

Internal support is an important part of implementing a direct sourcing strategy. When company leaders back a direct sourcing program, it is much easier for employees to follow suit. When program support comes from the top down, program adoption and roll out tend to be smoother and more successful. 

To get senior leaders on board, start by including them in talks with employee managers about the program. Talk to them about how a direct sourcing program will help reduce the amount of time spent reviewing candidates and provide the company with on-demand access to skilled talent. Show them the potential ROI of a direct sourcing strategy with examples of how independent talent can help achieve business goals and contribute to workforce agility. 

4. Integrate Your Direct Sourcing Program

Building a direct sourcing program is a big undertaking. Once you have direct sourcing technology in place, a virtual bench of talent, and senior leadership on board, grow your program by making sure direct sourcing is an integral part of the entire enterprise. If only a few departments were part of the original direct sourcing rollout, continue your efforts by educating internal staff to drive adoption throughout the larger company. 

Track the percentage of independent contractor labor used in each line of business against a benchmark metric and report this data quarterly to managers in each department. Educate staff on whom they can come to with questions, publicize success stories, and ask for feedback and make adjustments accordingly. 

Learn more about how direct sourcing can transform the way you do business 

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