Direct Sourcing: Four Tips to Grow a Successful Program

By MBO Partners |

Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Direct sourcing is a strategy many organizations today are incorporating to engage top independent talent without having to go through a third-party staffing agency or consulting firm. With direct sourcing, companies can avoid costly staffing markups and decrease overhead costs by building a more flexible workforce.

But in order for direct sourcing to be successful, it is important to build the program infrastructure to support this particular type of recruiting. Learn four tips for making direct sourcing part of your contingent workforce management strategy.

Gain Buy-In from Company Executives

One of the most important first steps in building support for a direct sourcing strategy is to make sure company leadership understands the strategy and lends their support. By getting senior business leaders on board, it will be much easier to secure internal buy-in from enterprise managers who will be sourcing and engaging independent talent down the road.

Pinpoint a company leader who would be a good dedicated sponsor for your program—this person should show interest in pursuing a direct sourcing strategy and be willing to rally managers and other employees to follow new procedures and protocols.

Research the Right Technology to Support Your Program

A successful direct sourcing strategy will need to be supported by the right technology. For example, most organizations that directly source independent professionals will use a freelance marketplace to find and engage talent. Marketplaces help connect independent contractors with available project opportunities at your company. Talent can create a profile and search for opportunities, and managers can evaluate and select the person they want to engage. Matching algorithms can also help narrow a pool of talent for a specific role.

Put Measures in Place for Attracting the Talent You Want

Many companies today are struggling to find employees who have the skills they need. The tight jobs market and strong economy are factors in this skills shortage, but independent professionals can often fill these gaps, bringing their knowledgeable expertise to the table. Even so, more than ever before, independents have a choice in the clients they work with.

That means in order to attract and retain the independent talent you want, it is increasingly important to structure policies, procedures, and engagement practices to align with the needs and desires of independent talent. For example, treating independents as part of the team, letting them know their work is valued, creating a positive work environment, giving them the opportunity to learn and build new skills, and providing quick and fair compensation are all important factors to keep in mind when building a direct sourcing strategy.

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Slow

Transitioning to a new talent acquisition strategy is a big task to take on—don’t be afraid to start slow. Identify a department or group of managers who show interest in direct sourcing and focus your efforts on creating a positive first experience for that group. Ask for and listen to feedback, and make adjustments accordingly. As adoption grows, incorporate more departments, and always be sure to publicize your successes internally. The more managers who hear success stories, the more will be willing to try out direct sourcing or even use independent talent if they have not done so in the past.

Always remember, direct sourcing is part of the larger picture of engaging and managing independent talent. By creating a program that supports your recruitment strategy and meets the needs of both managers and independent professionals, your company will be poised to realize a competitive advantage by becoming more agile and securing long-lasting relationships with skilled talent.

Do you have more questions about implementing a direct sourcing strategy at your organization? Reach out to our team of advisors today.