Implementing a direct sourcing strategy as a hiring solution has many benefits and is not very difficult as long as you follow a few best practices. Direct sourcing independent talent can provide businesses with access to much-needed skills as well as cost savings, increased output, and greater efficiency. More than ever before, the contingent workforce is essential to companies increasing their organizational agility.
Direct Sourcing as a Hiring Solution
While independent contractors play a vital role in modern workforce strategies, challenges still exist when it comes to actually finding and engaging this talent. For example, third-party staffing or consulting firms don’t always know how to best source independents and their services can be costly. And, if your HR department is unfamiliar with finding and engaging independent contractors, compliance issues can arise.
This is where direct sourcing becomes important. With direct sourcing, enterprise managers can more easily find, engage, and onboard the talent they need when they need it.
Building an Effective Direct Sourcing Strategy
In order for a direct sourcing strategy to be effective, it is important that it is backed by a centralized engagement program that can be used to manage the entire lifecycle of working with independent talent—from sourcing and onboarding to payment and future re-engagement.
While a centralized engagement program will vary based on company size, talent needs, and budget, successful programs of all sizes tend to start with the following three steps.
1. Make Sure Company Leaders are on Board
Obtaining executive support is an important first step. When company leaders—who employees recognize and respect—advocate for a program it is much easier to roll out the program throughout the company.
Senior leaders have influence over the managers who will be sourcing and using independent talent. By helping them understand the benefits of engaging independents (if the company is not doing so already) as well as the benefits of a direct sourcing strategy, program roll-out will likely be a smoother process rather than trying to build internal support from the bottom up.
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2. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology has come a long way when it comes to facilitating direct sourcing. Many organizations, for example, use a marketplace to find and engage independent talent. These platforms connect independent contractors with projects.
Independents can search for and apply to opportunities and managers can evaluate and select the person they want to engage. This model removes the need for a third party to find talent, helping companies reduce the time spent on recruiting activities such as contract administration and onboarding. Talent can get to work faster and there are other benefits too. Marketplaces make it easier to negotiate fees or easily find and re-engage talent that has previously been used throughout your network or company.
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3. Don’t Forget About Your Staff
Just as it is important to secure support from company leaders, it is also important to consider internal buy-in from employees. As much as possible, make sure the program is highly visible to staff and keep them up-to-date. If employees are unfamiliar with the concept of engaging independent talent, provide education or training to help them understand why the program exists, how it works, and how they can benefit from it.
Make sure staff know who to go to for questions and ask for feedback from managers who use the program to continually evolve the program in the best way possible.
Remember, direct sourcing is a valuable strategy, but it is just part of the big picture. With an end-to-end engagement program that compliantly connects the needs of managers to an ecosystem of independent talent, companies will be well-positioned to empower enterprise managers with a better way to engage independent talent.
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