The use of direct sourcing to leverage independent workers from an internally developed pool of talent has rapidly grown in the past few years. As of early 2023, nearly 80% of large organizations either have a direct sourcing program in place or expect to explore the approach within the next two years.
Finding the ideal mix of independent and full-time talent can help enterprises become more agile and proactive in their workforce planning. Independent contractors bring in-demand skills to project-based work and allow companies to scale their workforce up and down as demand requires. By streamlining independent contractor acquisition, enterprises can realize greater access to talent, increased cost savings, and lower compliance risk. Here are three ways to optimize direct sourcing at your company.
A successful direct sourcing strategy should be backed by technology. Software today can be used to help automate onboarding tasks, eliminate time-consuming paperwork, and track worker classification information. Independent contractors want to work with companies that make it easy for them to do so. Using technology that helps to streamline these types of tasks will create a more positive experience for independents, helping to position your company as an attractive place for top talent to work.
Make use of online marketplace platforms
Another key component of modern direct sourcing is the use of online marketplace platforms. These platforms help connect managers and independent talent with projects. Many platforms use algorithms to help match the skillsets of independents with projects, or managers can also use the platform to search for talent and invite them to apply to projects.
Check out MBO’s marketplace
Invest Time in Gaining Support
When activating a direct sourcing strategy, one of the most useful steps a company can take is investing time in gaining executive support before moving forward. With support from leadership, a program can truly thrive. Trying to build a program from the bottom up is a more difficult path that can lead to slower adoption.
In order to build support for direct sourcing, identify key business stakeholders and managers. Then, talk to these point people about the benefits of direct sourcing and how it will work from end to end at your company. Set clear expectations from the start, discuss potential ROI, cost savings, and how you will track metrics. Be sure to keep these stakeholders in the loop as your direct sourcing strategy rolls out and be amenable to requests for changes as the program evolves.
Educate internal employees about direct sourcing
Employee education is another important piece of the puzzle. When employees understand why direct sourcing is needed and how it works, they will be more amenable to using it in their own departments.
Educate employees about independent contractors and the role they serve at your company. Be sure to address any questions or concerns, and make sure policies and guidance documents are available to all employees. Designate a point person or committee employees can go to as they begin direct sourcing and managing independent contractors for their own projects.
4 Ways to Get Buy-In for Creating a Contingent Labor Program
Expand the Reach of Your Talent Network
As your company builds its direct sourcing program, you will naturally create a pool of talent that managers will return to time and again for new projects. This talent network is highly valuable. These are independents who have already worked with your company, so they are familiar with how things operate. They will already have relationships with managers and be partially vetted from a compliance standpoint.
Nurture talent communities
Capitalize on your talent network by creating an opt-in database for talent. Think of this database as a talent community—a place where talent can get timely information about upcoming projects, connect with one another, and collaborate with managers at your company.
With a community in place, keep talent engaged so they will be more likely to apply for projects as soon as they become available. Build a consistent experience by publishing a newsletter or blog on industry-relevant topics, answer frequently asked questions, offer networking opportunities, or provide access to webinars so independents can grow and expand their skills.
5 Ways to Boost Engagement in Your Independent Talent Community