How to Plan Your Direct Sourcing Program Journey
Before you step onto the path that leads to a successful direct sourcing program, you must plan your route.
To make the roadmap, set up a planning session with your dream team that considers questions related to these areas.
Creating successive roadmaps will allow your program to evolve in a disciplined manner and to capture its history along the way.
In previous direct sourcing articles, we’ve looked at using a skills assessment to build a program business case, three areas to improve understanding, and the company functions that comprise your direct sourcing dream team.
The initiative is greenlit, leadership understands the value, and your dream team, comprised of the company functions that need to be involved, is in the know. Before you step onto the path that leads to a successful direct sourcing program, you must plan your route.
It’s important to think through key aspects of implementing your direct sourcing program before putting anything into play. You want clarity around where you want to end up, how you need to proceed to get there, and what will show that you’ve arrived. Also, it’s important to understand how the program will be maintained once it is in place. The first thing you need to do now is to make a roadmap that covers the route, the destination, and the maintenance.
To make the roadmap, set up a planning session with your dream team, probably over a two-day period, that considers questions related to these areas.
Direct Sourcing: Governance
- Who will own the program?
The direct sourcing program, as part of a total talent strategy, ideally belongs to talent acquisition, which may mean moving the management of some independents from procurement. This will take coordination of both functions to determine processes and timing.
- What oversight will other dream team members have in their functional areas?
How will the direct sourcing program affect other company functions? Determine what changes may need to take place, if any.
What Types of Talent
- What independent talent will the program focus on?
The direct sourcing program does not encompass all independent talent hired by the company. Thinking in terms of a Magic Quadrant with strategic value (low/high) on the y-axis and skill availability (high-low) on the x-axis. You want to focus on the upper right quarter, that is, low skill availability and high strategic value. These are the roles on which to focus the program so that you can attract, engage, and retain independent professionals who have a high impact on business goals.
- How will we identify these people?
Before thinking about external recruitment, consider talent sources closer to home. These could include contractors who have or are currently working with the company, alumni employees, and silver medalists—people who were interviewed for roles but who “just missed” receiving a job offer. Determine how these people will be identified.
- How will we source talent in the marketplace?
Discuss how you will recruit your target independent talent in external-facing campaigns.
Projects, In Depth
- What projects exist or will be launched that require needed talent?
Gather information from hiring managers about projects that are in-flight or in the pipeline. What roles will need to be filled?
Managing the Direct Sourcing Process
- What will the direct sourcing process look like?
Map the steps starting with initial contact and continuing through to onboarding and then to contract completion. But don’t stop there. Discuss how high-value independents can continue their relationship with the company through a talent community.
Timing: When Will Your Direct Sourcing Program Launch?
- When are the projects identified earlier coming into play?
Discuss where in the project timeline independent talent will be needed.
- How long will it take to build the relevant talent pools?
Consider what will be needed to sync this activity with project needs.
Analyzing Direct Sourcing Program Results
- What KPIs and other metrics will be measured?
You will likely set up a set of measurements that are a blend of those used by procurement and talent acquisition.
- How frequently will metrics be gathered?
Agree on the frequency of measurement. Different metrics may have different timings.
Learning: Enhancing Your Direct Sourcing Program
- How will the results be translated into program adjustments and improvements?
As much as possible, codify how results will contribute to learning and how what you learn will be applied to the program.
Though we’re talking here about the initial setup of your direct sourcing program, this activity should take place whenever a major change or expansion is indicated. Creating successive roadmaps will allow your program to evolve in a disciplined manner and to capture its history along the way.
Next month we will dive into more detail around four key aspects of direct sourcing program governance.
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