As demand for independent professional talent grows, companies are increasingly turning to online marketplaces as a way to directly access talent. Independents themselves are also utilizing these platforms, with 25% reporting that they intend on using an online marketplace in the next 12 months.
Other organizations are taking a slightly different approach by developing their own company-specific marketplaces. PwC’s Talent Exchange, an online platform connecting talent with PwC projects, and the Washington Post’s Talent Network, an online system for managing freelance contributors, are two examples of this in action.
As companies develop these individualized marketplaces, they must also make investments in growing their own pools of talent—we call this a Preferred Talent Network.
A Preferred Talent Network is a select group of known, independent talent. This group has some level of relationship with your company—they may have worked with you previously or have been invited to join—and they meet a certain set of criteria such as having specific experience or operating out of a particular location.
A Preferred Talent Network is an excellent way of shortlisting talent to work with on future projects. Some organizations like to think of a Preferred Talent Network as an on-demand pool of talent that managers can quickly tap into in order to obtain the specific skills needed for their projects.
To think of it another way, our family uses an app to grocery shop. Our weekly routine usually involves scanning the fridge to identify what we need. For items we don’t have, we place an order through the app so we don’t have to make a run to the store. In the same way, hiring managers can use their Preferred Talent Network to source available skills rather than having to go through a third party such as staffing agency or consulting firm.
The biggest benefit by far is the ability to quickly find and engage talent. Preferred Talent Networks save managers time by providing access to talent who are ready to be deployed on projects. If your chosen independent professional has been previously on-boarded, you can realize even greater time savings.
Cost savings is another benefit. Managers working to stretch a budget throughout an entire year win big with a Preferred Talent Network. By bypassing third-party firms and engaging talent through their own network, managers can realize 12-25% cost savings—and that means more money left in their budget.
Always start with the end in mind. What type of projects will you have in the next quarter? In the next year? Knowing this will help you target the right type of talent. When it comes to the individuals in your network, think about the type of talent you’ll need to support your projects. By nature, you should be looking for independent professionals (individuals with no third-party affiliation) so you will be able to work with them directly.
Once you know the types of talent you will engage, consider the various channels where you can find them. A redeployment solution, engaging workers who have previously worked on projects with your company or as a traditional employee with your company, is a great place to start. Since onboarding times can be lengthy, utilizing talent who are already familiar with your company can be very helpful.
From there, get creative about accessing the talent you need in your network. Here are some ideas: Tap into your retiree population, create a manager referral program, and find ways to leverage your company brand to attract talent.
Once you have a curation strategy in place, you’ll need a talent-friendly platform such as MBO Connect® to ensure easy access to talent. MBO Connect allows organizations to quickly and compliantly directly source from their Preferred Talent Network.
Should you have any questions about MBO Connect or building your own Preferred Talent Network, we’re always here for you.
Dustin Talley, Director of Solution Design, serves as a consultant to MBO Partners Enterprise clients and assists them in designing and deploying their direct sourcing strategy. Interested in learning more about leveraging tools and resources to build/enhance your enterprise’s Preferred Talent Network? Explore MBO Connect™, the new face of direct talent sourcing today.
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