Any enterprise which is driven by people-delivered services demands high quality of output from its temp labor to sustain its growth and meet business objectives. Contingent workforce programs or temp labor have long remained under the purview of services procurement despite its functional expertise being more relevant to human resources. That’s why contingent labor programs, in history, have been mostly driven by quantitative metrics when compared to qualitative improvement of the program.

However, the landscape of the Contingent Workforce Program is changing rapidly. The contribution of the external workforce or contingent labor in an organization’s success has become more instrumental than ever before. With the role of contingent workers becoming more significant, there are qualitative enhancements now made possible through technological frameworks or by direct sourcing strategy.

What is direct sourcing? 

Direct sourcing is the adoption of full time hiring techniques to recruit qualified contingent workers by leveraging the employer brand. Direct sourcing channels include all talent acquisition channels for FTE hiring like social media, job boards, and employee referral networks. 

Direct sourcing solutions are available as built-in solutions in all leading VMS tools like SAP Fieldglass, and VectorVMS. In these tools, direct sourcing solution acts as an augmented sourcing channel which leverages machine learning technology to find the best candidate fit for every open job role in the VMS. Direct sourcing doesn’t disrupt the existing program. 

Benefits of Implementing Direct Sourcing Solution

The demand for a contingent workforce is expected to go up after the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. Enterprises have already included direct sourcing channels into their traditional contingent hiring mix to save costs and improve the quality of the program

According to SIA Buyer’s survey 2018, 34% of US respondents have already included some form of direct sourcing in their contingent labor programs. 

The post-pandemic world of work will be largely dependent on contingent workforce and this is high time that enterprises start exploring the viability of implementing direct sourcing in their contingent workforce programs for the following reasons:

1. Improve efficiency of your matured contingent workforce programs

Contingent workforce programs attain their maturity when it meets its program objectives with no scope for spend or quality optimization. Vendor rationalization is done to maintain a balanced supplier base depending on supplier capabilities that best fit the program objectives.

Adding direct sourcing channel as an additional layer of sourcing in your matured contingent workforce program mix gives you the opportunity to further optimize program spends and improve its quality. 

Direct sourcing is a technology-driven sourcing channel that leverages job seekers traction from online channels like job boards, social media, search engines, and employer websites (career pages). 

This approach further expands the gamut of your labor program by including various online job seeker traffic sources and engaging them continuously to nurture them through the job seeker lifecycle, improving the quality of hire and eliminating markup based fee model with the staffing suppliers.

2. Offer consistent brand experience

Hiring contract labor has been the sole responsibility of a third party supplier who has limited knowledge of the employer’s work culture and branding whom they are hiring for. 

Direct sourcing model allows employers to leverage their brand while hiring contract workforce — offering them a consistent brand experience throughout the job search process when compared to one or more third party staffing suppliers reaching out to the candidate on behalf of the employer. 

The direct communication touchpoints provided by direct sourcing improve candidate confidence in the job search process and thereby deliver better results to employers by reducing time to hire and improving candidate quality. 

3. Redeploy laid-off/furloughed workers, alumni and silver medalists

The ongoing economic crisis resulted in a number of layoffs and worker furloughs as a means for business continuity. Employers might want to re-engage their impacted workforce once the economy recovers. 

Direct sourcing channels provide guided pathways to re-engage the impacted workers along with ex-employees and silver medalists from previous assessments by the employer. 

4. Optimize contingent spend

Direct sourcing mechanism eliminates the markup based fee structure and reduces the overhead and administrative costs associated with finding and screening talent. 

With direct sourcing, employers can build a pre-vetted private talent pool of qualified candidates. As a built-in solution within your VMS, direct sourcing readily provides you the most qualified candidates for every open job even before the release of the job request. 

The built-in screening mechanism is  driven by AI/ML algorithms that consider multiple factors to choose the best candidate profiles.  

5. Evolve your VMS strategy

If your contingent workforce program is administered by a VMS, direct sourcing channel can be easily pre-integrated as an additional sourcing layer without any disrupting your existing ecosystem. 

WillHire is now available as a built-in solution in the industry’s leading VMS tools like SAP Fieldglass and VectorVMS. 

Within the VMS, the direct sourcing solution works in the background to attract talent through multiple online traction channels, screen them with AI/ML algorithms and continuously engage them through email/text based channels.  

Direct sourcing is a long due innovation in the contingent labor landscape and its adoption is widespread across the industry due to the merits it has to offer in increasing the efficiency of the program. All leading MSP and VMS providers have already started integrating it to their service offerings.

The question is not whether to wait until your contingent program reaches its maturity level to adopt direct sourcing, but how soon can it be implemented to meet business needs in these uncertain times. 

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