Have you heard all of the industry buzz about direct sourcing?  If you go to any contingent workforce industry event direct sourcing is the star topic of discussion.  According to SIA, 41% of enterprise organizations plan to implement direct sourcing in the near term.   If you are among one of these contingent program leaders, or perhaps you are intrigued by direct sourcing, you have good reason to be.

First, let’s answer the why.  Why implement direct sourcing  

We’ve seen time and time again that organizations save 20+%, reduce time to fill by over 30%, and have better candidate quality by improved submission to hire ratios. Successful direct sourcing programs often reach 70-80% of all fills because it works so well.

If you weren’t interested before, now I know you have to be intrigued.

Where do you start?

That’s the million-dollar question that we at WillHire are always asked by companies considering direct sourcing.   The short answer to this is don’t go it alone.  Consider the experts in technology and services.  You need the right technology, the right people, and the right processes in place. 

This is a three-part series and we’ll focus on technology first.

Direct sourcing requires a powerful tech platform.  All technology isn’t created equal and without a best-in-class solution in place, you won’t see the benefits of direct sourcing promptly, if at all.  

There are so many critical questions you should ask of direct sourcing platform providers, and here are just a few;

  • Can it integrate with the solutions you already have in place?  If it can’t integrate with your VMS and ATS then keep looking.  Being able to seamlessly and automatically integrate with these solutions is paramount to get candidates into the talent pool, matched to job requisition details, and submitted back to the hiring team, all without having to log in to multiple systems or add any extra steps to the processes you already have in place.
  • What capabilities does it have to attract talent into the pool?  Having a large talent pool of active and engaged candidates with the right skills is a must.  To do this the solution needs to have integrations with job boards, social media sites, and search engines to advertise positions.  The number of job board integrations is critical to cast a wide net to attract talent so we recommend having a solution that works with thousands of job boards. You also need technology that will proactively find candidates to pre-build that talent pool with the skills you know you’re going to need. We call this robotic sourcing and it puts candidate sourcing on auto-pilot and fills the talent pool with right skilled talent.  And don’t forget about referrals.  Referrals are the #1 source of talent for full-time hiring (82% according to careerbuilder) so why not have a solution to automate referrals and even make referral recommendations to your candidates for your contingent labor program.
  • Can it support both professional and light industrial/shift work hiring?  To make the most of direct sourcing and maximize the value across the entire organization, make sure it has features to support all types of workers.  Light industrial and shift work hiring holds a special set of challenges like the need to fill many roles at once, high no-show rates, and unfilled shifts.  Having a platform that can solve these challenges too is critical if you have contingent labor spend in this area.
  • Can it support your DE&I goals?  There is a tremendous push in our industry to consider contingent workers in diversity and inclusion goals (it’s about time) and having a solution that can support that is a must.  Connecting with diverse candidates to build a diverse talent pool and measuring and monitoring contingent workforce diversity are two features to look for.
  • What is the candidate’s experience?   We are in the people business, right?  It’s about time to treat candidates like we would a customer.  Ensuring the direct sourcing platform can provide a stellar experience is so important and impacts getting good talent, impacts referrals, and impacts reengagement.  Text, live chat, chat-bot, email, and letting the candidates decide how they want to be communicated with are just a few important elements of candidate experience. 
  • Does it integrate with complementary solutions?  I’ve been building strategic partnerships between tech companies for much of my career and I’m super passionate about it, so I couldn’t resist this one.  There is an incredible ecosystem of HR solutions that, when working together, can elevate direct sourcing and take it to the next level.  Consider assessment solutions like glider.ai and traitify that when integrated to direct sourcing dramatically improves candidate quality and time to fill metrics.  Background check integrations with a technology-enabled background check company like Checkr enable you to have a pre-background checked talent pool which means you have access to immediate talent.
  • Does it have automated candidate communications? Engaging with talent on regular basis with valuable information is a must to keep them warm and excited to work for your organization.  This is no small task so it’s paramount that the direct sourcing platform has a built-in candidate communication blueprint that, once activated, regularly communicates with the candidates with information that they find interesting, furthering the company’s value proposition and candidate loyalty. Let’s face it, getting great talent is tough, so you need to have the candidate’s loyalty to your jobs and not the company down the street.

I could go on and on about the importance of the features of direct sourcing technology that supports and automates your direct sourcing strategy. The list above is a great start and if you use that when evaluating the solutions available, you’ll be off to a great start. 

Look out for our next blog on what makes direct sourcing a success; People.  

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