what is direct sourcing

The Rise of Direct Sourcing 

As the modern workforce makeup evolves, the strategic use of contingent workers has steadily increased, and uncertainty only gives further momentum to this trend,” writes Atrium CEO Rebecca Cenni-Leventhal, “So, how do we manage, cultivate, and maximize the value of our strategic investment in the flexible, contingent workforce? Answer: create processes and experiences that motivate and engage these flexible workers to give their best for your brand and keep them coming back for more.”  

With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, companies are indeed searching for ways to stay agile and nimble while still meeting their staffing needs. Direct Sourcing of contingent talent is becoming a popular solution, granting access to skilled contingent workers who provide the flexibility and skills required to navigate fluctuating workloads, seasonal demands, and unexpected changes in the market. Large organizations are increasingly turning to Direct Sourcing as a proactive temporary talent acquisition strategy, with a recent SIA report stating that 79% of these organizations either have a Direct Sourcing program in place or plan to explore the approach within the next two years. 

Direct Sourcing Definition

Over the last ten years, Direct Sourcing has proven to be a strategic approach to contingent talent acquisition that effectively targets candidates with the specific skills, experience, and qualities needed for temporary or contract roles. Instead of relying solely on inbound applications, companies can reach out to potential candidates, including their “known populations” such as interns, referrals, independent contractors, alumni, retirees, and “silver medalists.”  

Direct Sourcing leverages your brand to optimize the acquisition of new and pre-identified talent by creating a private talent community of qualified and engaged contingent resources. This innovative talent pooling technique can be done through various recruitment marketing channels, including newsletters, job alerts, career fairs, social media platforms, professional networking sites, and industry-specific forums. 

The primary benefit of Direct Sourcing is that it allows organizations to create a pipeline of qualified candidates, reducing time-to-fill and increasing the likelihood of finding the best match for a given position. By tapping into passive talent pools, recruiters can open doors to a wider range of qualified candidates, increasing the odds of finding the right fit for the role.  

Direct Sourcing allows companies to establish relationships with passive candidates through talent communities, which can be nurtured over time. Your talent community will be full of contract talent that has previously been nurtured through recruitment marketing and is ready to re-engage time and again. This helps build a strong relationship with the candidates and ensures a pool of talent that can be tapped into whenever required. 

For example, suppose a company is looking for a skilled graphic designer to join their team on a contract basis. Through Direct Sourcing, the recruiter can identify and approach professionals from their talent community with the expertise and experience required for the role. This targeted approach increases the chances of finding the right person for the position and ensures that the organization is not limited to candidates who are actively searching for engagements. Ultimately, Direct Sourcing allows recruiters to be more strategic in their talent acquisition efforts, resulting in a more efficient and effective recruitment process. 

Brand Power in Direct Sourcing 

Direct Sourcing is an excellent way for companies to attract talent by showcasing their employer brand and company culture. By ensuring that your brand is reflected throughout the hiring process, companies can build engaged communities of candidates who are interested in working for you. Recruiters can connect with potential candidates through the various methods mentioned above and highlight the organization’s values, mission, and employee benefits. This attracts candidates who align with the company’s culture and helps build a positive employer brand reputation.  

Direct Sourcing can also enhance diversity and inclusion efforts by expanding the candidate pool and targeting underrepresented groups. By proactively seeking out candidates from diverse backgrounds, organizations can create a more inclusive workforce that fosters innovation and productivity and burnish its brand image. 

A Proactive Talent Acquisition Strategy  

By building relationships with potential contingent talent and highlighting your employer brand and culture through Direct Sourcing, you can attract candidates who are already interested in your company and aware of your culture. By adopting this approach, businesses can not only bolster their diversity and inclusion efforts but also effectively pinpoint and attract candidates with the necessary skills for temporary or contract positions.  

With Direct Sourcing, companies are empowered to build a talent pipeline of highly qualified candidates and ultimately find the best match for any given position. With this approach, businesses can save time and resources by proactively identifying potential hires instead of relying solely on reactive recruiting methods. The result is a more efficient and effective hiring process that leads to better hires and a more productive contingent workforce in the long run. 

For more information on Direct Sourcing, check out our infographic: Why Direct Sourcing Matters for the Future of Work

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