Effective sourcing channels enable organizations to expand their nets for contingent talent- and many employers are increasingly exploring these channels to directly source and engage quality candidates in combination, or in lieu of, using the services of a staffing agency. Each direct sourcing channel allows organizations to curate their own talent pools and fill positions with increased efficiencies.
As more employers continue to recognize candidate relationships as valuable future assets rather than singular business transactions, talent curation is on its way to becoming the next generation of sourcing and recruitment.
Curating talent through a direct sourcing strategy will require organizations to understand how these strategies work and the roles technologies and human capabilities play in a successful direct sourcing program.
If you're interested in learning about direct sourcing and the channels recruitment leaders are using to source and engage the best talent, the information below will provide insights.
What is direct sourcing?
Direct sourcing occurs when an organization identifies candidates for a position using their own resources, choosing to perform recruiting and onboarding functions internally, rather than engaging the services of a third party, such as a staffing agency.
4 key pillars of a direct sourcing strategy
For a successful direct sourcing program, organizations must understand and implement four key concepts:
Employer brand should be a top priority
Before sourcing can begin, it's important to gain visibility over your employer brand - and this goes beyond your career site. How do candidates and current and previous employees review your organization on Glassdoor? Do you have active social media accounts with consistent messaging? Are your current employees and contingent workers advocates for your organization on their LinkedIn accounts?
Building an employer brand that's meaningful and memorable will help in making candidates more receptive to receiving invites to connect - with job seekers being 2x more likely to apply when a job includes employer branded content.
Curating talent with talent communities is a must
Talent communities are cloud-based platforms that enable organizations to connect with passive candidates who aren't currently on the job market but are interested in your organization's employer brand. Talent communities are focused on two way communication, and when executed and maintained correctly, can convert career site visitors into a database where they are nurtured over time with relevant content. When appropriate, candidates are funnelled into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and positioned for engagement.
Talent communities allow organizations to capture, curate, engage and hire more qualified candidates faster.
Out with the old and in with the new (tech)
Employers who attempt to curate talent pools manually will not scale their business; as such, direct sourcing technology platforms, like a VMS, must be sourced and seamlessly integrated into existing technology and processes in order to manage and identify opportunities for growth.
In most cases, the adoption and uptake of direct sourcing engagement comes down to how user-friendly the technology is.
Human capability is still at the core of direct sourcing
Technology may be the driving force behind talent community platforms; however, the key to the right technology selection is engagement - humans have to use it.
Recruiters, Hiring Managers and other individuals involved in the direct sourcing program are tasked with sourcing, building and managing these talent pools and talent communities during and after the talent acquisition process.
Technology can drive humans to make better data driven decisions; however, recruiters and other HR or procurement individuals involved in the talent acquisition process must still be highly trained in recruitment best practices to get the most out of the program.
Is your organization prepared for direct sourcing?
Depending on your organization’s needs and current hiring structures, it’s important to recognize that direct sourcing isn’t always the best option in every situation. First, it's critical to assess whether your organization is prepared for a direct sourcing program. Here’s how you can identify whether you're ready:
• Your organization already has forecasting and workforce planning in place.
• You’re planning to recruit large numbers of contingent workers with similar skill sets.
• You require cost-effective supplier efficiency.
• You’re looking to control and capitalize on your employer brand.
• You suspect you’re spending too much on recruitment costs and require visibility into where dollars are being spent.
Examples of direct sourcing channels
Referrals are a simple way to build a talent pool when directly sourcing candidates; however, if the process is confusing or difficult for current workers to participate in, it will mean fewer candidate submissions. Creating a referral template that’s easy to find within your organization's Content Management System is an easy way for employees to submit contact information.
It’s also important that some training around referrals is provided, as current workers may not be aware of what skills and experience are required for the role.
Employers can encourage a steady flow of referred candidates into the direct sourcing program by rewarding every referrer that leads to a hire.
Alumni programs allow employers to maintain relationships with former employees who may still provide value in the future.
For this reason, it's important to communicate your alumni program to employees during the onboarding process and not only as part of the exit interview.
Silver medalist candidates
Silver medalists in talent acquisition refer to previously sourced and vetted candidates who were the second place runner up to the candidate who was ultimately offered the job or contract.
Silver medalists comprise of an often untapped yet qualified talent pool, and represent the importance of maintaining candidate relationships that deliver the best possible candidate experience during the talent acquisition process.
An organization's Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an invaluable resource for sourcing and curating top talent. An ATS offers a direct sourcing channel full of applicants who may not have been the best fit for one position, but have the experience and skills needed for a current opening or future request. This historical data can decrease time to hire and increase sourcing efficiencies - if the data within the ATS is clean.
Internal recruitment offers many benefits. Internal talent pools already hold a wealth of knowledge about the company, the company culture and expectations. Directly sourcing and re-deploying candidates already within the organization can also dramatically decrease time to hire and hiring costs associated with training and onboarding.
Talent marketplaces, Talent networks, Talent clouds, Talent communities
These online, cloud-based talent pools refer to people (talent) providing their services for purchase. Marketplaces, talent networks, talent clouds and talent communities can be general and open to the public, or they can also be very specific and skill-based only available for pre-qualified talent.
Social networks like LinkedIn
LinkedIn Recruiter's advance search capabilities allows employers to identify talent in order to start building connections and relationships.
However, when using InMail to connect, ensure the communication is specific in your organization's intentions and references specific skills or experience that caught your eye from the individual's profile.
Direct sourcing through these channels provides access to skilled and qualified workers who are remote ready to get the job done. However, a successful direct sourcing program must include recruiters, hiring managers, procurement and other HR professionals trained in effective recruitment strategies.
Direct sourcing doesn’t happen overnight!
It's important to note that curating talent and building a direct sourcing program will not happen overnight - these talent pools are often comprised of very niche workers, yet they will bring future value to the organization. To get direct sourcing right, spending the time to build and maintain candidate relationships is key.
For more information on Direct Sourcing and how a program can help save your organization on time and costs, check out our free white paper: How to Optimize Costs with Directly Sourced Contractors.