You’re likely here because you have Direct Sourcing in your line of sight and are wondering about the associated benefits. Here we will explore just how Direct Sourcing can improve the quality of your hires. But before diving in, let’s clarify what exactly Direct Sourcing means for the purpose of this article.
When we talk about Direct Sourcing in the realm of hiring, we are specifically referring to the process wherein a company leverages its brand and network to attract and engage contingent workers. That is, the company creates a private Talent Cloud of candidates for temporary employment roles within their company.
While a mature practice in the European market, here in the US and Canadian markets we are just now seeing Direct Sourcing’s time arrive. With the impact of the pandemic slowly easing and the market for talent heating up, the challenge to engage leading contingent talent is unabating. In fact the pandemic has fundamentally shifted the ways organizations are operating, hiring and delivering. The 2020-21 CXC Contingent Workforce Global Trends reports 48% of employees will be transitioning to remote working by the end of 2021 while 32% of organizations are now replacing full-time employees with contingent workers. With changing tides, the time is ripe to position your organization as a pioneer, ensuring the quality of your contingent hires are top quality.
Leverage your employer brand to attract the best talent
Key to improving the quality of your hires is ensuring a synergistic relationship between contingent hire, the role and employer. How is this best achieved? By authentically leveraging your employer brand. Sounds simple enough. The tricky part is that not many Procurement leaders have thought about employer brand, influenced employer brand or know where to get the information about their brand at speed. This is why collaboration between Procurement and HR is of paramount importance in Direct Sourcing today.
If the reputation of a company’s products and services are its face, the talent brand is its heart and soul.
– Hank Stringer & Rusty Rueff, Co-authors of Talent Force
Based on research conducted at LiveHire we identified the 3 salient factors that comprise employer brand:
- How you market your company as an attractive place to work (awareness, attraction and candidate experience);
- What employees think about their experience in working for your organization (reputation); and
- What’s true (reality).
The employer brand effect
The above refers to what employees think about your organization, and the same goes for long-term contingent workers. This is especially true of contingent workers who frequently engage with networks to discuss work opportunities. So it is worth noting that for your contingent workforce, employer brand impacts not just your ability to attract great talent, but the ability to keep them coming back again for future contracts, and also informing their talented network of contingent workers too. All roads lead back to the notion that a strong employer brand enables elevation of quality hiring through greater alignment between hires, role and employer.
But don’t just take our word for it; 80% of business leaders acknowledge that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire talent, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends report.
Drive quality hires via a positive hiring experience which showcases your Contractor Value Proposition
Now we’ve explored employer branding – a vital aspect of Direct Sourcing that enables quality hiring. A second way Direct Sourcing improves the quality of your continent hires is via a positive hiring experience. This leads us to the somewhat undervalued contractor value proposition. Compared to its sibling, the employer value proposition, this ‘VP’ is seldom discussed. Yet with the current upward trend for contingent workers comprising more than 30% of the workforce, there is a great opportunity to speak directly to this segment of talent, establishing a positive relationship with our hires from the outset.
What is a Contractor Value Proposition?
A contractor value proposition, or CVP, is the list of benefits that your organization offers to contractors as a reward for their efforts in contracting with your organization. It is in essence a return you, as the employer, offer to contractors for them providing their experience, capabilities and skills.
Sounds similar to the employer brand just discussed right?
The difference between your employer brand and your CVP is that your CVP is wholly within your control. Your employer brand is determined not just by internal, but external factors – including thoughts about your services, products, management, employees, company history, and more. Your brand is determined by reputation and can inspire certain perceptions about your company – emotional, instinctive and intellectual – in the people who see your ads, use your products, and share their opinions about your company with others. Many of these factors are not entirely within your control.
Your CVP, however, is entirely within your control. Your CVP is something you purposefully construct to attract and retain the best talent – it encompasses your organization’s mission, values, culture and benefits, and gives contractors a great reason to work with you. Prior to creating your CVP, these factors should already be in place in your organization and be successful with current employees (i.e. as part of your employee value proposition). If they’re not, consider the influences which may attract and retain talent, such as company values, career experiences, perks, flexibility, and more.
How does CVP drive value and create a positive hiring experience?
In some companies, contractors are not viewed as equals in the workplace,which can negatively impact their ability to do their best work, contribute to their fullest potential and improve the organization’s bottom line.
By investing in a strong and robust CVP you are going above and beyond your competitors to create a positive experience for your continent talent. This, in turn, is increasing the likelihood they will want to keep returning for future contracts.
Return contingent workers are the golden goose. They onboard quicker, get off to a fast start and are strong performers as they feel immediate comfort and engagement.
The benefits of diversity
The benefits of diversity to businesses are increasingly well understood. In fact, studies show that diverse companies significantly outperform their peers on profitability, often due to the innovative ideas that result from greater diversity of thought.
The value of Direct Sourcing is particularly strong for companies that view diverse hiring as a key organizational initiative. The common alternative to Direct Sourcing is leveraging dozens, if not hundreds of staffing suppliers that may not be incentivized to achieve specific diversity targets. However, when you invest in a Direct Sourcing solution that leverages your company brand, diversity targets can more easily be achieved through a holistic contingent workforce strategy. That is, by demonstrating via your employer brand that you are a diverse and inclusive company for contractors, you stand to vastly widen your opportunity parameters and inevitably improve the quality of your internal decision making, innovative output and organizational resilience.
A final consideration: technology
The business case for using Direct Sourcing to improve the quality of your contingent hires is strong. But like all good strategies, technology is the enabler. And to enable a leading Direct Sourcing program you need pioneering technology behind it.
Deciding on a Direct Sourcing strategy is a vital first step. After this, you need to put in place the people and processes to deliver on the program. However, every aspect of your program will be underpinned by having the right technology to enable your strategy. So what are your options?
As a percentage share of the overall workforce, contingent workers continue to rise. As such, Direct Sourcing software (also known as digital staffing platforms), as an industry has grown nearly six-fold over the past 6 years.
Key features to look for in any digital staffing platform you select are:
- Capability to search and filter contractors based on skills and experience
- Artificial intelligence matching contractors that align specific roles and skills
- Capacity to attract and engage a more diverse workforce for building authentic relationships
- Candidate sourcing and engagement aligned to your employer brand
With contingent workers rapidly rising as a percentage of the overall global workforce, Direct Sourcing offers an effective means of ensuring you continue to manage and drive the quality of this segment of your workforce. Leveraging your employer brand, evolving your EVP to create a CVP and keeping a keen eye on how diversity hiring is being considered for contractors will be key components to your success.