The Unique Impact Of Direct Sourcing In Today’s World Of Work

Originally published by Ardent Partners at

Over the past three years, direct sourcing has dominated discussions across the world of talent and work, and rightfully so: it was a top priority for enterprises leading into the pandemic. During the first year or so of the crisis, businesses realized the workforce scalability and candidate experience enhancement inherent in direct sourcing programs.

Diversifying and expanding talent sources has become a critical element of this evolving world of work. Not only do businesses require the ability to directly source talent by transforming their operations into internal recruiting agencies, but they can also leverage their workplace culture, employer brand, and other organizational attributes to attract the best-fit talent and expertise.

This, of course, plays directly into the concept of “omni-channel talent acquisition,” in which hiring managers and recruiters (and, to a larger extended, the enterprise HR and talent acquisition functions) leverage real-time, on-demand talent culled from a variety of both digital and traditional sources, particularly digital staffing outlets, talent pools and talent communities, talent marketplaces, social media, and expert networks.

[To learn more about omni-channel talent acquisition and its impact on hiring, be sure to register for next week’s exclusive webcast.]

All of these outlets have one major element in common: they were borne out of the overarching need for workforce flexibility and workforce scalability. While each source, be it talent marketplaces or expert networks, are incredible channels of top-tier skillsets and expertise, there is something much different that sets apart direct sourcing from the rest…mainly, its ability to transform hiring and help enterprises develop repeatable, automated, and most critically, scalable, hiring processes.

This level of workforce scalability is the foundation of what the Future of Work Exchange refers to as “talent sustainability”:

“The concept of talent sustainability revolves around the idea that businesses can, through their workforce solutions (such as extended workforce technology, VMS, etc.), direct sourcing channels, and both private and public talent communities, build self-sustaining outlets of talent that: 1) map to evolving skills requirements across the enterprise given product development and the progression of the greater organization, 2) reflect existing expertise and skillsets across the enterprise that can be leveraged for real-time utilization, and, 3) allow hiring managers and other talent-led executives to leverage nurture and candidate experience strategies to ensure that all networked workers are amiable and open to reengagement for new and/or continued projects and initiatives.”

Talent sustainability is always a crucial attribute of the modern business, but it means so much more today, with a more-volatile-than-ever labor market, uncertain economic times abound, and a years-raging war for talent. Direct sourcing (and direct sourcing platforms, such as Opptly, LiveHire, WorkLLama, Prosperix, WorkSuite, amongst several others) is a fully-aligned link to driving a sustainable talent supply chain that can be leveraged to support hard-to-fill roles and demands for specific expertise. In an age when forward-thinking concepts like “open talent” are revolutionizing the labor market, it is critical for businesses to reimagine the ways they address talent acquisition.

Direct sourcing represents a dynamic entry-point to talent sustainability. Considering its impact on the candidate experience (transforming how workers engage with potential employers), referral management (automated, mobile-optimized referrals), and talent community development (boosting talent curation and progressing into a new stratosphere of on-demand talent pools), direct sourcing is a robust strategy to developing real workforce scalability…and talent sustainability.

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