Today, nearly one in three workers in an enterprise is contingent, and more than 61% of organizations say they expect to hire more contracting freelance or consulting workers in the next three years.
On the outset, this trend is positive. But many of today’s enterprises still haven’t fully wrapped their heads around how to source and strategically engage our nation’s 51 million-plus independent workers.
Strategic is the operative word. Enterprises can neither holistically rely on third parties, like staffing agencies, nor can they expect managers to do double duty and find their own talent. HR is tapped with the primary focus in most organizations of leveraging FTEs.
Today’s best enterprises view access to contingent labor as a specialized sub-department and consider direct sourcing of this talent, particularly their most-in demand skill sets, to be a business imperative. Per MBO’s latest research, 88% of organizations are either actively direct sourcing or experimenting with this use, and those who aren’t doing so understand the need — they by and large just haven’t figured out the logistics.
Here are five ways direct sourcing can solve issues currently experienced by contingent labor professionals as a business case for starting or expanding use in your organization.
Greater Access to Specialized Talent
Today’s skills gaps in enterprises are greater than ever before. By building a pool of pre-vetted talent that has already been engaged with your organization, it becomes easy to find and deploy highly skilled workers when you need them. Fifty-seven percent of enterprise leaders say direct sourcing enables greater access to specialized skills. In today’s competitive market, talent have the distinct advantage of choosing the clients with whom they work. A direct sourcing program is a key way brands can firmly establish their foothold not just as an employer of choice but as a client of choice as well.
Improve Time to Onboard, Manage Turnovers and Transitions
Time to work has been a big obstacle when it comes to engaging independent workers. By creating a pool of talent that can be accessed at any time for upcoming projects, time to onboard is significantly decreased and talent is productive faster.
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Manage Work Quality
It’s difficult to vet any type of talent — even FTE roles — prior to project start. But by creating a pool of directly accessible talent known, and perhaps previously engaged by your organization, the risk of trial in the unknown is greatly decreased. In fact, 56% of enterprise leaders say that direct sourcing leads to increased work quality, and 52% says it increases hiring manager satisfaction.
By shifting functions in-house — managed with your own team or a PMO led by your external partner — managers curate, cultivate and engage networks, pools and even deployable benches of available talent, matching skill sets to current and future project opportunities. They, in turn, feel more in control of the hiring process, which leads to increased job satisfaction.
Reduce Misclassification Risk
By engaging talent via a codified program, organizations prevent rogue sourcing that both manages cost and risk. Misclassification penalties can run in the millions, and brand damage can take years to repair. This is not an insignificant reason to bring a program under thorough vetting.
Labor cost is, in today’s challenging economic climate, of course a primary concern. While 53% of enterprise leaders do say direct sourcing reduces costs, this is considered a supplemental, not primary, benefit to program creation and expansion.