How Procurement Leaders Can Access Exceptional Talent

Procurement Leaders

Newsflash: Business leaders are tapping into exceptional talent across all industries, and onboarding them in a fraction of the traditional time frame. 

Our recent webinar dives into how Procurement and HR leaders are embracing a contingent workforce strategy, the red flags they are keeping an eye out for, and the new trends and technologies that are making hiring the right skills easier than ever. Your highlights are below! 

The Benefits of Direct Sourcing

Direct sourcing is defined in different ways by different people, but in short — it’s a model that allows companies to engage directly with the worker, without the middleman (or woman!) of a staffing agency or a third-party recruitment firm. Gaining direct access to talent allows clients to quickly and efficiently find workers, slashing time to hire, and opening an opportunity for a direct and more human relationship. 

Instead of engaging with staffing agencies in order to reach a company, this model encourages consultants and freelancers to engage directly with the business — supporting stronger integrations and connections. For the company, quicker time to fill and cost savings are great benefits, as well as the bonus of a bench of talent ready to go with a new project, which saves a lot of turnaround time. 

Tip: Take the time to think about what roles and opportunities would benefit from a direct sourcing strategy, by looking at gaps in your existing talent pool. 

Macro Trends Leading to the Growth of the Contingent Workforce

Over 50% of the US workforce will be freelance workers by 2027. What’s driving this growth? First up — it’s the complexity of the business issues that leaders are dealing with. Think about geopolitical concerns, increased regulation, the explosive growth of AI… companies need a diverse pool of talent that they can tap into quickly to get the right skills. 

For the talent themselves, more and more people are moving away from thinking of freelancing as a side hustle, and are embracing this model as a full-time career. It’s not an in between solution, it’s not for moonlighting, it’s a serious career choice that leads to greater job satisfaction. 

Tip: HR should pivot from an intense and all-encompassing focus on full-time employees, and start thinking about embracing a more holistic view of their workforce and its potential talent. 

Who Should Own Freelance Talent Management? 

Many companies see a new role emerging — the Director of Contingent Workforce Strategy. This role may report to Procurement or HR, but is truly cross-functional. This single point of contact can help teams work together holistically to source, hire, manage and pay a freelance workforce. Of course, all the key C-suite players need to be able to sit at the table together and hear from this contingent workforce leader who will make recommendations for gaining better ROI and improving the business strategy. 

If you’re running a new direct sourcing program, and starting from scratch, our thought leaders discussed what the first step should be. Instead of developing workflows and processes in a black box, the consensus was to take a step back, think about roles and responsibilities, and get to know different people in the business, from those in Procurement and Data to stakeholders in accounts payable and information security. Make sure you think about engaging with people above you, as they are often the decision makers and the champions who you will need on your side. 

Tip: Define the current state before you expand. The chances are you already work with freelancers, have some technology in place to support your goals, or have a talent bench that you use, even if it’s leveraged in a silo. 

Looking to the Future: Where is Contingent Work Going? 

Looking ahead, it’s clear that AI is one of the biggest trends in how companies will leverage efficiencies in direct sourcing. Instead of passing through thousands of applications, AI will help businesses to screen candidates effectively and fairly. There are economic cycles to consider, so in a time of a looming recession, many companies are thinking about cutting costs, and using a contingent workforce strategy to make that happen. 

Businesses also need to consider how to engage candidates across multiple sourcing channels. In the future, our thought leaders see a lot more collaboration, and a disruption of the traditional online platforms to include more than just sourcing, expanding to take on compliance, hiring and management tasks, as well as human support. 

Tip: Business ecosystems are more like tanker ships than speedboats! Look at enterprise workflows and think about how you can bring the talent into your ecosystems rather than disrupt them. 

The Future of Work has Arrived! Are You Prepared?

We’ve just scratched the surface of all the value uncovered by our thought leaders! The whole webinar includes: 

  • Formalizing your strategy: If you’ve been using direct sourcing ad-hoc until now, what’s next? 
  • Getting to the ‘why’: How to boost engagement as a new contingent workforce manager.
  • Thinking about data: What metrics are you using to track the value and success of direct sourcing?