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Direct sourcing: Capitalize on your own candidate resources


This guide explores the multitude of ways direct sourcing can help you build a more agile, cost-effective, and scalable workforce.

Companies today face a myriad of challenges when it comes to talent acquisition. The rising demand for new and emerging skill sets, record-breaking inflation, and fierce competition for top talent in a candidate-driven market have employers searching for more effective and economical sourcing solutions. Hence, the increasing popularity of implementing direct sourcing into the recruiting ecosystem.

What is direct sourcing in recruitment?

Also referred to as self-sourcing, direct sourcing is the process of a business engaging and sourcing talent directly, by strategically leveraging their employer brand and capitalizing on their own network of candidate resources, (silver medalists, former employees, freelancers, retirees, interns, referral programs) to create a centralized pool of highly curated, on-demand talent. Workers in these highly curated talent pools are often people who showed interest in working for the company in the past, but were not selected – yet remained relevant candidates to be considered for future roles. These candidates can be engaged, and re-engaged by a company, essentially becoming a valuable, and also – reusable resource without the additional costs associated with indirect sourcing.

Direct sourcing vs. Indirect Sourcing

Traditional indirect sourcing efforts are typically geared towards finding full-time employees to fill long-term positions and often involve using third-party recruiters or staffing agencies. But in a direct sourcing model, candidate sourcing is typically performed by an internal team without the need for external staffing agencies or recruiters.

And while direct sourcing historically focused on a contingent workforce, an indication of more mainstream implementation by enterprise organizations in the future can be found in the survey conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA). 60% of the businesses surveyed stated their intention to make direct sourcing a priority in the next few years to meet their workforce demands. And with good reason when you examine the benefits of direct sourcing to your organization.

Benefits of direct sourcing in recruitment

Decreased costs

There are measurable financial benefits to implementing direct sourcing into your recruiting strategy. Bypassing the high markups of traditional staffing suppliers can lead to savings of as much as $14,000 annually per worker. Not to mention the savings associated with the ability to manage compliance processes more efficiently by taking your sourcing in-house.

A proprietary pool of curated talent

With direct sourcing, your talent pool is your own. Curated from your own resources and crafted to suit the specific needs of your business in terms of culture, skills, diversity goals, and overall compatibility. You won’t be sharing talent with other companies a staffing agency or third-party vendor may be working with. You’ll likely be working with pre-vetted, proven candidates. Known resources – who are far more likely to be compatible resources, which can improve your chances of hiring the candidates most likely to succeed in the job.

Drive productivity and hiring agility

Direct sourcing allows you to hit the ground running with a pool of talent – who can also hit the ground running. It’s also easier and faster to engage with pre-qualified candidates you already know. The result – is increased efficiency and overall productivity.

Scale your workforce according to your needs

As your database of pre-qualified talent grows, you can expand your workforce quickly and easily when you need to. If market conditions change, you can scale it back down just as quickly.

A broader base of skills to tap into

It’s much easier to close the skills gap in a direct sourcing model. Why? Because your access to emerging or specialized skills increases as your talent pool grows.

Access to more diverse candidates

Direct sourcing gives your organization more control over the entire hiring process, making it easier to connect and engage with more diverse candidates, which in turn, helps you reach your DEI goals more effectively.

Boost brand recognition

An important element of direct sourcing lies in leveraging your employer brand to engage, nurture and retain talent. In traditional sourcing models, staffing agencies and recruiters rely heavily on the job description to attract candidates. Utilizing your employer brand to attract talent has the added benefit of increasing brand exposure as well as enhancing brand reputation with candidates who are happy to spread the word about your organization being a great place to work.

Minimize employee turnover

Employee turnover can cost a company an estimated 1.5 to 2 times an employee’s salary. Direct sourcing and building a robust pool of ready-to-work candidates can mitigate and even eliminate employee turnover.

Maximize ROI by capitalizing on the talent you’ve already invested in

Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of direct sourcing is the ability to tap into your own candidate resources. Candidates you may have already invested time, training, and money on.

Rediscover hidden talent

With the right direct sourcing technology and strategy, you can also rediscover hidden talent in your pipeline that may have slipped through the cracks as a result of poor candidate engagement. In a direct sourcing model, candidate engagement is virtually built into the overall strategy.

Consolidate recruitment processes with direct sourcing

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to talent sourcing.   There are companies that outsource their entire direct sourcing program to externally managed direct sourcing providers (MDS), some that apply a hybrid approach, and still others that take it all in-house. But direct sourcing has become a useful tool for consolidating recruitment processes that may have previously been outsourced to multiple providers. By establishing an internal direct sourcing program, companies are able to consolidate and simplify workflows, minimize costs, and speed up the time to hire.

Including direct sourcing into your recruiting strategy

It’s clear there are many benefits to incorporating direct sourcing into your talent acquisition strategy. But the organizations who are poised to reap those benefits are the ones who understand the importance of having the right direct sourcing tools in place.

That means staying at the forefront of the constantly evolving technology that powers today’s talent acquisition ecosystem. The more powerful the platform, the more powerful your direct sourcing program will be. Still, it’s critical to choose an AI-driven direct sourcing platform that ticks all the important boxes.

What to look for in a direct sourcing tool

  • AI-driven, advanced skills matching – Emphasis on the advanced part. Because to build a top-notch, highly curated pool of candidates, you’re going to need more than just an AI platform that matches job skills to resumes. A platform that goes beyond conventional AI to source the talent most likely to excel in the role you’re looking to fill. It’s a tall order but it’s also an essential part of developing a thriving pool of qualified talent.

This is where an AI platform like Arya stands out from the rest. Using more than 300 attributes most AI tools ignore, the Artificial Intuition in Arya is uniquely focused on delivering compatible candidates who are more likely to succeed in the role, resulting in faster time-to-hire, decreased employee turnover, and better long-term outcomes.

  • Automated and customizable workflows – It’s safe to say most platforms have some level of automation and customization capability. But again, all AI tools are not created equally in functionality. Start by identifying the repetitive workflows and processes that, if automated, could free you up for more important tasks. Next, assess the platform’s ability to achieve your goals. The automation and customization features in Arya, streamline the entire recruiting lifecycle and drive maximum recruiter efficiency.
  • Market intelligence – A platform that enables you to transform critical market insights into actionable strategies is the key to developing proactive, data-driven direct sourcing strategies. The advanced market intelligence in Arya helps you drive more effective talent initiatives by leveraging real-time insights on – industries to target for potential roles, skill set distribution across potential talent, intel on companies you’re competing with, ideal locations to target compatible candidates by country, state, city and zip code, and the impact of education, experience, and certifications on predicted job success.
  • World-class candidate engagement – The blueprint for building a curated talent pool that serves the needs of your organization definitely includes delivering an unparalleled candidate experience. Which is the end result of your candidate engagement efforts. That makes candidate engagement one of the most important parts of a direct sourcing program and a direct sourcing tool. The multichannel candidate communication dashboard in the Arya platform gives you the ability to connect, engage and nurture candidates their way – whether that is via email, talk, text, or chatbot.
  • Seamless integration with your tech stack – No one wants the hassle of a complicated integration process that takes months and is difficult to implement. You need a platform that can be seamlessly integrated without disruption to your existing workflows. Arya is built on an open API platform that allows for smooth integration into your existing applicant tracking system or vendor management system.

How to identify your team and review talent needs

Once you’ve got your direct sourcing technology in place, it’s time to take the next step. That means strategizing with your team and executive leadership to understand your present and future talent acquisition needs.

Define what qualities ideal candidates should possess, discuss and refine job descriptions, and forecast your talent requirements for the short term and down the road.

Ensuring your entire team is on the same page with your talent acquisition strategy is essential. Because even the best direct-sourcing technology can’t replace effective workforce planning.

Strategically build your talent pipeline

It’s time to start curating your talent pool.  A good place to start is in your own backyard, as they say. Start with prior applicants who were considered contenders but weren’t hired. Silver medalists reach out to former employees, retirees, interns, and freelancers who have a history and a positive impression of your organization.

You can also seek candidate referrals from internal employees. You can also leverage social media sites such as LinkedIn to connect with candidates and expand your pool.

Leverage other candidate resources

Your talent pipeline may grow quickly, or it may take longer depending on your internal talent resources.

Arya can help you maximize your sourcing power by providing instant access to a proprietary pool of 800+ million scored, ranked, and AI-vetted candidates.

Connect, engage and repeat

Develop a plan for how your team will engage with talent in your pipeline. Or more accurately, a plan for how to keep talent in your pipeline engaged. As your pool grows that can become a larger and larger task. That’s why it’s so important to have a platform like Arya in place.

With the ability to automate candidate communication through a myriad of channels, you can keep talent engaged and ready to work.

Track your progress and adjust accordingly

Nothing improves performance quite like data-driven metrics. Keep your eye on the ball and measure the results of your direct sourcing initiative periodically.

More importantly, leverage that information to fine-tune your efforts even further.

Final thoughts…

As the state of work as we know it continues to evolve on just about every front, businesses must strive to stay ahead of the curve by arming themselves with the right technological tools.

The inherent value in a direct sourcing recruiting model is the flexibility it can bring to your workforce planning at a time when every advantage over the competition is critical.

Combine that advantage with a powerful AI tool like Arya and watch your recruiting outcomes skyrocket!

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