The case for direct sourcing


Sieron Dottin

Vice President, Global Direct Sourcing Product Leader

We can all agree that the only constant in the world of recruiting is change. We’re inundated with numerous job boards, social media outlets and other recruitment channels. What’s the best way? What’s the correct way? This can be daunting if you don’t have the right resources.

According to Staffing Industry Analyst’s Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey 2022 report for the Americas, 84% of large organizations either already have a direct sourcing program in place or expect to explore the approach within the next two years.

It’s an efficient solution designed to help recruiters identify and obtain promising talent. But it’s the engaging interactions with the curated talent community that is the difference maker in today’s job market. In this blog post, I discuss why all companies need a direct sourcing solution.

What is direct sourcing and why does your business need it?

Direct sourcing is a popular method for businesses around the world. It seems straightforward—directly searching for and recruiting your own talent to fill job openings. But in the world of talent, a layered approach is necessary for success.

The biggest gap I’ve seen in the market are direct sourcing solutions only using the client’s existing talent to build their contingent talent community. When you only dig into the known talent base, you haven’t utilized direct sourcing to its full potential.

Think of direct sourcing as competing for talents’ attention. You have to proactively source instead of just react to demand.

Through our active programs, following the above thought process, we’ve seen the impact of a thriving direct sourcing talent community significantly increasing our clients’ hiring efficiency and redeployment opportunities.

Benefits of direct sourcing for recruiting top talent

In my conversations with clients who have a direct sourcing solution—the overwhelming response is that the benefits are vast. Our clients have turned on quick access to talent that meets their immediate needs and created an engaged community of brand ambassadors who share their corporate values and are more likely to say ‘yes’ to future opportunities.

Research by Staffing Industry Analysts shows that it costs 35% less to hire a worker through a direct sourcing program. What we see at KellyOCG as a successful direct sourcing solution is curating an engaged talent community with both known and unknown candidates for and job types. This carefully implemented approach saves time and money and ensures that the most qualified candidates are brought on board for the right position.

Direct sourcing opens the revolving door of success for both organizations and potential job seekers (internal and external). For candidates, it provides straightforward, easy access to their wish list of companies. It reduces unsuccessful applications that are typically lost in the black hole of résumés, providing more opportunities to connect with roles that fit just right. As part of a talent community, workers can tap into educational events, resources, and updates—which improves their chances of being redeployed with a company that they feel truly connected to.

Challenges of direct sourcing and how to overcome them

While direct sourcing sounds great in theory, it can come with various challenges. The biggest challenge I see with clients is not dedicating the right amount of time, resources, or money towards building a successful direct sourcing program.

Of the 84% of large organizations mentioned previously, more than half (52%) expect to increase their future direct sourcing development. Direct sourcing is evolving along with the talent market, especially in the areas of sourcing channels, benchmarking, and talent engagement.

Where direct sourcing is headed

When consulting with clients, the first thing I always share is that transparency and engagement needs to be at the core of an effective direct sourcing solution. The biggest impact I’ve seen across businesses of all sizes and across industries is the optimization of current talent and the ease of entry for new, incoming talent.

Talent movement has been due to both force (reductions, layoffs, and restructuring) and choice (pursuing more passionate, different work due to burnout). We all anticipate continued movement as the world of talent evolves. People will look for more balance and meaning in their work—creating excellent opportunities to cultivate your direct sourcing program.


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Keeping up with the new world of work means adopting creative business strategies, and connecting with the talent who will make a real difference in your field. Lucky for you, it’s what we specialize in.

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