This article was originally published on February 9th, 2021 in Forbes. Find the original publication here.
The first step toward a successful direct sourcing strategy is to build a talent container — a database of prospective applicants that are curated based on various external and internal data sources (e.g., résumés). A combination of technology, processes, and tools that enable organizations to curate candidates from various internal and external sources, a talent container enables hiring organizations to instantly categorize each candidate within a newly consolidated database by skills, job type, location, pay range, and various other categories, making it easy for staffing professionals to search for all candidates in one place. But before we get into all that, let’s take a step back.
Just as the speed of digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic, so too has the value of talent increased within every organization. In fact, talent has become perhaps the greatest asset of any company in our ever-changing technological world. New technology that provides a competitive edge today becomes obsolete tomorrow. This leads to a never-ending demand for new skills — skills with a very short-lived value proposition. In order to maintain the value of an organization’s most precious asset — its talent — HR leaders must be willing to constantly seek new talent and upskill the workforce.
This seemingly endless cycle creates a major challenge for companies seeking to build new products or introduce new services to compete in local and global markets. Additionally, failure to innovate is an invitation for your competition to render your products and services obsolete in much of the same way an outdated skillset devalues your talent pool. Meanwhile, the current pandemic has thrown gasoline on these flames across every industry. From health care and technology to logistics and retail, a sea change is happening, and it’s happening at lightspeed.
So, how can organizations meet this current and future talent demand? Of course, direct sourcing has gained momentum and has become a part of a total talent management strategy for most major corporations. After all, this model directly complements contingent staffing as an additional source for talent search when it comes to addressing workforce shortages. Direct sourcing is a great way to find temporary talent sourced by internal HR or recruiters to leverage internal candidate pools or sources, but the biggest challenge to implementing a direct sourcing strategy in today’s environment is the lack of consolidation of all available talent sources. For example, in a typical corporation, talent can be acquired by searching through career portals, employee referrals, databases of former employees and contractors, college campus hiring events, job boards and long lists of curated candidates developed through other talent procurement events. Those are a lot of disparate sources for sourcing!
Enter the talent container. This new layer of capabilities sits on top of an organization’s existing ATS with built-in AI sourcing and ranking functionality. The consolidation of these advanced technologies can together create the most powerful sourcing platform that recruiters and hiring managers have ever seen. This enables internal staffing professionals to recruit candidates for even those positions that are extremely niche or industry-specific.
A talent container turbo-charges talent acquisition by enabling organizations to:
- Source candidates for repetitive jobs quickly and cost-efficiently.
- Reduce overall spend on hiring costs for both full-time and temp candidates.
- Contain large talent pools that bring more options and lower per-hire costs.
By building a talent container, companies can curate talent from various sources by connecting ATS solutions and AI engines to not only find matches but also easily and instantly rank results. This makes internal and external hiring faster and more cost-efficient. Some modern ATS solutions also provide candidate analytics along with matched résumés. Candidate analytics can determine a prospect’s fit for a particular job through various factors, while also providing a comprehensive assessment that highlights both technical and personal match traits.
While the emerging model of the talent container is certainly a major boon to the staffing industry, it’s not a silver bullet in and of itself. The first step to creating a powerful container is to curate top talent. That is certainly not an overnight or weekend task. For a container strategy to be effective, there are no shortcuts. An organization still needs sources and systems to integrate and operate to successfully build a large database of talent to begin with, but those efforts can pay bigger dividends than ever thanks to containerization.