Direct Sourcing Will Improve Your Contingent Workforce Solution


The pandemic and the emergence of new technologies have accelerated the need for your contingent workforce solution to evolve. Employers must expand the tools used to attract and engage contingent talent. We’ll take a more detailed look at how employers can build their direct sourcing capability and, at the same time, reduce costs and time to hire.

Your contingent solution needs to be agile

The growing contingent workforce is an attractive proposition to employers. Right now, as organisations navigate through uncertain times, the challenge that most employers face is how to add more agility into their recruitment and talent acquisition model. Employers are thinking more about growing their contingent workforce to help answer the question around agility.

If we need to be more agile, we’ll rely on shorter-term contracted, temporary and freelance talent. The challenge that employers face now is that the contingent talent marketplace is set to become very crowded, very quickly.

Twelve months ago, you may have been asking whether you can do more with a contingent workforce. Fast forward to 2023 and the question for employers has changed and new ways of working are already a reality. The question now is whether you can reach that contingent workforce quickly enough, build stronger relationships and engage the best talent – otherwise you may find that you are just relying on the available talent, which is a much smaller, less appealing pool to be working in.

Agile therefore, has become a question of not just how you use talent, but of how you reach it.

The role of direct sourcing in your contingent solution

If that is the question, is direct sourcing the answer? It is fair to say that direct sourcing is definitely an important component in building out a contingent workforce solution that is fit for purpose in 2023. Part of the problem is that existing contingent solutions have failed to keep pace with the changing market. With the reliance on agencies and the focus on managed service, traditional models place great emphasis on the robustness of the supply chain. But as the workforce reality changes, there is a need for employers to build their own go-to-market strategies, moving faster to identify candidates, reduce time-to-hire and fill business critical skills-gaps at pace.

Direct sourcing, built in as part of your contingent workforce solution, means that you can retain go-to-market recruitment strategy while still ensuring that you have a transparent, effective and robust supply chain model in place for bringing off-payroll workers into your business.

As the global talent community of contingent workers evolves, employers are evolving their needs and strategies too. The third point of the triangle then, is the suppliers. The range and breadth of contingent workforce solutions is moving quickly, offering clients different combinations of services, different types of technology platforms and different cost models. The picture is one of a market where employers can be very much in control.

What is the challenge for employers?

The challenge for employers is getting the balance of that solution right. In the short-term, it is likely that a combination of agencies and direct sourcing will suit most employers who want to build a stronger and deeper contingent workforce talent community. This means that there is still a need for an effective, end-to-end supply chain that harmonises suppliers, standardises contracts, ensures compliance and supports a good onboarding experience.

Yet at the same time, employers need to move faster and the direct sourcing component will enable them to do that. Of course, it opens up further conversations too. What does your go-to-market strategy look like? Do you have the in-house recruitment resource to build a contingent pipeline? Where do you engage with contingent workers and how do you build intelligence around a fast-changing marketplace? Getting it right requires a diverse combination of skills and expertise, bridging talent acquisition, recruitment, contingent solutions, marketing and employer branding.


It is an intriguing market for employers, with increasing opportunities to build a bespoke contingent workforce solution that gives them a competitive edge. As the recruitment landscape shifts, it is likely that any opportunity to gain a competitive edge and reduce costs will be valuable.

The key to success will be making sure that the foundations are in place. Ensure that your MSP and VMS are fit for purpose. Know what you want to measure and put the tools in place to track the end-to-end contingent worker journey. Identify the right channels and make sure that you have the right skills in your in-house team to identify and engage with the right talent.

If you require any support in building out your contingent solution, get in touch with us and we can help you on your journey!