For the fun of it, I want to provide a variety of insights around how a sourcing strategy may vary by industry. For the sake of this example, let’s assume you are a manufacturer of a product that is sold through a retail distribution chain. Additional assumptions are:
1. You sell product to big box retailers, however you have your own retail outlets
2. Holidays drive an increase in labor needs within your manufacturing, retail and distribution centers
3. Your company is founded on innovation and continuous new product development
4. Your product is a BRAND all into itself therefore EVERYONE wants to work for you
5. Your organization has high volume needs, high complexity needs and corporate staffing requirements.
Where do you begin?
Let’s start at the Macro level and work our way down.
Current state Assessment: Looking at the Data
1. Segment your data by retail, manufacturing, executive, professional, sales and
2. For each of these segments I want to explore:
A. Source of hire (Primary and Secondary)
B. Interview to hire ratio’s
C. Candidate flow
D. % Fallout due to failure of background and drug check
E. Total number of hits to career site
F. Total number of profiles created
3. Recruitment Process Assessment (Assuming I am coming into the organization new).
1. How do we manage the through put of candidates?
2. How easy is it to navigate the career site? Does it create a compelling story for each of the people areas?
3. What is the requisition load?
4. Source of hire by recruiter type. (What I am looking for here, is what
recruiters fill their jobs through inbound sources and who fills them
through outbound sources?)
5. Vendor relationships – Contingent staffing firms, advertising
agencies, research firms, tools such as talentseekr and resume mining
6. Web and bricks and mortar: What are our web and brick and mortar
7. Stakeholders: Who has interest in how we attract talent? Why? I.E.
Brand Marketing, Legal, etc. What role do they play?
Future State Strategy:
Now that I have gotten smart on our process, technology, stakeholders and rules to how we acquire talent – Here are the categories I will focus:
1. Technology / Website:
1. Optimize ATS to improve candidate source of hire capture, processing and outreach to talent.
I.E. Alerts for new jobs to keep talent coming back. (This is key – we want to reuse the data in
2. Optimize Website: Usability, flow, analytics and potentially content.
2. Holiday Volume Hiring:
1. Engage an RPO or my contingent workforce partner (should they be temporary or part time).
2. I need to make sure the volume triggered by holidays is effectively covered and it is not a cost
that is incurred during the down times.
3. Retail Hiring:
1. For our stores –I would look at posters, recruiting cards, etc. directing candidates to apply
2. Monitor regions that do not have candidate flow and leverage an internal sourcing team or a
firm that can assist with demand generation in those regions.
3. Advertising Firm: Depending upon the demographics I would explore mobile media, SMS
marketing and very targeted web advertising.
4. Manager Level Retail Professionals: Create an internal sourcing group that leverages
zoominfo, jigsaw and retail research firms as needed. This team would be responsible for
candidate identification and development.
Distribution / Manufacturing hiring
1. Look at an MSP or Onsite program for contingent labor.
2. Advertising firms: Posters and table tops in each of the centers.
3. Employee Referral: Mailers or email – to employee or family promoting you can make money
– refer a friend.
4. Local market relationship strategy – Schools, employment networks, PTA’s, etc.
Professional / Executive Hiring
Here is where my candidate experience is an important part of the attraction process. So the sourcing strategy will be our company employee’s and it will encompass an outreach effort and a relationship management effort.
This may look like:
1. Leveraging an Indian firm to do name generation inexpensively. Save me time.
3. Have my team focus on direct outreach to these people to:
A. Build a relationship
B. Present an opportunity.
4. The relationship may be a link to our Facebook and linkedIn – and work with our advertising firm to create an outreach strategy that touches these people in different ways periodically throughout the year. Focus is – promote the brand, gain referrals, build a friend so they want to do business with us.
Once trends are identified, negotiate fixed rates for services that WORK and have them help you measure your success.
Work collaboratively with your sourcing firm, RPO and research partners and include them in your business strategies. Provide them with data around what works and what is not. The goal is for everyone to be successful.
Tactical: The reality is there will always be that purple squirrel. I have done research over the years and it has show that purple squirrels can take over 55 hours of sourcing alone! The key here is to build a sourcing strategy checklist and focus on the activities that are generating results. Avoid doing things that are fun. This may require the special sourcing magic of a Maureen or Shally.
Measure … Monitor and Refine
Now is measure and refine. Business change and needs change therefore your sourcing strategy will change.
Sourcing strategies take time to develop and may not be done all at once due to stakeholder involvement and budgets. In some areas the near term solution may be to throw more people at the problem until the core issues can be fixed. Realistically you may need to do some botox treatments, because this is recruiting and nothing is predictable. However this strategy is designed to address the 80% and let you focus on the needs that may require some extra special care.
Tracey Friend is a Snr. Consultant with Brightfield Strategies. Brightfield Strategies core expertise is in Contingent Workforce Management. As an executive who has had exposure to both full time and contingent strategies, Tracey works with her clients to build a more holistic approach to attracting and retaining people. Tfriend@brightfieldstrategies.com