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What is strategic sourcing?
When we talk about strategic sourcing from a recruitment point of view, we are talking about the method of creating opportunities to source talent at the lowest possible total cost. It is separate from other channels of procurement, where the lowest possible purchase price is sought. Strategic sourcing, in comparison to traditional procurement takes a complete look at the entire processes of sourcing including payment, receipt and response to the service.
The gig economy has changed the rules of recruitment. It means that hirers can now find people to fulfil services directly, easily and quickly. Recruitment teams are able to fill gaps in hiring for services on a project specific basis, giving them access to better quality talent and greater efficiency.
Strategic sourcing keeps watch on the future of the company, as well as the current hiring situation. It is a way of being able to predict future needs and how best to utilise the sourcing options available that the gig economy provides. Despite the benefits it brings, however, it represents a challenge for recruitment and HR. As the pace of trading of services becomes ever faster, how can recruiters keep up with demand and retain quality?
The problems that sourcing faces
One significant benefit of increasing centralisation of talent sourcing is that barriers between skills and countries are being removed. Ever-increasing access to talent from all over the world and from all disciplines is making the process of hiring cheaper, simpler and more efficient. However, the disintegration of barriers has resulted in the lines between talent blurring. Diversity is decreasing as the work force aim to fit what is becoming a perceived desirable mould; a cookie cutter idea of recruiters are looking for.
Globalisation risks homogenising talent as Western business philosophies are increasingly pushed onto Eastern business cultures. Strategically sourcing globally risks lessening the exposure and experience of other cultures and their beliefs and ways of working. Furthermore, global sourcing increases vulnerability to labour disputes, political and financial risks, supervision shortfalls and hidden costs.
What can businesses do to mitigate these disadvantages?
Businesses can use strategic sourcing to predict when issues in their talent availability may arise. Strategic sourcing considers the entire process, including all of the costs involved, not just upfront costs. It means that a business’s sourcing proposals consider the disadvantages of a wide talent pool as part of any decision. It uses large sets of data to analyse more than the cost. Strategic sourcing looks at other factors including risk and long-term relationships between the employee or source of employee. These are all factors which can have an effect on overall costs.
Businesses can employ software to help automate these processes, reducing costs and increasing productivity. These platforms can collect information about what has and has not worked in the past. They can then use these data to make decisions that it knows to be prudent for the future of the company. Also, the platforms can take other factors into account such as market trends and political events. This allows the business to make hiring decisions based on a multitude of factors.
Further action a business can take is to source at scale. This kind of strategic sourcing means that a company prepares for growth. It forecasts the maintenance of a company’s growth and predicts where talent will be required. It also takes into account factors such as suppliers, costs, feasibility and environmental concerns.
A final effort businesses can make is towards achieving accuracy in their data. Data miscalculations can lead to enormously costly mistakes and pave the way for further statistical errors in future. Businesses can help themselves by producing finer detail and accuracy throughout the sourcing process. This ensures that analysis of costs and logistics of service provision is more efficient and therefore useful.
Source strategically alongside the gig economy
The key to well structured, more cost effective and competent sourcing is to employ strategy which takes the big picture in recruitment. The gig economy has opened the field and provided the opportunity for recruitment teams to find talent from all parts of the globe and from all industries. A great step towards improving processes would be to utilise talent platforms in conjunction with analysis and automation software.