Top 3 Learnings on the Use of Direct Sourcing to Enable a Gig Economy Strategy

In this article, Praneeth Patola, CEO of WillHire, a Direct Sourcing and Talent Pool Solution, shares their organization’s origin story and discusses their goals to build better ways to connect enterprises with contract labor. WillHire has led many client implementations and shares key learnings. Patola reveals his knowledge of what talent curation means and who owns it. The article also dives into why your employer brand is crucial and sheds light on total talent diversity and inclusion. Patola concludes by explaining why direct sourcing isn’t just for professional roles.

Hear from @praneethpatlola, CEO of @WillHireCo, as he discusses his experience in working with #DirectSourcing and #RecruitmentTech to source top candidates in @TalentTechLabs latest Trends Report: Share on X

Company Spotlight: WillHire

As a contingent worker myself many years ago, I had a terrible experience with contract staffing recruiters, which drove me to build better ways to connect enterprises with contract labor directly. We began in 2009, and our first product was Jobhuk, a recruitment marketplace. In our need to scale and integrate with the market-leading VMS solutions, we realized enterprise contingent labor programs were missing widely adopted talent acquisition technology and processes. There was a minimal emphasis on employer branding, candidate experience, talent redeployment, or talent engagement. So, we built WillHire. Our initial goal of making a better way to connect enterprises and contract labor still drives our work today.

Fast forward to today, and WillHire provides end-to-end direct sourcing and private talent pool solutions for some of the world’s leading brands. WillHire’s services extend across all job categories, from professional to light industrial and shift work. The WillHire platform connects with over 2,000 job boards and integrates with an organization’s contingent labor program. We leverage the company’s brand to attract, curate, and engage with contract labor to provide the workers with a fantastic candidate experience. WillHire has a growing ecosystem of strategic partners across VMS solutions, MSPs, payroll providers, and talent curators that enable seamless integration with a client’s program.

Learnings Along the Way

Throughout many implementations, we’ve learned a few things about talent curation, the importance of brand image, talent diversity and inclusion, and the use of direct sourcing to enable a gig economy strategy.

Talent Curation.  While technology is a crucial component to execute direct sourcing successfully, there is tremendous confusion on what talent curation means, who owns it and if it’s really important. Curation combines technology, integrated assessment solutions, and a highly skilled team dedicated to ensuring success. We have taken contingent workforce programs from 0% to 70%+ directly sourced candidates and have learned talent curation combines interactions and partnership with candidates, the client, the MSP, and the payroll provider. Curation involves applying strategic talent attraction methods, vetting candidates’ skills and qualifications, collaboration with the PMO, serving as a candidate service rep, a brand ambassador, and a great deal more. 

In @TalentTechLabs latest Trends Report, @praneethpatlola, CEO of @WillHireCo, looks back on the origin of his organization and his experience in working with #DirectSourcing and #RecruitmentTech: Share on X

Employer brand is critical.  Procurement runs the majority of enterprise contingent workforce programs. These teams aren’t aware of the power of employer branding to attract today’s talent. Using your brand to attract contingent talent is a relatively new concept to these teams.  Educating this segment on the power of employer brand for talent attraction has been transformational for some direct source programs.

Total Talent Diversity and Inclusion.  We’re seeing organizations focus more on diversity and inclusion when considering their contingent workforce. Companies are looking beyond just the diversity of their suppliers and are looking at the actual talent they are securing for their contingent roles. Direct sourcing is a tool for companies to connect and engage with diverse workers they may have never had before.

Direct sourcing isn’t just for professional roles.  Undoubtedly, there are nuances and challenges in sourcing this category of workers.  As consumers, we are living in a world of the gig economy.  With a tap on your phone, your ride or dinner shows up in minutes, but this capability hasn’t yet penetrated contingent workforce programs. An emerging use case is bringing “gig work” to direct sourcing programs. With a tap of a button, a hiring manager can have instant access to a pre-vetted/pre-background checked private talent pool of local and rated candidates.

Want to learn more? Check out our full Trends Report to hear from more industry leaders about the benefits of Direct Sourcing and the future of the talent acquisition industry.

About the Author:

Praneeth Patola is the CEO of WillHire – a Direct Sourcing & Talent Pool platform. He advises early-stage startups and enterprises on HRTechnology. Before WillHire, Praneeth built Jobhuk – a recruitment marketplace helping companies crowdsource their talent sourcing effort through 3000+ recruiters, which was later acquired by one of the largest staffing organizations in the US. He is an HRTech fanatic with over a decade of experience incubating new HRTech product ideas from zero to market launch and leading them to profitability. He frequently is engaged in modernizing contingent labor programs applying a design thinking approach. He lives in Austin, loves running on the local trails, and tries his part to Keep Austin Weird.


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