3 Signs You’re Ready to Start a Direct Sourcing Recruitment Strategy

3 Signs You’re Ready to Start a Direct Sourcing Recruitment Strategy

If you’re under pressure to deliver more for less within your recruitment budget, are considering bringing recruitment in-house, or have been tasked with spearheading a cultural transformation when it comes to hiring, you may be experiencing a few signs that are symptomatic of a business that’s ready to embrace direct sourcing.

The concept of bringing recruitment in-house, saying goodbye to your reliance on agencies, and looking at ways to attract and nurture talent on your own sounds great, doesn’t it? Yet it can also seem daunting for a business new to direct hiring given the changes in the market at the moment.

So, with this abundance of change – how do you know if you’re really ready to start direct sourcing? Webrecruit shares with you a few common symptoms we see with our clients and what you can do to address them. [Note, these tips are from our eBook, The In-House Direct Sourcing Guide].

Sign 1:

You know integrating an element of direct sourcing is the right thing to do, but you’re struggling to get buy-in from your team.


Stress, usually arising at the time when instructed to use your MD’s existing relationship with the local recruiters and a lack of buy-in from your team who think it’ll involve more hands-on work. Also comes with associated pressure on your budget.


At this point, you may be fast realising the overwhelming benefits of managing an element of recruitment yourself. Yet building a case for it may seem tricky.

The main reason being you can’t expect to see an immediate return; achieving successes will require a longer time to allow for the transition of new processes. In effect, you are challenging the norm – and because the results are not there yet to support you. That means you have to put in extra work demonstrating the benefits it can bring you to those who are used to seeing short-term results.

Potential Solution:

There are two things you can do, the first – sell the benefits of direct sourcing in relation to what’s happening in your business, and the second – demonstrate how you can work with a partner to help you transition.

What’s driving the change and therefore need to consider direct sourcing? Has your recruitment budget been slashed? If you’re in the public sector, for example, have you had a change in direction and are now focused on running things more commercially?

Direct sourcing allows you to take greater control, reduce your reliance on expensive suppliers, build talent pools and develop your employer brand – all of which are tied to reducing costs but enhancing quality.

You also need to be realistic. If you’re using agencies, you can’t just switch them off – you need to wean your team from relying on them. Reducing your reliance requires a transition period – so do it slowly, but effectively; highlighting successes as you achieve them. (There are recruitment providers out there who specialise in helping businesses to transition).


Sign 2:

You’re spending far too much time on tactical activities such as filtering CVs… and not enough on long-term planning.


Exhaustion from investing too much time on dry admin. You’re too busy to research new tools in the market, so you have to rely on using costly agencies to help you to fill your roles a large proportion of your roles. As a result, you’ve reached your budget and don’t have the time to plan.


Far too many businesses are still focusing on reactive ways of working, and not thinking long term. This means you will often find your recruitment is centred around high costs, a focus on quantity not quality, and an uncertainty of return on investment.

Potential Solution:

Future-proofing your recruitment strategy is what should count. This may involve analysing your current processes and suppliers, auditing their results and seeing where the gaps are.

HR professionals are becoming more accountable for the ROI, and expected to deliver competitive sourcing strategies, focused on both attraction and reporting. As a result, those who continue to use the dated traditional model – one that’s focused on short-term gains and severely lacking in analysis – are failing to meet the objectives their business set.

We suggest starting with an analysis of your current suppliers to determine their effectiveness and ability to deliver against your objectives.

For example, look at your spend by category with the aim of creating a spend category mix. Then:

1. Divide your total advertising/agency spend into categories
2. Then divide the spend categories by business or location
3. Consider what elements mix together to deliver particular campaigns


Sign 3:

You know recruitment metrics are important, but you’re not a data analyst… so where do you begin?


Frustration – arising from uncertainty of your return on investment from different sources, and uncertainty caused by a lack of analysis. This may lead to an impact on your budget – for the worse.


Let’s face it – many HR professionals are not data analysts – nor are they required to be! Yet, the role and demands on HR teams is changing, with many practitioners expected to be fully conversant with recruitment data and metrics, and understand their association with overall company objectives.

But it’s not just about the ability to report – it’s what you do with the data you get – the analysis part is where people often fall short.

Potential Solution:

Approach this in two stages – reporting and analysis.

We recommend considering recruitment software to help you to pull together the basic reports. For example, an applicant tracking system will allow you to look at your basic reports, such as cost-per-hire and time-to-hire by source, as well as more indepth reporting such as individual sourcing mixes.

With this information, you can begin the analysis. Looking at the data should help you to identify things such as:

– What’s my drop-off rate when it comes to my application forms?
– Should I remove a few questions to encourage a better take up?
– Which job boards are most effective for certain role types?
– Which source is best for generating candidates with certain skills?
– Which delivers the highest number of placements within a particular timeframe?
– Which device are candidates using to view my jobs?
– Should I change my process so it is mobile optimised?


These are just a few signs you may be ready to direct source, but of course there are far more!

If you are interested in learning more about direct recruitment or overcoming challenges, make sure to download our latest eBook.

Download the In-House Direct Sourcing Guide

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