When it Comes to Direct Sourcing, AI is Your Friend

As we’ve said before, direct sourcing has been around in various forms for decades. Organizations engaging directly with potential talent for job open roles makes sense as a talent strategy, especially in today’s market. As a recent Forbes article cited, “Geopolitical instabilities and economic concerns amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic have made it so that any organization over-reliant on traditional markets for supply chain networks is putting itself at a significant disadvantage. Moving forward, supply chain diversification will be essential,” and direct sourcing has emerged as a solid, scalable solution.  

So, what role can artificial intelligence (AI) play to help automate and streamline this process, making it easier for hiring managers and a better experience for top talent simultaneously? It turns out, AI can play a significant one. If you can’t streamline the hiring process (or any process for that matter), you can’t scale, and that can be detrimental to your future talent strategies.  

It may seem counterintuitive to some to think AI would make the candidate experience better. Talking directly to another human being is usually preferred, isn’t it? But the process of finding, attracting, engaging, and nurturing that relationship throughout the hiring process takes a lot of time; time that recruiters, talent acquisition leads, and HR don’t always have to give. When that happens, the process of applying for a role or even learning about the organization and upcoming opportunities becomes a source of frustration. So much so, once that negative experience happens, candidates will not only steer clear of future interactions with that company, they’ll tell their network the same.  

AI can help foster that relationship in many ways, keeping candidates engaged and ready (and excited) to work for you. Here’s a few ways AI is being used by organizations today: 

Sourcing: Automated, AI-powered platforms can search through vast databases of resumes and profiles to quickly identify potential candidates and skill sets in need. What would take a recruiter multiple hours can be done in minutes, giving them time to be more strategic with their outreach.  process. 

Chatbots: While some chatbots have gotten a bad ap, conversational chatbots with deep learning capabilities can engage with potential candidates on a company’s branded website or through their careers page, creating personalized communications at all touch points along the candidate journey. They can pre-screen candidates, schedule interviews, align them into the right talent communities, and provide continuous, meaningful follow-up so candidates feel engaged in a company’s brand.  

Predictive Analytics: AI can use historical data collected from a candidate’s profile to predict which sourcing channels are most effective and deliver real-time analytics to determine how successful a person will be in a given role.  

Diversity and Inclusion: AI can help promote diversity and inclusion initiatives in direct sourcing by identifying biases in the sourcing process, aligning talent into diverse talent communities, and deliver rich content that is meaningful to each. It can also be used to push roles out to diverse networks, widening the pool of available talent.  

Communication and Engagement: AI-powered, omnichannel tools can facilitate ongoing communication with potential candidates, keeping them engaged and meeting them where they are (I.e., WhatsApp, email, text, SMS, etc.).  

Employing the right technology is essential to support direct sourcing in an agile and scalable way. AI-powered platforms can streamline the hiring process, improve candidate engagement, and enhance overall efficiency. Direct sourcing platforms provide all the benefits of direct sourcing, plus data. These platforms should integrate into your existing talent strategies to simplify the process through automation, talent marketing, branding, and building dynamic talent communities. For organizations, this means an improved talent experience (translating to higher retention, referrals, and redeployment), quicker time to hire at a lower cost, and efficiencies at scale. 

Sugandhan Dinakaran, Head of Product

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