Since our CWS Summit and Solutions Forum in October, the number of inquiries we’ve fielded regarding self-sourcing — how to do it and the perceived benefits — have increased two-fold. With the immediate thought by most program managers of significant cost savings, it almost seems a “no brainer” — why wouldn’t an organization consider implementing this program capability? But before a contingent workforce (CW) program office decides to remove the middleman (staffing partners), it needs to understand just exactly what this means.

Even though the organization could save on the markup dollars that would be paid to the provider, the cost to implement and maintain required levels of sourcing service quality could outweigh the targeted savings.  Remember, staffing partners provide competent contingent worker assignment support that would need to be assumed by the program office.

Here are some things to consider:

Let’s start with simply posting the requisition. Instead of the easy one-click that sends your job req to your list of preferred suppliers, someone within your organization must post it to various job boards as well as your own corporate career site. Before that even happens, the program office should work with the organization’s legal and HR groups before posting to ensure the position is clearly defined as a contingent role and not a full-time hire. In this scenario, you are becoming a sourcing/recruiting resource expert and not just managing vendors in a contingent engagement process.

If the posting is successful, you will have numerous résumés to review. Whereas your staffing partner’s recruiter would have screened the candidates and submitted the best, someone internally would need to review and determine which ones will be forwarded to the engagement manager for consideration. Further, those who are not considered would need to be notified, another time-consuming step that is usually taken care of by the staffing partner — and one you don’t want to skip for employer branding purposes. You do not want soliciting candidates to feel their résumé fell into a “black hole.”

And then there will be interviews to schedule. This will also require someone internally to contact the candidate, coordinate times, post schedule on engagement managers calendar, secure an interview room, etc., and remember, depending on the number of interviews requested (phone, in-person, team, etc.) for each candidate, this can become quite time consuming. Managing an interview slate of candidates takes effort and time. For further insight, review the interview slate development and management for your organizations full-time hire process.

When a candidate is chosen, someone will need to confirm the pay rate and the start date. This may require the person to have good negotiation skills as this can sometimes be a challenge, especially once the candidate knows there is interest. Someone also will have to remind the candidate he or she is not being brought on by the organization and will likely need to be introduced to the payrolling provider to complete the onboarding process. Although the mark-up for the payrolling provider is less than that of a staffing supplier, it is still a cost that must be accounted for within your self-sourcing business model — as well as all statutory expenses.

And if the candidate backs out or doesn’t work out? The internal team must conduct the process all over again, but even more quickly, as not to lose momentum with the engagement manager’s project at hand — while bearing the brunt of stakeholders’ frustration, which may have been directed at staffing providers before.

Considering whether to self-source is not an unnatural act, but it must be carefully thought through. Another option would be a mixture. Similar to RPO, co-sourcing is a natural maturation for recruiting efforts. Having internal recruiters as well as RPO recruiters sourcing candidates can be extremely successful when the right roles have been identified with the right processes and procedures are in place.

Successful co-sourcing requires the CW program office to determine which roles make sense for this type of effort and that they have the right internal resources with the right skills to take on the required tasks. Communication will be critical with the staffing partners as to which roles will now be self-sourced and why. In many cases, a CW program will not self-source every role, so keeping the staffing partners educated and engaged will be critical so there is no impact on the overall program service responsiveness and quality. This can also be an opportunity to reward top staffing performing partners.  Fewer requirements will probably need fewer suppliers, those suppliers that are top performers will have the opportunity for more business with less competition.

Although self-sourcing may seem like a “no brainer,” thoroughly research and educate yourself and your organization on all that will be needed for it to be successful.