As global attitudes shift to favor sustainability and responsible practices, businesses are turning to impact sourcing as their preferred method of hiring. By recruiting undiscovered talent from disadvantaged communities, outsourcing companies can solve many of the problems – poor employee engagement, poor retention – that ravage the industry.
In an age where employee wellbeing is more prioritized than ever before, some BPOs are struggling to provide the best work environments. Issues regarding employee engagement, turnover, and productivity are intrinsic to the outsourcing industry, and firms need to find new solutions.
Impact sourcing has the potential to resolve many of the problems that BPOs face. In this article, we’ll explore what exactly impact sourcing is and reveal the many benefits it brings for BPOs, contact center outsourcing providers, and other types of agencies.
What is impact sourcing?
Impact sourcing is the process of actively hiring people from marginalized, disadvantaged, or underrepresented communities. Companies typically adopt this recruitment model to find untapped talent, improve workplace diversity, and save hiring costs.
The idea behind impact sourcing is to provide disadvantaged people with employment. In turn, this has many positive repercussions for both the workers and the employers. Workers can earn money to support their families, while companies can improve the quality of their work environments and give back to the local communities.
Impact sourcing is a responsible practice that can help organizations in the business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT industries, where problems with employee engagement and issues with staff turnover are rife. The necessity to find new hiring methods has meant impact sourcing has become an increasingly prevalent trend for BPO providers in recent years.
What are the benefits of impact sourcing?
Impact sourcing offers advantages for workers, communities, and employers alike. By tapping into an underutilized area, companies can source incredibly dedicated workers and resolve issues relating to turnover, costs, and diversity. In the following sections, you’ll find more details on the benefits of impact sourcing as a hiring method.
Access untapped pools of talent
As with many industries, the BPO sector is experiencing a labor squeeze. There simply aren’t enough skilled workers qualified enough to fill the increasingly high demand that BPOs experience. As a result, outsourcing providers such as call center operators need to adjust their business models to improve resilience and find new staff.
Impact sourcing offers a way to find new, untapped talent that has yet to be discovered. Within marginalized communities, there’s a fountain of skilled labor that is being wasted because many companies just aren’t aware it exists. By hiring members of disadvantaged communities, you’ll find that even if they lack the necessary skills, they’ll more than make up for it in their willingness to learn and the speed at which they achieve competence through training.
Reduce employee attrition
Employees hired through impact sourcing typically demonstrate higher levels of engagement and motivation in their jobs. They perform harder at work and are far less likely to quit. This phenomenon is largely due to a stronger bond between these types of workers and the company who hired them. Since many come from disadvantaged backgrounds, they are often more eager than most to seize hold of opportunities.
Impact sourcing, therefore, is a viable strategy for BPOs like call centers where employee attrition is a significant problem. Reducing staff turnover is a top priority among outsourcing providers, and the introduction of impact sourcing could help mitigate the issue. Additionally, BPO jobs are actually much sought after by employees from these backgrounds, since they often have higher salaries than jobs in traditional sectors that are open to them, such as agriculture or manual labor.
Save on long-term costs
With reduced employee attrition rates, companies who use impact sourcing to hire are far more likely to save money on future hiring costs. Eliminating the need to re-hire stressed or disengaged employees not only saves costs, but it also reduces the burden on hiring managers. As an industry with high turnover rates, BPOs can save plenty of time and money by using impact sourcing methods.
On top of this, the average cost of hiring, onboarding, and training a worker through impact sourcing is typically less than for in-house and remote employees. This means that impact sourcing saves money both in the short and long term, making it an excellent hiring solution for smaller or low-budget companies.
Make a strong and lasting social impact
Impact sourcing is both responsible and sustainable, making it an ethical practice for companies to adopt. By providing disadvantaged people with employment, you’ll have a direct impact on their lives and the lives of their family and community members. In fact, many companies choose to hire through impact sourcing as a way to benefit their local communities. This has a lasting effect on the overall economy of the area and, by extension, the country.
At the core of impact sourcing is generosity and reciprocity. Making opportunities available to marginalized people they would not otherwise have is beneficial for society. In return your company gains a loyal and willing worker, and your reputation as a brand increases within the local community and beyond, which could even lead to higher sales and revenue.
Improve workplace diversity
Impact sourcing can also increase minority representation and improve diversity in the workplace, since a large proportion of disadvantaged communities consist of ethnic minorities. Achieving a culturally diverse workplace is one of the biggest challenges facing HR departments in the modern age, but it’s vital in ensuring the happiness of your employees.
Increasing workplace diversity will bring with it a hoard of benefits, such as improved employee engagement and boosted morale. Research by McKinsey also shows that a lack of diversity can restrict the scope of ideas that emerge, reducing a company’s chances of growth and success. In other words, a diverse team makes more diverse decisions and reaps the benefits as a result.
Use hybrid and remote working to diversify your talent pool
In the past (i.e., three years ago) most large companies such as BPOs were restricted in their hiring practices to targeting only people who lived within, say, an hour of their office or contact center. As most of these were in the centers of major cities, potential employees from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who lived in remote and rural areas, were automatically excluded.
Since the pandemic and the explosion of home and hybrid working, many companies have been able to diversify their talent pools just by expanding the geographic catchment area in which they recruit. Impact sourcing does not just have to be local; there are many rural communities far from city center offices that can also benefit from these types of hiring practices.
Most BPOs now have in place the technology and infrastructure to support remote working and should take advantage of this to diversify their workforces. It’s not just about hiring workers from marginalized and disadvantaged communities. There is the opportunity to attract back to the workforce older or semi-retired workers, as well as people who want to work flexible hours around their other life commitments, these could include parents of young children, or students.
How can you start impact sourcing?
Responsible outsourcing starts from within. Instead of creating long-winded, complex job descriptions, produce simple ads that target disadvantaged communities. Express that you strongly encourage people from marginalized backgrounds to apply and make use of local media outlets to advertise your jobs. If you focus on hiring people from the local area, you’ll improve your overall staff morale, engagement, and retention rates.
Give your impact workers the right tools
For impact sourcing to succeed, your employees need to be properly trained and for this they need the right tools. Time Doctor is a time-tracking and analytics software that gives management staff insights into how and when their team members need support. It can identify areas where employees need help and aspects of your operations which can be better streamlined.
Try the Time Doctor today and optimize your impact sourcing process.