Driving greater agility and productivity through a contingent workforce

The unprecedented events of 2020 introduced the world to the undeniable advantages of a flexible and agile workforce. During the uncertainty of COVID19, organizations sought swift transformation and lower business overheads.

The option of relying on agility and productivity through a contingent workforce delivers both.
A contingent workforce consisting of freelancers, contractors, industry-trained consultants, and the entire group of alternative non-employee workers allowed businesses of all sizes to easily navigate the tough market conditions. Due to the availability of an external, well-experienced talent pool, companies were able to survive the difficult times brought by the pandemic, and the reliance on this talent pool will also pave the way to success in the future.

According to Pew Research, a contingent workforce expands workforce options, delivers flexibility, and hiring to meet demand is a cost-effective option for businesses. It further states that utilizing the skills of external talent increases organizational resilience and sustainably implements available resources to make the best out of difficult situations. Another research study claims that 32% of companies will replace full-time employees by hiring contingent workers. Moreover, The Intuit Report on 2020 states by 2030, almost 80% of the workforce will operate on a freelance basis. Hence, the fluidity of organizations will become crucial for survival.

Despite the apparent benefits of flexibility and dependency on external sources of talent, businesses still need to understand the proper ways to drive maximum productivity and agility from a contingent workforce. Hence, to develop an appropriate strategy to manage external talent while managing the traditional full-time workforce, organizations must understand the rapidly changing industry trends and make changes accordingly.

The Trends to Understand 

More Competition for Talent: 

The result of a survey conducted by McKinsey concluded that 70% of executives plan on employing more contingent workers after COVID19. Therefore, demand for experienced industry experts will continue to rise, which means that companies cannot expect the traditional talent pool to fill in their needs. Furthermore, the usual ways of searching for talent will also be inefficient to find creative, experienced, skilled, and innovative experts who can help companies succeed.

The Shift from Providing Employee Experience to Providing Life Experience:

The lines between work and home have been blurred due to the lockdowns and the health concerns brought by the pandemic. Hence, employees now expect companies to encourage and offer better work and life balance. In today’s society, employers who provide flexible work options and give additional incentives are far more desirable by industry experts looking to offer their skills.

Additionally, as remote work is becoming more and more normalized, employees belonging to both traditional and contingent workforces are realizing better ways to be productive and find comfort and ease in their lives. Moving forward, Global brands like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and even Microsoft are allowing more and more employees to work from home, and some organizations even plan to close office spaces altogether. These changes are transforming the employment infrastructure and introducing workers to newer, more flexible ways of work. The growing demand for talent and more options to work is increasing the availability of opportunities for the global workforce. Hence, as employers compete to hire the best talent available, they must look into providing a better life experience for their workers, not just good pay and the usual employee benefits.

Flexibility has shifted from location to time: 

Remote work becoming common practice means employers must move on from thinking “where” employees will work to “when” employees will work. Gartner’s 2020 HR survey revealed that only 36% of workers were performing well in business that had the typical 40-hour workweek. According to Harvard Business Review, organizations that will provide flexibility over when, where, and how much their employees’ work will have 55% of their workforce performing on optimal levels.

The Importance of Technology: 

Predictably, technology continues to be a critical element of success. The dependency on collaborative tools like, Zoom, Slack, and Google Meet will continue to grow, especially for remote work. These tools will keep on improving and evolving as companies figure out the best strategies to work virtually.

Adapting the Platform Economy: 

In addition to digital collaboration tools, organizations must also look into platforms that can assist them in not only finding new talent but also managing and utilizing a more flexible workforce. Leaders who do not recalibrate their ways will struggle to enrich their companies with skilled talent. Companies which will approach the right platforms will be able to reach a contingent workforce waiting and eager to contribute to their success.

Traditional recruitment methods like hiring from recruitment agencies are falling short as the demand for experienced experts rises along with the advantages of a flexible labor force. Businesses must look into more diverse, digital, and evolved hiring channels to access top talent.

Employers are now evaluating the roles which can be performed by their full-time workers and those which are best suited for contracted, flexible workers from the more skilled and experienced branch of the gig economy. Hence, digital hiring platforms are the finest solutions to drive productivity from a contingent workforce strategy.  

What to do?

Make crowdsourcing and the need for experienced external talent a critical aspect of your workforce strategy on all levels

Research and understand which specialized talent platforms are most suited for your business needs.

Keep yourself updated on the availability of such platforms because talent marketplaces are growing rapidly.

Continue to analyze and improve training, performance, and teamwork practices

Leverage the data already available and utilize the opportunities for automation

Identify the ideal contingent workforce dependency levels (experts recommend starting from 15% to 20% of total work)

Commit your entire management team and ensure everyone understands the value of an agile approach to success and productivity.

Build adaptable models that align with your organizational needs while keeping the current trends in mind

Mindfully calibrate the transformation and realize which aspect of your company does not require drastic changes.

Always ask if your methodologies, infrastructure, and processes are fit for change.

Digital marketplaces like ConsultXperts are also continuously evolving, optimizing, and utilizing the latest technologies to create value for businesses. Currently, platforms are incorporating the newest search technologies and artificial intelligence to provide a full spectrum of activities. They have become responsible for recruitment to talent management, onboarding procedures and compensation to engagement, team formations, and even performance feedbacks. 

At ConsultXperts, we understand the increasing complexities of conducting business activities and hence provide all the required services to swiftly assimilate external talent within businesses so they can achieve their long-term goals and follow an employee-centric strategy to redesign their workspaces. 

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Author Since: May 7, 2020

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