Your one stop shop for transformative insights and groundbreaking trends in the talent industry today
Just like the rest of the world, American businesses are struggling to come to terms with the two most transformative occurrences of our generation. To sustain operational continuity and eventually flourish, companies need to implement the lessons the Black Lives Matter movement has illuminated and avoid allowing COVID-19 from sidetracking diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Much of the literature dealing with the rise of the contingent workforce focuses on what freelancers, consultants, and contractors can do for their clients. Few studies have investigated how hiring organizations can provide the opportunities and arrangements that outside workers desire. Metasys has compiled this list of best practices companies can implement to meet the needs of top free agent talent. Making it easy for contingent workers to choose and work for your organization gives you greater access to the skills you need when opportunities and challenges arise. If your organization wants to initiate or expand its use of non-traditional workers, these insights from contingent worker surveys and experiences will help you build a foundation that will attract, secure, and retain independent workers.
With labor costs approaching two-thirds of the budget in some companies, there is a growing movement to fully understand the expenses and benefits associated with spending on all types of worker compensation and management. While the primary goal of total cost of workforce (TCOW) analysis has been to optimize the costs of payroll and contingent talent against productivity and profit, this has led to overreliance on head count. In most organizations, investment in talent – through additional workers, higher wages, better benefits, or more training – results in a positive return on investment up to a point. Whether to add talent, therefore, is not the important question. TCOW’s real value comes from the significant insights it can deliver into the composition of an enterprise’s workforce, the efficacy of its recruitment methods, the effects of salary on turnover, the relationship between training and productivity, and a host of other variables that contribute to (or detract from) the bottom line.
Everyone in business seems to be tapping into the power of big data, and the field of workforce management is no different. The availability of billions of data points presents hiring organizations with the potential to optimize the entirety of the human resources function, from attracting potential job candidates to planning their retirement parties and every step in between. The expanding prevalence of contingent workers only widens and deepens data’s status as a central pillar in workforce architecture.
Using artificial intelligence to identify, attract, and convert prospects has long been the purview of the marketing department. Marketing teams segment customers based on their likelihood to buy and their total lifetime value to the company. Marketers want to know what drives customers to choose one brand over another, when they are most interested in engaging with the product, and what kind of messages will induce them to load up their virtual shopping cart.
Among other disruptions, COVID-19 reversed on one of the tightest talent markets in U.S. history. Even with millions of people thrown out of work and the pandemic’s second wave advancing at full force, the country’s business fundamentals remain strong. Many economists predict the recession to be short-lived. Most industries already have overcome supply chain challenges, helped newly remote workers ramp up their productivity, and refocused on core competencies. Once the economy gets the jolt it needs, the hiring frenzy will resume. Businesses will want to make up for lost time. Once-stagnant industries such as hospitality, travel, and live entertainment, will spring to life. Businesses that flourished during the pandemic will leverage those lessons and revenue to expand and integrate.
Every aspect of business – and life in general – remains uncertain. The state and composition of the nation’s workforce is not immune from the confusion even as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the trend toward more agile workforces. As a successful venture, your company probably already has explored the ways non-traditional talent can give you the flexibility to compete in the rapidly evolving marketplace. The question in your organization likely is not whether to use or expand a contingent worker management program, but rather how to install and implement it. As this new business model surges, your company may not be equipped with or want to invest in the infrastructure and management expertise required to capitalize on the contingent workforce.
Flexibility has become a watchword in the current business and hiring climate. Businesses are encouraged to build flexibility into their talent strategies by increasing the variety of worker types they employ. By making greater use of freelancers, contract workers, and consultants in addition to traditional, full-time employees, firms become better prepared to deal with market fluctuations. This approach assumes the nature of work will change often, and companies should be able to shift their workforce to take on new challenges. Of course, the ability to pivot manufacturing, operations, marketing, and supply chain procedures is a key component of firm longevity and success. But meeting the dynamic demands of buyers, vendors, and workers also requires companies to have access to diverse skills. Hiring workers who possess many in-demand skills and developing new capabilities among employees and contingent workers allows firms to expedite refinements to their go-to-market strategies, absorb market shocks, and take advantage of emerging trends.
The concept of “work” and “career” are undergoing a major shift. The COVID-19 pandemic may have expedited this adjustment, but contingent work is an idea whose time has come. Many workers have pivoted nicely into roles as freelancers, contractors, and part-timers. Some companies, on the other hand, must adapt quickly if they are to remain competitive in the battle for talent that will re-emerge with the reopening of the U.S. economy.
Companies always have boasted that their people are their most important asset and the source of their greatest competitive advantage. And while that may be true, for much of the last decade organizations rarely were forced to compete for talent the way they fight for customers. That all began to change several years ago, as work became more technical, collaborative, and specialized. COVID-19 has temporarily eased the talent crunch, but it already is showing signs of returning as the curve flattens and more and more states reopen. To attract and keep employees and contingent workers, successful firms of the future must approach their workforce assets strategically, building their brand as talent-centric hiring organizations.