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With an estimated 40 percent of the U.S. workforce engaged in contingent work before the rise of COVID-19, companies already had realized the importance of agility and access to talent. Before the outbreak, more than two-thirds of American workplaces reported that they planned to increase their use of freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors. Now, with many more organizations and workers working from home, there seems to be no turning back. More than ever, companies must embrace the possibilities of a total workforce solution that includes a variety of external workers. COVID-19 has shifted the work paradigm, both in the near term while it still continues to infect the population, and later when organizations maximize productivity by building the optimal combination of all worker types.
The state of your company’s talent strategy and pipeline as at three months ago has probably been altered dramatically. At the top of your list, you probably are looking at ways to cut costs, and limit new hires currently. In light of these circumstances, your hiring program and talent pipeline may need to be rejuvenated in preparation for when the economy gets moving again. This is why you need to put your talent pipeline rejuvenation plan into action now, before the hiring frenzy begins.
The way the world has gotten work done for decades has become highly diversified across a multitude of different sources of talent. Some work is shifting toward specialization while repetitive, rules-based work is being automated. Specialization has made work more technical and markets more targeted. And over the last several years, even the way companies acquire them have become more specialized!
In our recently released whitepaper, we discussed some of the unexpected work-from-home benefits the COVID-19 quarantine has uncovered. Now we turn to some pitfalls companies and managers must navigate in order to realize all those advantages. To get the most productivity out of employees, companies should avoid making these mistakes.
With record numbers of Americans filing for unemployment insurance and many companies and public entities placing a moratorium on hiring, the once-tight labor market is suddenly overloaded with quality applicants. Stronger competition and fewer jobs make for tough sledding for recently displaced workers, but that is no reason to give up. There are plenty of companies who will survive and even flourish during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative work arrangements, emerging industries, and government supports will provide ample opportunities for workers with the right skill sets and those who take the right approach to their job search.
As the business community comes to grips with Coronavirus (COVID-19), they are altering the way work gets done. Your company probably has implemented hygiene standards throughout your operations and expanded work-from-home functionality for as many staff members as possible so workers can practice crucial social distancing. Your people’s health is the top priority. But while containing the spread of the virus and exhibiting compassion for those affected, firms still must maintain supply chains, deliver outputs, and service their customers.
As the nature of work evolves, businesses struggle to transform. They face an existential challenge as digitization continues alter the way people work, how labor and jobs are defined, and how workers are recruited and employed.
With the United States flirting with full employment, many cutting-edge companies are turning to consultants, freelancers, and other contingent workers to meet the skills shortages they face. Employing a significant percentage of non-employee workers can build in the flexibility and scalability that companies need in order to compete in today’s competitive environment. Using non-traditional workers and building a pool of outside talent gives your company a jumpstart when you need to quickly increase production, launch a new product, create a new marketing plan, write custom software, or complete any other project that requires specialized skills.
Companies are forced to toe a fine line when trying to motivate their contingent workforces. On one side, labor laws prohibit organizations from treating freelancers and independent contractors the same way they treat salaried and hourly full-time workers when it comes to benefits, payment, and control over how the work gets done. On the other side, psychologists and human resources professionals advise firms to do everything in their power to make contingent workers feel welcome and part of the team by erasing the distinction between internal and external workers.
The convergence of interactive talent engagement tools with a shift in worker mindset has created opportunities for companies to acquire critical project skills more easily and expeditiously. As the preference for on-demand talent spreads across industries, companies must adjust to the new workforce paradigm or be trampled on the battlefield for workers possessing the specialized skills needed to survive the competitive business climate.