By 2020, 43% of American workers will be active participants in the on-demand economy, according to an Intuit forecast. And millennials, the largest generation represented in the workforce today, are driving this change with a reported 92% wanting to work remotely and 87% wanting to choose their own hours.
This is a fundamental shift from the traditional office jobs baby boomers wanted. So, will the world’s largest companies adapt, and what will they need to do to succeed in a world where the talent has all the power? For the companies that do adapt, the benefits are immense. But they need an internal champion who can shape the business strategies and centralize the process of procurement.
HR and staffing leaders can take a few immediate steps:
- Help the C-suite understand the importance of matching the right talent to the right problem.
- Create visibility into existing skills and gaps.
- Find a platform that can help centralize talent procurement while allowing business leaders the flexibility to hire freelance experts.
Drive urgency. Challenging the C-suite on the importance of implementing a freelance/on-demand strategy can be supported by two certainties: 1. Identifying, vetting, training and onboarding a full-time employee is expensive. 2. More importantly, everyone is limited to their skills and experience. The right person for one set of business realities or tasks is not necessarily the right person for a different set of business realities or tasks.
For the C-level, the immediate value of the on-demand work model is to plug in the right person, at the right time, to solve the right problem — all in an effort to realize revenue faster. And technology has made all of this possible with the few clicks of a button.
Provide visibility. Most global companies have limited visibility into where certain skills live and, almost more importantly, where there are gaps within the organization. Developing a successful on-demand strategy requires a crystal-clear visibility into the current and future gaps — it’s a process that HR and staffing leaders can and should be actively on today. Every company has its own approach to this.
Having this visibility, though, is invaluable; it allows external talent to complement (not compete against) full-time staff. It also promotes lean practices and allows HR to make data-driven decisions on talent. The effort to catalog internal needs and make recommendations as to external talent impact must be proactive; if reactive, its purpose is defeated.
The right tech and platform. Unlocking the benefits of the on-demand economy for Fortune 1000 companies requires a platform that brings together technology and a valuable talent network. And make sure that the quantum of talent matches the nature of business needs — from management consultants to tackle growth challenges, to finding and engaging an existing pool of retirees or alumni, to tracking and managing your existing network of contingent workers. All of this engagement should be powered by analytics functionality that helps professionals make better talent decisions.
There is no denying that traditional ways of working are changing. Technology is enabling the workforce to choose where they want to work, when they want to work and who they want to work for. This creates an opportunity to drive meaningful change at your companies. And you’ll have to make your case for change at all levels. To do this, rethink your traditional talent acquisition, management and retention strategies. And as 2020 rapidly approaches, it’s imperative that HR and staffing leaders take the steps today to future-proof themselves and their companies for tomorrow. This is HR’s time to drive transformation, and it couldn’t be more exciting. z