Turning a Short-term Solution into a Long-term Strategy
Businesses have long hired contingent workers, freelancers and external consultants for a plethora of positions. These employees have predominantly been hired to complement or augment an existing workforce on a short-term basis, or for a short-term project. There is very rarely a long-game strategy in mind; workers are simply brought in to do the job in hand and then leave the role after completion with a pat on the back and a paycheque.
But work is changing. For one, the contingent workforce has continued to grow year on year, to the point that the traditional workforce ecosystem has now begun to shift into a diverse network of flexible employees, disparate talents and diverse worker needs and expectations. The immediate benefits of tapping into this system have not been lost on businesses. In Part One and Part Two, we explored the advantages of the contingent workforce in closing talent gaps, saving costs, delivering quality and decreasing the management burden. The utilisation of contingent talent here, although beneficial, still remains rather reactionary for many businesses, who are perhaps unsure as to how to embrace the contingent workforce as part of a long-term business strategy, as well as a short-term solution.
As contingent workers continue to redefine how companies build their workforce strategies, it is time to debunk the myth that the contingent workforce is precisely that: contingent. Instead, it is time to embrace a new phase of agile innovation, and discover how to turn a reactionary and static workforce model into a pro-active and durable business strategy.
STEP ONE: BUILD THE AGILE WORKFORCE
The current contingent workforce strategy is predominantly focussed upon the as-required sourcing of external talent, and not upon how this talent can then be incorporated into, and managed by, the organisation. It becomes a rather repetitive and laborious strategy for businesses to simply react to each emerging problem, demand or change of circumstance, rather than to prepare for the next one. Establishing an agile workforce model is much more concentrated upon engaging with the bigger picture, building a wide network of pre-emptive talent to leverage a diverse set of skills and expertise from a fluid and dynamic talent pool, for any project, at any time.
In a nutshell, the purpose of creating a permanent talent pool, of both internal and external workers, lies in the model’s capacity to respond much more quickly and efficiently to each arising need or problem. Businesses must consistently respond to the volatile markets and transformative technologies of the future, and the only means of remaining competitive involves the rapid engagement of critical and specialised talent to meet specific directives and priorities.
It’s a bold manoeuvre to discard the org chart and build a talent pool based on company-wide initiatives. It will mean creating more talent connections, and building fluid teams that mix both internal and external talent. This is where Talmix can help. Talmix taps into a network of over 40,000 highly-skilled professionals, in order to connect companies to the right talent that match their exact needs, on demand. It’s an easy way of accessing rich and deep talent pools instantly, on one simple platform, and without hassle. When it comes to building the agile workforce of the future, you can never have too many connections. The wider and deeper you cast your net, the better.
STEP TWO: ESTABLISH AN ALUMNI NETWORK AND EMBRACE RETURNSHIPS
In the war for talent, businesses often grossly overlook the value of maintaining relationships with former full-time or contingent employees. For organizations to get the talent they need, when they need it, creating a programme to tap into a wide pool of talent is essential, and developing a company alumni system is a low-effort, ideal building-block with which to lay the foundations of such a vital network.
Former employees should always remain part of the larger community; in an age of workforce transience, there will always be opportunities to bring back alumni to help with skill-specific projects or directives. They understand the culture of the company, they understand the role, and they require minimal training and support.
They are also valuable assets to your organisation, beyond simply offering a new talent resource. It’s important for businesses to maintain a positive relationship with its former employees, not least because they effectively serve as brand ambassadors for the company after leaving; after all, positive feedback is critical to business sustainability. Many alumni may continue to offer valuable business insight and advice, or even referrals. Some may return to the company, but with more diverse experience and expertise garnered from their interim occupations.
At Talmix, our strong global network provides immediate talent connections to businesses, on an as and when basis, but also helps to create a wider network of talent through which businesses are able to outsource their management of past, present and future acquisitions. After all, finding talent is hard, but keeping it is even harder.
To find out more, or to start building your talent pool today, visit Talmix.