Contractors in the U.S. workforce will Grow

Today 36% of the U.S. workforce is contingent, and it’s expected to reach 43% by 2020. As the caliber of freelance talent increases and the process for dealing with external workers improves, HR professionals will look to hire a diverse mix of people on an affordable, ad hoc basis.

 

Digital disruption is forcing companies to think about talent in radically new ways.

Even the longest-lived brands are finding that new technologies and changing consumer preferences have compelled them to access talent in ways that were unrecognizable a decade ago. Companies will not succeed in today’s rapidly changing business environment if they rely solely on the relatively small number of people who happen to wear a company’s employee badge.

Companies must now focus less on the fixed supply of in-house people and more on the capabilities they need to get work done. Those that are able to easily access and manage skilled, independent workers will be able to unleash fresh energy and thinking inside their organizations.

The agile workforce is emerging

Aneesh Lele, portfolio director at ThoughtWorks, says: “… customer expectations, competitive threats and tighter supply chains mandate actions driven by fast, constant feedback…” Organizations are rethinking the way they respond to changes in the market. Companies are beginning to assemble nimble, fast-moving teams that can stay one step ahead of the consumer, completing work faster and more efficiently.

Millennials will envision a new model

By 2020, Millennials will account for more than half of the U.S. workforce. The generation that grew up with the internet will begin to view on-site, full-time work as antiquated. The millennial workforce will push companies to adopt new technologies, hiring models and workplace policies.

Advantages of Future of Work

The company of the future is shaping up to look less like it does today and more like a creative network of talent. As freelance platforms like BluMatter continue to become widely adopted, many of these trends will begin to accelerate, empowering companies to scale external expertise and manage an agile workforce using an efficient and lower cost model.

Going forward, employers should incorporate contingent workers into their talent strategies. Finding strong evidence that incorporating contingent talent offers several advantages, including:

  • Cost flexibility: Not only can organizations derive a cost savings from adjusting staff sizes up and down based on business requirements, but they are also able to control the wages paid for particular tasks by using contingent talent on a project basis.
  • Speed and agility: Talent needs can change on a dime. New technology or new competitors can expose talent gaps in any organization. Employing a contingent talent strategy enables a company to access the right talent to meet specific skill or competitive challenges quickly, without incurring longer-term costs or disrupting the organization. “Virtual talent” is much easier to find than it was even a few years ago, and can be brought onboard rapidly.
  • A boost to innovation: Contingent talent brings in new knowledge and fresh ideas based on experiences outside of the company or even the industry. Companies that have programs or processes in place to facilitate knowledge and expertise transfer from contingent workers to full-time workers capture that knowledge on a permanent basis. If contingent workers’ roles involve moving across the organization, they can also share best practices across organizational boundaries more easily than do internal employees.

 

Contingent On-Demand workforce bring unique experiences, fresh thinking, and new approaches to problem-solving. Today, the growing contingent workforce provides opportunities for talent-hungry corporations.

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