The future of work is part and parcel of a world where digital technologies help enable new business models and new ways of working that are fueled by agile processes, catalyze change on the competitive landscape and give birth to new jobs and skills requirements. That is the prism through which the future of work is analyzed.
What the new world of work will eventually look like remains to be seen. What we know already is that new technologies are leading to the emergence of new jobs and skill requirements from mobile analytics and app developers to risk architects, drone operators, wind turbine engineers and telemedicine doctors, to name a few.
These workers, with many extending beyond a business’ permanent workforce, are sourced across channels. They may be contingent, freelancers, independent contractors or provide services contracted via an outsourcing company, but they have one thing in common: They are not on your payroll.
Increasingly in today’s labor market, businesses find themselves competing for the best talent across this multi-channel workforce. Leading companies respond by treating these people as the valued contributors they are, particularly in today’s tight labor market. That not only means going through a well thought-out sourcing process to find the best talent in the market, but also onboarding them with clearly defined processes that show them a quick path to productivity and validating the contributions they make to the company.
To get there from here, companies must first determine what skills they need where. To meet your company’s goals, here are three steps to maximize the efficiency of your multi-channel workforce.
Step 1: Establish your need for external workers.
It’s a counterintuitive approach to hire a bunch of workers in rapid succession to accommodate increases in business demand, fill a new position or close a talent gap. In the world of traditional HR, that leads to rushed recruitment, wasted time and money, and new hires being forced into roles they are ill-suited to perform.
Rather, businesses should start by using the data and workforce analytics they have at their disposal to map their business needs. Depending on the business and the talent requirements, executives should ask themselves several questions when setting their strategy for staffing their multi-channel workforce: To what extent did you need to increase operational capacity in prior peak seasons? Will demand be at a similar level this time? What unique skill does R&D need? Does the team have the level of risk architecture expertise that is required, and what is the optimal amount of hours needed for a person with that skill?
Businesses also should analyze their current workforce to know their teams’ abilities and examine who can handle what duties. When all of that is mapped out, hiring managers working with HR should evaluate whether it might make better business sense to avail themselves of flexible external talent. This exercise will leave you with a good idea of what skill gaps you need to close.
Step 2: Source and onboard external workers wisely.
Now that you have a good picture of what skills you need and how that maps to your overall business requirements, you can work with procurement to source talent. Sourcing, vetting and hiring talent across the multi-channel workforce presents businesses with a number of options, and with the help of today’s cloud solutions, it can be done efficiently to help deliver agility to your business.
Here are a few sourcing tips for companies to consider, all of which can be made easier with today’s cloud solutions:
- Create fast, mobile-friendly job applications. Lengthy or cumbersome applications will turn these usually on-the-go workers away.
- Make the sourcing cycle fast and transparent. Don’t keep candidates locked down by bottlenecks in an inefficient administrative loop.
- Use HR and services procurement cloud technology to assist you with finding the best candidates and to simplify the sourcing process. The best tools can help you find the right candidates in an unbiased, effective way.
Once you’ve sourced your multi-channel workforce, the same ease and efficiency that went into the sourcing process should extend into onboarding. The intent is to onboard and train talent so they can hit the ground running and quickly begin to contribute to the business in a meaningful way. That requires acclimating, socializing and developing your multi-channel workforce with harmonized talent processes so they can fully meet your company’s needs.
Step 3: Blend multi-channel talent with permanent employees to achieve results
Increasingly, top talent does not want to be on an employer’s payroll. That said: With today’s low unemployment reports, employers must deliver a work environment in which top talent will want to work and be truly engaged. Those with skills that are in great demand can virtually write their own check and will select preferred employers for future contracts.
Finally, be sure talent is oriented and acclimated with a clear understanding of how you measure and perceive value. As your multi-channel workforce continues to grow, it is increasingly important to ensure this talent is fully onboarded and that you leverage their unique skills to meet overall business goals.