Supply chain management has greatly improved the health and efficiency of many companies, but is no longer a technique to bolster competitive advantage – it’s now simply a must-have to compete at all. In searching for new ways to streamline workflows and hedge for risk, many employers need to rethink their workforces as a strategic tool.
Workers today are very attracted to the gig economy, valuing the flexibility it brings to work. Even the best talent now strive for independence. Employers must reevaluate how to structure projects to appeal to these individuals and benefit from their skills. There lies the need for an on-demand workforce: flexible strategy allows businesses to scale based on need and provides workers with the project-based flexibility they desire.
There are a lot of questions to consider regarding on-demand workers – regular management is complicated enough. Fortunately, talent management technology enables employers to easily realign their workforce strategies to reduce inefficiencies, save on overhead expenses, and create more productive teams. When managed properly, an on-demand workforce can become an integral part of an optimal staffing strategy. Key ways your business can benefit:
Locating the right person for a job is often a hiring manager’s greatest struggle. While full-time employees are usually well-qualified, it can be a long, drawn-out process to find and onboard them. Those who embrace remote and flexible workers see benefits beyond just a skill set. The vast majority of hiring managers agreed that essential skills and work ethic were of high importance in a new hire’s success.
Software platforms feature numerous tools to make the hiring process more strategic and efficient. Some will suggest job matches for you; others provide a talent marketplace, which is like a visual library of potential workers. These attract qualified candidates who can be identified through a number of means. Many have the functions to filter based on specific qualities and keywords, to sort by certain collections of skills, or to observe based on previous ratings and feedback. The software interface makes it easy to identify, then select the most appropriate person for scheduling. Talent must showcase well and prove their worth, otherwise, someone better will be selected, so the best rise to the top.
Utilizing on-demand talent also saves managers considerable time. It’s more than twice as fast to find a freelancer and have them start contributing versus a full-time employee. Following a great (or poor) experience with a flexible worker, the company can flag that person for the future, saving additional search time when the skill-based need arises again. Flexible staffing eliminates the cost of maintaining unnecessary staff because the number of people working at any given time is dependent on the flow of business. When the marketplace is opened up remotely, geographic limitations disappear and the more diverse candidates can be found with greater ease and speed, leading to better client satisfaction.
“65% of companies surveyed said they expect flexible workers, contingent workers, and project-based workers will take over a significant amount of the work currently being done by full-time employees
— Staffing Industry Analysts, Cielo Talent Acquisition 360 Study
Workers have often been tracked through a disconnected network of complicated Excel sheets and collections of paperwork. It’s no surprise then that many people shy away from hiring nontraditional workers because they do not know how to manage them effectively, especially in addition to existing employees. Fortunately, nearly all management-related concerns can be controlled, and optimized, through a centralized interface.
When communication with on-demand workers is a concern, there is a whole range of capabilities. From direct message updating to attaching notes to tasks to providing feedback, communication can occur at any stage of a relationship. If physical location matters, GPS verification proves the worker is where they are supposed to be.
Automation of generally tedious, manual tasks frees up managers to focus on more important work. From scheduling to payroll, simplified functions enable managers to make quicker, smarter decisions. Systems can remember information, like worker availability in scheduling, and use it to make data-based suggestions. Task management tools show who was assigned to which jobs and analytic metrics show how productive – or unproductive – they were. With metrics like ROI, a manager can better trust the decision to employ any worker and take action as soon as necessary.
A manager can better measure the effectiveness of a worker through reports. These can be generated instantly, on a wide range of factors, from team composition to productivity. Based on budget reports, a manager can determine where to hire flexible workers versus full-time staff. From productivity reports, a manager can determine who to utilize on a future project. Reporting enables smarter decisions about who is working where and when, which, in turn, cuts costs for the company and drives competitive advantage. As technology grows smarter with experience, machine learning and simulation functionality will provide HR managers with additional insights on how to optimize their multichannel staffing strategy.
Compensation and Compliance
Managers are concerned about their ROI. Workers are concerned about their income. With payment management tools, neither side needs to worry about compensation-related risks often associated with freelancers.
Integrated payment software streamlines the payroll process. As timesheets and reimbursement requests are submitted virtually, appropriate payment can be sent automatically. Managers can then run an ROI analysis to determine that worker’s productivity and make a decision regarding their future relationship. This eliminates time and funds lost in the drawn-out hiring process for a traditional employee and the sometimes imprecise search for a contractor.
Compliance with labor laws can get rather complicated with local, state, and federal policies all converging upon a singular worker’s status. Talent management software can handles that by determining employment status and classifying the compensation accordingly. As needed or desired, the services also manage other compensation, like benefits and healthcare.
With workforce software like AllWork, managers can easily view all talent-related business activity in one place, and then use the information to optimize their workforce. By incorporating on-demand and flexible workers, they learn to staff strategically – the new key to building modern competitive advantage.
In a time where many managers face major skill gaps and struggle to hire qualified workers, companies can utilize nontraditional talent to meet their needs. They can save money and boost productivity by scaling their workforces in accordance with new insights provided by a streamlined system. Smart managers must learn how to adjust their people to their business, versus the other way around.