From a talent perspective, the secret to any successful business is having the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. But there are numerous challenges stopping this from happening.
The first is increasingly prevalent: the right skills. With technology and ways of working evolving rapidly, the half-life of skills is shrinking fast. It is estimated that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 do not even exist yet, according to a report published by Dell Technologies and the Institute For The Future (IFTF). Similarly, many of the jobs filled by people today will be automated over the next decade. There is also a massive skills shortage across most industries, particularly technology-related positions. In short, organisations are struggling to ensure they have the right skills.
Having the right people at the right time goes hand in hand because this dilemma is about workforce size. Too many people without the work and revenue to support them, and overheads are too high. Too few people, and it is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to meet project deadlines or to deliver quality customer service.
Again, this is a tricky challenge because you need the skills in place to increase workloads and revenue, but you can’t hire new talent and grow the workforce without increased revenue. It’s a Catch-22 situation and one of the reasons why corporate growth often stalls and digital transformation projects do not reach fruition.
So, if we agree that in order to grow and meet their strategic initiatives, organisations require the right people, with the right skills, at the right time, the question becomes: how do we achieve this?
One solution is to implement a ‘talent on demand’ workforce strategy – a way to increase teams and source skills for specific projects, on demand, without adding permanent costs to overheads.
On-demand talent and hybrid workforces
On-demand talent should not replace permanent employees. In a new hybrid way of working, this is one more strategy that can be implemented to meet key objectives and is linked to strategic initiatives that require the deployment of specific skills and teams.
On-demand teams are non-payrolled workers and consultants that can add value as individuals or as teams, and who bring targeted experience to a specific business challenge. Organisations that leverage this opportunity tap into capable workers at the forefront of the latest skills and business trends while simultaneously gaining the flexibility to scale their workforce up or down depending on current needs.
Here are four business benefits of leveraging on-demand talent.
1. Increase the overall skills and quality of your talent pool
One of the biggest reasons to work with on-demand talent is specialised skills. Often, these skills are required for a specific project, but the organisation does not require them beyond the project’s scope. This makes it difficult to justify the cost of permanent hires. On the other hand, when working with a managed service provider that scopes and deploys on-demand talent, you are not only bringing the correct skills on board for a project, boost in workloads, or the need to access specific knowledge, but you are accessing a wealth of experience gained across similar projects regardless of industry. These are invaluable learnings that are now brought to your business.
2. Encourage knowledge transfer
Formal qualifications are important, but most skills and institutional knowledge is learnt on the job – particularly from our peers. Once these talented individuals are inside your organisation, they transfer much of their knowledge to your employees through day-to-day interactions, increasing the overall quality of your workforce.
There are numerous studies highlighting the importance of skills diversity and how beneficial it can be to learn from different industries and sectors. Because on-demand individuals tend to be quite niche in their skill set, they work across industries and can bring this cross-sector knowledge to your business.
3. Free up overheads and match costs with revenue
Using on-demand talent can help your company save on physical space and overhead costs, such as office furniture, supplies, and technology. By working with contractors who have their own workspaces, you can reduce these expenses and reinvest the money in your employees. In addition, paying for talent on a per-project basis and potentially avoiding benefits and retirement packages can have a positive impact on your company’s finances. Partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that has access to on-demand talent can also help ensure that projects are properly scoped and talent is quickly and efficiently deployed with minimal onboarding.
4. Achieve accelerated delivery
How many priorities is your strategy currently focusing on? What about day-to-day urgencies? How many different areas do current managers need to focus on? Every business faces this challenge, and full-time employees tend to be pulled in many directions.
On-demand talent is different. It is there for one reason, and it excels at that reason. When you deploy on-demand talent, you free up your permanent employees to focus on their jobs and you have a highly focused team getting the job done, which accelerates time to delivery. Since on-demand talent is only a cost while the work is being done, once the project is over, the cost is either removed – or reassigned.
Leverage on-demand talent
To take full advantage of the on-demand workforce, companies need to move beyond ad hoc processes. This requires defining a clear strategy for engaging on-demand talent and working with a partner that understands the landscape and has a pool of onboarded talent ready to be deployed as needed. Without a strategic approach, companies risk wasting resources and missing out on the benefits of this flexible, adaptable talent pool.
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