Never before has the future of work been so uncertain. Prior to the pandemic organisations worldwide were facing challenges attracting and managing ever-changing and diverse talent pools. With the growth in reliance on contingent and external workers, multiple generations engaging with a business, digitalisation and an increasingly remote workforce, change is most certainly the new normal. The global pandemic has accelerated this significantly.
But as we’ve said before, change isn’t a negative – in fact it a strong catalyst for improvement.
The challenge for business leaders, HR and procurement teams lies in how to effectively future proof their workforce when what lies ahead is so uncertain. But those that can achieve a future proofed workforce will find they have the high performing teams in place to set the company on the best path to growth.
Here’s our tips on how to future proof the workforce:
- Staffing for the future: We’ve already mentioned the challenge of predicting what will happen the coming months and year, but there are tools to help businesses best prepare. Predictive analytics, for example, are hugely valuable in identifying where skills gaps may emerge. Using data and software to generate workforce insights can identify when team members are likely to make a career move or contract work is set to end, through to what roles are likely required in higher numbers, allowing you to pipeline the required talent well in advance.
- Define your EVP: An employer value proposition that is fit for the ‘real world’ is crucial. Having an employer brand that appeals to the right audience will be a critical step in future proofing your workforce – and it will need to be regularly reviewed to stay relevant. As a case in point, we are moving towards a greater representation of millennials in the business world. We know that this demographic places a real emphasis on meaning and purpose in their work over remuneration. An EVP needs to reflect this if it is to be future fit.
- Refine remote management: Recruiting and managing a highly remote workforce is arguably the greatest trend that Covid-19 has accelerated. With technology a key tool for the remote workforce, digitalisation has certainly been a key focus for this year. But as we move forward and plan for a remote future, it’s important that businesses refine the technology that’s been integrated. Beyond the tools to allow people to work remotely, managing teams and the flow of the external workforce will see cloud talent platforms play an increasingly important role. Ensuring your business has the knowledge to manage these, or partners with an expert that can help guide you will pay dividends. At Guidant Global, for example, we use OpenBlend to ensure people engage in effective, meaningful and regular one-to-ones. While one-to-ones often work better in a face-to-face setting, the philosophy that underpins the platform enables remote one-to-ones to be effective, too.
- Collaboration: For HR and procurement teams, collaboration has never before been so crucial for future-proof talent strategies. As global, remote and contingent working becomes the norm, there needs to be clarity around who is managing each segment of the workforce, with complete collection and transparency of data for each segment.
- Services procurement under a managed solution: With reliance on service providers set to increase, businesses need to effectively manage this segment in order to make it work for them. Our services procurement guide provides more detail on how to boost ROI from your hidden workforce, but in the first instance having visibility is key. There’s a wealth of research that suggests that services providers are often left unmanaged which can lead to a disjointed and inefficient process that doesn’t deliver the right results. Controlling this through a Managed Services Provider (MSP), though, can deliver many benefits, from cost saving to increased compliance.
While the above tips will certainly help guide businesses in future proofing their workforce, for those engaging with contingent talent at scale, having an MSP on board to ensure you are getting the most out of your external workforce is quite frankly a must. Find out more about how a managed service solution could benefit your business in our handbook.
Future-proofing the workforce with total talent management
While there is never a one size fits all solution to effectively managing workforces, when it comes to future proofing businesses there is one direction that many HR and procurement teams seem to be heading: total talent management (TTM). Agility is crucial in an uncertain environment and ensuring that your workforce plans are adapted to encompass the full range of skills sources – from full-time employees to external talent and the hidden workforce – is a must. As more employers recognise the value that this mixed make-up of skill sets can have, total talent management is increasingly being embraced. Those firms that are serious about future-proofing their business will increasingly, in our view, explore TTM.