Person wearing VR headset and testing equipment

With workforce disruption everywhere and change constant, how can businesses react?

A roundup of Guidant Global’s recent client innovation day

The world of work is shifting, and businesses are having to continually adapt to meet the demands of the future. However, with so much disruption and uncertainty, it’s difficult for business leaders to know where to start.

That’s where we come in – as a trusted workforce solutions partner, we help organisations take a balanced, considered approach to navigating and preparing for the future of work.

Guidant Global recently hosted an innovation day for our UK-based clients to explore some of the most innovative approaches to managing an expanded workforce. The session was well-received with all attendees stating that it met or exceeded their expectations, and the opportunity to attend future related events would be welcome.

Here’s a roundup of the day:

The workforce outlook for 2020: Julia Robertson, CEO of Impellam

At a macro level there are three forces driving disruption in the world of work: technology, globalisation and demographics. But we are only just starting to understand their potential impact.

As the recruitment industry embraces smart automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other transformative technologies, we can expect many tasks across our industry to be automated. As a result, recruiters will be freed up to focus more on service-oriented tasks and delivering a more consultative approach.

Today, technology is arguably just as important as people, and technology needs to be well harnessed so that people’s time is freed up to make human connections and nurture relationships. Across Impellam, for example, we are driving innovation not just through technology but by enabling and investing in our people.

How can organisations respond to the disruptive forces changing the world of work?

  • Take a balanced approach
    Focus more on augmenting people’s roles with technology rather than driving displacement. Harness human skills such as creativity, empathy and ethics alongside digital skills.
  • Act now
    Companies that understand and act on these workforce changes now will have the skills, organisational motivation and adaptability to thrive in the future.
  • Focus on managing an expanded workforce
    Rethink your approach to talent mobility, HR/talent acquisition, employee motivation, recruiting, training and long-term skills development.

Transforming outdated training practices through VR technology: Vinh Ly, Co-founder and Head of Tech and Hannah Sutcliffe, Co-founder and Relationship Manager at MOONHUB

In order to maximise potential for innovation, businesses need to establish a culture that enhances innovative behaviours – one that will encourage flexibility, creativity and support risk-taking. But with 68% of employees have changed jobs because of a lack of learning and development opportunities, how can employers train their people in a more engaging and effective way? Virtual reality (VR) technology providers such as MOONHUB modernise the way we learn. By creating VR interactive training scenarios, teams can enhance their skills, retain more knowledge and get a better understanding of situations and therefore, make faster decisions. Enabling employees to learn through innovation creates a more productive, proactive and responsive workforce.

The future of recruitment: Russell Beck, Director of Inspiration at ImagineThinkDo

Justin Trudeau once said, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.” This couldn’t be more relevant to the recruitment industry. So what changes are we seeing and what do these all mean for the workforce?

  • Globalisation is intensifying the competition for talent
    As businesses look to scale and operate in new regions, competition increases for everyone – for businesses, employees and customers alike. Competition for talent will be global and workers will, inevitably, need to be considered on a global basis.
  • Talent shortages are growing more acute for all businesses, in all regions
    We are experiencing unprecedented levels of low unemployment and demand for talent is outstripping supply. McKinsey suggests that US companies may not be able to fill one in ten roles they need.
    A clear employer value proposition (EVP) helps businesses to attract and retain top talent. This needs to include tangible rewards, a clear representation of what its like to work at a company, the way its leadership helps employees, and the purpose of the work.
    If a business’ EVP is truly stronger than the competitions’, it has a far greater chance of attracting and retaining the best talent.
  • The multi-generational workforce is encouraging businesses to look beyond difference
    For the first time, in one workplace we have: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials/Generation Y and Generation Z/Generation 2020.
    As the workplace becomes more diverse, not only in terms of generations but also other attributes, businesses need to address the demands of managing across age groups.
    To better engage today’s multi-generational workforce, businesses need to look beyond the differences in generational perspectives and arrive at areas of shared need.
    Flexibility and collaborative working are two key themes here, supplemented by technology that brings these needs to fruition.

Managing on-demand talent through technology: Jonny Dunning, CEO of TalonFMS

To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace”. Doug Conant

Businesses no longer only rely on permanent employees and agency temps/contractors but are tapping into on-demand talent to access a wide spectrum of skills — from plumbers and carpenters to coders and consultants.

Today, the on-demand workforce makes up 25% of the global workforce and is forecast to make up 50% by 2027. This on-demand workforce presents huge opportunities for businesses, enabling them to reach new talent and access niche skillsets, and engage with workers in different ways.

As the workforce of the future becomes more flexible, employers need to mirror this trend if they want to utilise this workforce and retain the talent they need. Utilising on-demand talent isn’t without its potential challenges, particularly when it comes to compliance (IR35, for example).

However, having the right technology — such as TalonFMS, an on-demand workforce management systems platform, can enable businesses to make more strategic decisions and best utilise their resources.

Using data intelligence and predictive analytics to design strategic workforce plans: Beth Przywara, VP Consulting & Analytics at Guidant Global

Talent analytics is a hot topic right now. To tackle skills shortages head-on, the most forward-looking businesses are engaging with strategic workforce planning to ensure they have the resources in place to deliver long term business goals.

A big part of strategic workforce planning is predictive business analytics and data-driven insights — both of which are powering innovative approaches to today’s most complex talent challenges.

Historically, managed services programs have focused on cost savings and tactical execution. But in recent times, their emphasis has expanded to an updated model based on data gathering, analytics, and joint strategic decision making in partnership with the client.

Today, businesses expect their MSPs and RPOs to evaluate the historic and real-time performance of recruitment suppliers. They also expect them to analyse large amounts of complex internal workforce data, combining these insights with external labour market knowledge.

This enables proactive MSP providers to predict future talent supply and drive high-quality talent acquisition. To maximise success, the push toward predictive models and demand forecasting requires data sharing and collaboration across the entire supply chain - not just between the client and the MSP.

In line with this, we showcased Guidant Global’s new supplier performance analytics portal. VISION is an interactive decision support system which aggregates supplier data across multiple quarters to enhance supplier partnerships and drive greater levels of programme insight.

How equality, diversity and inclusion can drive innovation: Sarah Ramsden, Managing Consultant at The Clear Company

Diversity is a key driver of innovation and a critical component of being successful on a global scale. A diverse set of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds is crucial to innovation and the development of new ideas.

  • 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers
  • Racially and ethnically diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35%
  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile

Crucially, a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is NOT about lowering the bar, it’s about finding the best people, removing barriers and biases and welcoming everyone. 

A simple tip to drive more innovative and diverse thought within an organisation is for leaders to simply ask others within the organisation to express their opinions first. For example, in a team meeting, consider saying ‘I have a view, but I want to hear yours first’ as a simple means of driving more inclusive debate.

Simple tips for creating a truly diverse organisation:

  • Find out where the barriers lie
  • Be honest with yourself and with your employees
  • Think ‘commercial benefit’ not ‘the right thing to do’
  • See diversity and inclusion as a change management programme

Charlotte Woodward, Director of People Services EMEA at Guidant Global also shared details of our own employee INfluence programme, which is driving inclusion and cultural change from the inside out of our organisation. At Guidant we strongly believe that developing a culture of inclusion creates more meaningful work and drives better business results.

How digital staffing platforms are changing the recruitment industry: Oliver Crofton, MD of Flexy

Flexy is an AI-powered staffing platform at the forefront of innovation within the recruitment industry.

This Impellam-owned platform was designed and built by a team of psychologists, recruitment experts, and digital architects to facilitate fast, meaningful connections between employers looking for flexible labour and individuals seeking flexible shift work.

On registering with the app, potential workers are asked to complete a quick personality test which allows them to be job matched with suitable opportunities and employers in their chosen location. It’s used to match people with shift work across a wide array of job categories including retail, hospitality, warehousing, cleaning, customer service, office and promotional roles.

Machine learning and nudge theory further improve the candidate matching process, while the recommendation engine makes it easy for users of the platform to get what they need quickly and explicitly.

How Flexy works for employers:

  1. Employers sign up for Flexy and can post a job in minutes
  2. The software reviews job and auto-sifts through the Flexy database to find the best possible matches
  3. Suitable candidates will be scheduled for the job. Employer can review their profiles for final approval.
  4. Once the shift is complete, Flexy manages payroll and employment paperwork, with the employer receiving one simple, easy to manage invoice.

As start-ups like Flexy continue to disrupt the traditional staffing sector, we believe the way forward for employers, candidates and recruiters alike is to embrace this opportunity for change, act boldly while still retaining our people focus.

Want to better understand the changing world of work? Download your free guide to this year’s global talent trends. Click here to get your copy.

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