On-demand. These words have been springing up everywhere, in practically every aspect of our lives. There’s on-demand music and movies, on-demand deliveries and transportation, even on-demand healthcare. Our lives have been completely changed by this Just-In-Time concept of ‘use-when-you-want-it’. Even B2B industries are engaging on-demand hires to help businesses run lean while ensuring smooth operations. The rapid growth of the “on-demand” economy has progressed into new ways of doing business - and working.
The global workforce is evolving quickly, exacerbated by the dreaded Covid-19 virus which is showing no signs of abating. More companies have been forced to conduct their businesses remotely, and the world is finally relenting towards remote working. In a McKinsey Global Institute workforce skills executive survey of more than 3,000 business leaders in seven countries, 61 percent said that hiring temporary employees was the most important to their organizations when asked about what types of labor they were planning on using most in the future.
While the future remains uncertain for most businesses, the upward trend of on-demand recruiting with an emphasis on agility is offering a slight glimpse into what the future of work is starting to look like. We highlight 5 questions to help you decide if on-demand recruiting is for you.
Digitalization, automation, and circumstances beyond the control of an organization can give rise to unpredictable hiring requirements. Startups or companies experiencing sudden fast growth may also seek flexible recruiting solutions. While digitally-skilled employees are needed to move with the times, an unprecedented event such as Covid-19 can throw a sudden curve ball and cause hiring freezes or even layoffs. The process of hiring and layoffs can be costly when you take into account the time and expenses involved for training and retraining, employment and release packages, or simply not being able to find the right person for the job. On the contrary, on-demand talents offer more than a stop-gap measure for resolving chronic recruitment problems. These independent contractors have clear expectations about the job, project timelines, how they will be paid or even secondment options if the organization chooses to retain them as in-house talents. More often than not, these talents possess the aptitude, tenacity and skill sets necessary to help the organization navigate through uncertain times.
Hiring takes anywhere from a few days to months. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports an average time to fill a role of 36 days. Considering that the best candidates are usually off the market within 10 days, recruiting for the right in-house candidates may not be fast enough to fill urgent roles or ad hoc projects to meet the demands of a fast-changing market. On-demand arrangements with digital talent platforms can facilitate and shorten the arduous process to deliver the right help at the right time.
In Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends study, the use of alternative labor is spreading beyond just the IT function. Today’s on-demand workers perform a wide range of activities from IT, operations, marketing to research and development. When in-house expertise is lacking, on-demand recruitment can provide an effective solution in closing skill gaps and bring a much-needed ‘outside-in’ lens to the current team.
Good talents don’t come cheap. But if you think about the potential overhead savings that come from embracing a hybrid workforce, skilled on-demand talents can be a more viable and affordable option compared to permanent hires. Utilizing on-demand (and often remote) talents free up physical office space. For smaller startups that have limited office space, on-demand talents who are able to work remotely help keep operating costs down in terms of office furniture, supplies, employment benefits and other expenses. As on-demand talents are paid on-project basis, the savings in overhead costs can be substantial for an organization’s bottom line.
Leaders and key managers often get caught up with time-consuming tasks that may cause them to put strategic work on hold. In today’s ever-evolving economy, speed is key for fast moving organizations. Outsourcing work to the right help on-demand will free up internal resources for accelerated business delivery.
‘On-demand’ looks set to take up permanent residency in our lives and workplaces. The key to making on-demand recruitment work is to carefully integrate it into the organization’s current workforce. Organizations need to be mindful of differences in work cultures, diversity, trust and inclusion from both sides of the fence. Instead of seeing on-demand talents as a stop-gap human resource measure, start seeing them as a plug-play component that when integrated well into the organization’s circuit board, will spur time to market and power business growth.
There’s a better way to grow. And it’s not the traditional way.
It’s about rethinking traditional employment archetypes. Can we progress from an economy built on full time employment habitually enslaved by unemployment fears, to one where individuals have greater autonomy and are self motivated to do work that inspires them? And as a result, benefit the economy as a whole?
You can’t own full time employees. But you can build a winning team with talent management companies. As businesses demand more, external talents are emerging as the sure forerunners of an agile workforce. At Chance Upon, we partner businesses to get a head start over competition by creating collaborative work between companies and the right talents.
Jacques Bughin, Eric Hazan, Susan Lund, Peter Dahlstrom, Anna Wiesinger, and Amresh Subramaniam Skill shift: Automation and the future or the workforce, Mckinsey Global Institute Discussion Paper, (23 May 2018)
Fuller, J., Raman, M., Bailey A., Vaduganathan N., et al, Building the on-demand workforce, Published by Harvard Business School and BCG, (Nov 2020)
Roy Maurer, Recruiting is tougher in 2019, SHRM (22 Feb 2019)
Talent Aquisition Benchmarking Report, SHRM, (2017)
Leading the social enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus, Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, (2019)