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How To Take Advantage Of The Growing Agile Workforce

In the last few years, the job market has drastically changed, in large part due to the rapid growth of the ‘agile workforce.’  The agile workforce, which consists of temporary, contract, and freelance employees, gives flexibility to both employers and employees who want to maximize their potential.  And as quickly as the workforce has changed in recent years, predictions indicate that the agile workforce will continue to grow.  According to a recent study, 68% of employers agree that by 2025, the majority of the workforce will be employed in an agile, temporary, or contract arrangement.  Additionally, employers are taking steps to make that a reality; employer commitment to building an agile workforce has increased by 155% in the last four years.

While it may feel like 2025 is still far away or that perhaps temporary employment is not a strategy for your organization, remember that talented employees also see the benefits in this type of employment arrangement.  Temporary or freelance employment can allow the employee to take more control over their career; by changing jobs more often, they can develop their skills faster and increase their career potential.  Additionally, they are able to create a more flexible working arrangement for themselves.  According to our 2017 Hiring Outlook, employees highly value flexibility in the workplace.  In a temporary or contract position, workers can be more in control over which jobs they take, when they take time off, and potentially even where they do their work.

With all of these benefits, employers may risk missing out on top talent if they don’t embrace the agile workforce.  If you’re looking to adapt to the needs of temporary job seekers in order to take advantage of this talent pool, start taking steps in these areas:

Flexibility

The nature of the agile workforce implies flexibility within these types of work arrangements, and therefore, it is crucial that employers embrace that concept.  Employees who are working in a temporary, contract, or freelance arrangement are typically moving a mile a minute, and you must be able to meet their needs if you want to utilize their talent.  This means being flexible in terms of where and when the employee completes their work as well as being more malleable to the requests of each employee, especially since they’ve earned your trust.  This may require you to alter the job title or pay of a position, or perhaps change the start or end date of the assignment to accommodate their schedule.

Efficiency

As the agile workforce grows, you may see your temporary and full-time employees working alongside each other to accomplish their goals together. When this workplace collaboration occurs, it is crucial that your temporary employees are up to speed so that they can hit the ground running on their first day.  As a result, you must be sure that your onboarding process for your temporary employees is efficient enough to get them going right away.  Additionally, your full-time employees must be ready to collaborate at a similar pace in order to make the best use of a temporary employee; this collaboration is imperative to the success of an agile workforce strategy.

Streamlined hiring process

The most talented temporary, freelance, or contract employees are usually quite busy, and often might have to turn interested employers away.  As a result, an employer with a slower hiring process will most likely lose out on the talented professionals that are in the highest demand.  When a temporary employee does not know where their next paycheck is coming from, they will go with the company that has their ducks in a row and gives them an offer quickly.  In order to be sure that you can have a chance with these professionals, be sure that you are timely in your responses, cut down on your interview rounds, and make better offers up front to cut down on negotiations.

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