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Managing Freelance, Flexi, Full-Time and Everything in Between

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In a talent-short market, candidates have the power to decide how, where and when they want to work.

This isn’t just a Millennial thing, it’s a multi-generational shift that’s about people realising the importance of a work-life balance and the value they can add when given the freedom to work in a way that works for them.

Organisations that embrace agile talent are also reaping the benefits when you add in the ability to:

  • Scale operations up or down as needed
  • Gain access to specialised experts for a short period of time
  • Lower costs for physical space (especially with remote working arrangements)
  • Embrace outside thinking beyond inherent ideas and approaches

The on-demand economy is booming

Data from the annual Freelancing in America 2018 report shows that by 2027 the majority of workers in the U.S. will be engaged as contingent employees. According to a report by the Centre for Future Work, in Australia, already less than half of all employees are in permanent full-time jobs.

The change is already happening.

The challenge is managing the growing mix of employment types in one workplace while maintaining a positive culture and building a team that will come on the journey with your business.

How can talent acquisition and recruitment managers juggle the various requirements and traits that come with the many different types of employment agreements that we now see?

7 ways to make an agile workforce work for your business

  1. Address traditional mindsets – the idea of work being handled remotely can be a hurdle. “How do I manage my team when they’re not physically around? How can I be sure they’re productive? What about social isolation?” Help your business understand that seasoned specialists can be productive regardless of their location, and that a wider range of roles can bring diversity, new perspectives, and innovation to the business.
  2. Get strategic alignment - often a blended workforce will come about somewhat accidentally when resources need “topping up”. Rather than stumbling into it in this way, recognize the opportunity and form a strategy.
  3. Survey your own employees – ask about the types of workplace flexibility that matter to them, and then develop fair and flexible working policies.
  4. Understand freelancer psychology - the vast majority of freelancers have taken on that role by choice. They value flexibility, diversity, and autonomy over a "stable income." At the same time, a blended approach also includes mothers getting back into the workforce, fathers spending more time at home, retirees willing to mentor, and recipients of redundancy looking for project-based income. Prior to offering a contract or project ask, “What are the conditions required for you to do your best work?”
  5. Understand legalities – a blended workforce means you need to think about different legal aspects too. Get ahead of the game by addressing guidelines about worker classifications, written contracts, and agreement nuances before you start hiring.
  6. Find the talent you need for your strategy - if you’re going to use agile talent in different departments, monitor how your usual talent attraction tactics work. Ask your network for referrals. Online sites with established communities of contingent/freelance professionals, such as LinkedIn and UpWork, can simplify the search process.
  7. Test drive your recruitment process - tackle complexities and challenges head-on. Issues such as integrating remote workers, maintaining company culture, and ensuring security over company data (to name but a few) can all be overcome by having processes in place to guarantee a robust recruitment journey. Set clear expectations and strong communication directives.

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