Finding talented employees for hard-to-fill positions is challenging. But it can be next to impossible for smaller businesses without much brand recognition. So how can your company compete against the big players in your industry without the right talents? The answer is you need to rethink your workforce strategy and consider the benefits of on-demand talent.
On-demand talents are non-payroll workers like freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers and contractors. These workers are an underutilized opportunity for great, talented and experienced workers that too many companies are not consider as they are focused on hiring employees. When you utilize on-demand talent, you’re able to tap into a world of experts that many times is not available to you and you also gain flexibility that the employment model cannot offer.
Here, we’ll explore five business benefits of leveraging on-demand talent.
#1: It’s Not About Replacing All Traditional Workers. It’s About Creating A Hybrid Workforce
First, let’s be clear: tapping into on demand talent isn’t about replacing your traditional employees. Some jobs are better suited for full-time employees, and you’ll likely want to keep traditional employees in these roles. Instead, it’s about creating a hybrid workforce through a blend of traditional and on-demand talent.
Now, in the post-COVID era, business leaders will need a strategic approach to managing a blended workforce of full-time employees as well as on-demand gig workers. As
35% of the US workforce is freelancing , and 45% of Gen Z is choosing to freelance. Using on-demand talent is becoming more mainstream . Most people know someone who falls under the umbrella of “on-demand talent,” either because they’re in these roles themselves or because they’re working with someone else who is.
As long as you go into the process of creating a hybrid workforce with clear intentions, you’ll increase the odds that your on-demand talent will be welcomed to your team with open arms.
#2: Using Talent On Demand Lets You Up-level The Quality Of Your Talent
As an HR professional, your traditional hiring initiatives may be limited to the small geographic area where your headquarters is based. If you’re a large enough company, you may be able to relocate employees, though the relocation rate for many workers is dwindling , due in part to the ease of accessing remote work and freelance talent.
By adopting a hybrid workforce and diversifying your search area, you immediately gain access to a larger pool of talent. It no longer matters if the right person for the job is on the other side of the world. On-demand talent arrangements let you access their expertise wherever you are.
By accessing the best talent, all the time, you can uplevel the quality of the talent you have on your roster by working with people who specialize in your areas of greatest need.
#3: On-Demand Workers Bring Specialized Skills And Knowledge
Access to specialized knowledge may be critical to a company’s competitive advantage. Further, hiring an expert often means getting a job done faster than having to train someone who’s just getting started.Traditional employees tend to have a varied skill set, as it helps them stand out to employers and take on more responsibility at work. Regular employees are taught that skill diversity is the greatest asset Conversely, many on-demand workers are taught to specialize in a particular industry or expertise. For example, you might find a content marketing writer who works exclusively with beauty companies or a graphic designer who only designs for colleges and universities. Having a specialized niche allows on-demand workers to win jobs from companies seeking their skills. It also benefits your company’s ability to fill needs like these as they arise.
Another issue is the fast pace of change for many companies. The skills and knowledge you need to access are likely always changing, and this can be challenging to keep up with. On-demand talent thrives because they keep up with industry trends and help you adapt to those changes as well.
#4: Using On-Demand Talent Frees Up Overhead
Another benefit of embracing a hybrid workforce that can’t be ignored is the potential overhead savings your company may enjoy.
First, there’s your physical space. Using on-demand talent has the potential to free up space within your office. Since space can be such a valuable commodity – especially you for small startup – adding headcount can be difficult if you don’t have space to spare. Connecting with on-demand workers allows you to scale your workforce where it counts: the external talent, not the space. Transitioning work to freelancers or contractors who maintain their own workspaces cuts your costs in terms of office furniture, office supplies, technology, food, and other expenses, which allows you to reinvest that money in the people you work with.
When coupled with the savings realized by paying for talent on a per-project basis – as well as by potentially avoiding benefits and retirement packages – this reduction in overhead costs can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
#5: On-Demand Talent Offers Accelerated Delivery
The complex requirements of most organizations makes completing every priority a challenge. At many companies, important tasks are frequently put on the backburner as resources are allocated to other needs.
Outsourcing tasks that never seem to get done allows you to focus internal resources on your core strengths and capabilities, while speeding up delivery on items that don’t fall into these categories.
Instead of waiting for a stroke of inspiration to finish these outstanding tasks, consider hiring on-demand talent to get the job done.
One-Off Projects Are Easy To Manage With On-Demand Talent
When it comes to getting work done, sometimes you don’t need a full-fledged employee. Often, companies need a specific task completed, such as designing a new logo or setting up an IT system. Instead of hiring a full-time employee, you might be better served by engaging on-demand talent to support your needs.It can be challenging to discern between a project and business as usual for many employers. Take your time and consider several factors before deciding if a project should be one-off or ongoing:Can you clearly define a specific timeline for the project?When does the project need to end?How many moving parts does the project have?Can one person do work, or will you need a team?Does outsourcing this work make sense, or should you keep it in-house?
If the project you’re considering is a better fit as a one-off engagement, using on-demand talent instead of a temporary employee may be the best approach (though you’ll still need to ensure you aren’t running afoul of any laws in your state that differentiate contractors from employees).
C-Level Executives are Already Living in the Future
Harvard Business School & BCG Researchers from Harvard Business School (HBS) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) asked over 700 business leaders about how much they estimate their organization will leverage on-demand workforce. There was a significant difference between C-level executives and frontline managers (VPs and Directors).
The main reason is tha the c-level executives are only focusing only on the opportunity. Leverging highly experienced and qualified talents to improve the company’s offering and expedite time to market hold no disadvantage.
Frontline managers, unlike the executives, are experiencing the challenge of working with freelancers and contractors. Meaning the time it takes to find a good talent, the complexity of teh digital talent platforms, the interactions with non trust worthy talents, on-borading external talent, paying each freelancer with different payment method, currency and payment cycle. The list goes on. The gig economy growing and spreading, but most companies have yet learned how to adapt to it.
The real solution for companies is to adapt their current business models and define processes so they can work with freelancers and contractors easily. The Harvard Business School’s research also points out that HR teams continue to focus solely on employees and are not taking full responsibility over the strategic workforce planning of the company. That’s why most companies do not have defined processes and tool to work better with freelancers and independent contractors.
Use Stoke To Find The Best On-Demand Talent
Building an alternative workforce can have a significant impact on your ability to grow your business. If you’re considering on-demand talent, use Stoke to create a workforce that can grow as fast as you need. Book a demo with Stoke now to discover what on-demand talent can do for your organization.