People and businesses want new ways to get work done. Not everyone wants to work as a full-time, permanent employee, and organisations don’t always want that either. Contract, temporary, freelance, gig, on-demand and platform working are all on the rise, as businesses and people look for choice and flexibility to help them withstand less predictable futures.
In today’s tight labour market, with an historic low of 1.6 jobseekers per job vacancy, companies need to better understand how people want to work, and meet them where they are, with what they want. Our research found that nearly half of workers prefer something other than a full-time job. This might still the most popular way of working today, but demand for alternative work models is growing. Organisations that want to attract in-demand talent must reconsider their strategic workforce plan, to ensure they effectively harness the way workers will want to work in the years ahead.
Here are five ways that employers can better harness non-traditional employment models as part of their total workforce mix:
- Do Not Take A ‘One Size Fits All’ Approach
There isn’t one single alternative to full-time permanent employment. There are a wide range of alternative ways of working, and different candidates will have different preferences. This means a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not yield the best results. Instead, through Total Talent Management, employers should look to create the complete workforce visibility that will enable them to more easily engage with workers across multiple employment types.
- Create More Flexibility In Full-Time Positions
Most workers who prefer less traditional employment models choose to work in this way because it gives them more flexibility. They’re willing to exchange job security for better work/life balance, more flexible hours, and the opportunity to choose their own projects. If non-traditional employment models aren’t the right choice for your business, it would make good sense to look for ways to provide additional flexibility to full-time positions. This would make these roles more appealing to workers who have previously only had the option of pursuing non-traditional employment models to get what they want.
- Prioritise Advancement and Upskilling
Organisations typically invest most (if not all) of their training budget into development for permanent employees. Yet contractors, gig workers and project workers also regard advancement and upskilling to be a top priority. Offer development opportunities to non-permanent employees, and they’re likely to be a more engaged worker that can deliver better results and enhanced productivity. It can also make your company more attractive to new recruits, too.
- Start Networking
People who prefer less traditional forms of employment tend to search for job opportunities differently than their permanently employed counterparts. Hiring practices for these types of roles tends to be less formal, with networking and personal introductions playing a key role in connecting employee to employer. They may not visit your company website, browse online job boards, or interact with your social advertising in the same way as permanent workers. Organisations that leverage these less formal outreach methods will find themselves more able to engage with in-demand talent.
- Align HR and Procurement
In most organisations, HR is responsible for managing permanent employees, while non-permanent workers are managed by Procurement. This disconnect between HR and procurement often means the workforce is managed in silos, making it incredibly difficult for organisations to make strategic choices about acquiring talent and maintain control across multiple employment models. Strong collaboration is required between HR and procurement, to ensure that securing the best talent is prioritised over internal definitions, labels and reporting lines.
Organisations that embrace non-traditional employment models today will be better positioned to attract and retain in-demand talent in the future. Effective workforce planning needs to account for the ways in which people want to work, and it’s clear that this is changing. Alternative workforce models are a choice, not a last resort, for workers around the globe.
To learn more about the growth of alternative employment models, and what this means for your workforce strategy, we invite you to download our whitepaper How we Want To Work: What Employers Need To Know About Candidate Work Model Preferences.