By Robert Worley, Product Marketing Manager for Catalant
Published on November 5, 2020
As business leaders turn their focus to 2021, they’re taking a harder look at being more flexible in workforce planning. The pandemic has forced many organizations to make difficult decisions about the work that they do and the people they need to get that work done, and as a result they’re working with leaner teams. But the most important work must continue, and in order to cover capability and capacity gaps, leaders need more flexibility in the ways they’re able to find the right people for the job.
Increasingly they’re turning to external talent to help. Companies are becoming more comfortable with contingent work, with a recent McKinsey study reporting that 71% of executives saying they planned to rely more heavily on contingent workers in the next few years. And a recent survey highlighted in a Harvard Business Review article reported that 90% of corporate leaders believe that platforms for highly skilled workers will be core to their ability to compete in the future.
One of the best ways to start to build a variable workforce is by accessing on-demand expertise in the Catalant Expert Marketplace, which provides enterprises an efficient, scalable way to find the right independent expert or firm for strategic work.
What Rosters Are and How They Work
In the Expert Marketplace, Expert Rosters help initiative owners more easily scale external support up and down as their needs change. With Rosters, you can save any expert in the platform to a list that you and others in your organization can use to find the right expertise at any point in the cycle of work. As you move through the expert engagement process, you may interview multiple experts — ultimately choosing the right one for your project. Rosters are a great way to keep additional experts who are a good fit on your bench, ready for you to put in play if your needs change.
How Rosters Accelerate Strategy Execution
Rosters are a great way to plan ahead for changes in capacity and capability needs, enabling you to create your own variable workforce. With initial demand planning, it’s possible to create rosters in anticipation of future initiatives. And the Expert Marketplace’s flexibility allows you to easily adapt when uncertainty strikes.
You can also use rosters to share external talent recommendations among your peers and teammates. If you find experts who have made an impact on your team’s work, you can create a roster to make finding quality experts even easier for your colleagues.
And when you have recurring capability and capacity needs, reengaging trusted experts becomes much faster with rosters.
Marketplace Master Class
Join Catalant’s VP of Product Marketing Steven Duque and Sales Engineer Hutch Hurwitz on November 12th as they showcase how our customers are using the Expert Marketplace to access and build a bench of on-demand expertise to make sure they get the right people on their critical work.
Four Ways to Use Rosters to Make Your Workforce More Flexible
Here are a few ways you can use rosters and realize the benefits of a more flexible workforce:
Resourcing efficiently through leaner times
With fewer resources available on leaner teams, but the same amount of work to do, leaders can use rosters to increase productivity easily and efficiently.
As an example, marketing budgets are often the first to be cut when adapting to downturns. Without the money for agencies, it’s possible to turn to less expensive independent marketing experts to get the capabilities you need to keep marketing activities in play. Using a roster you can add product marketers, brand managers, demand generation experts, or digital marketing specialists to your team whenever you need support on a campaign.
Innovating to support new strategies
Strategic pivots and changes in customer preferences are pushing leaders into new markets and technologies, which can be completely different from their traditional focus areas. This can require capabilities that aren’t currently in the organization.
Recent expansions in the use of data science in many business areas provides a great example of this. You might want data science capabilities to explore new ideas, but you may not need a data science PhD on your staff full-time. With rosters, you can create a bench of experts to access while ramping up in new technologies.
Tackling recurring but infrequent work
A flexible bench of talent is well-suited to address certain strategic tasks that come up regularly, but aren’t needed everyday. When your team is constantly focused on the highest priority work, and making time for important but secondary work is difficult, you can easily turn to a roster of experts you’ve engaged to add temporary capacity to your team.
Public companies require extensive financial reporting capabilities but may lack the budget or persistent need to build specific capacity in their team to do it. Each quarter reporting to regulators, boards, and investors must be done in a short period of time, and creating a stable of experts to help with this workflow is a simple way to scale this capability up and down as needed.
Managing volatile workloads
Sometimes workstreams ebb and flow in expected but unpredictable ways—you know you’ll need to work fast for a short period, but you’re not sure when that workload will hit your team. Rosters of trusted experts can help get you these “lumpier” workstreams.
Mergers and acquisitions can often have this characteristic—speed is essential for deal flow, but there can be times when not much is happening as a deal moves through due diligence and integration stages. Experts with experience as integration leaders can be a crucial resource for M&A teams that need additional capacity.
To learn more about expert rosters, sign up for our Marketplace Masterclass here.
Accelerate Execution with a Flexible Workforce
As businesses continue to navigate uncharted waters, it will be essential to use technology to strengthen digital workplace capabilities and to build organizational resilience through flexibility and adaptability. Catalant’s Expert Marketplace enables leaders to accelerate execution by providing flexible access to elite expertise on demand to get their most important work done.
Catalant’s Expert Marketplace has the talent and technology to help you get from strategy to execution faster.
Let Us Help
Our Expert Marketplace is an efficient, scalable way to find the right resource at the right time for your company’s most important work, giving you direct access to the knowledge and skills you need to execute your strategies.
Full-Time Employees vs. the Catalant Expert Marketplace
Traditional employment models aren’t well suited for flexibly meeting the demands of a world in flux. Widespread uncertainty and volatile markets are compelling leaders to reduce and variabilize fixed labor costs.
Traditional Consulting Firms vs. the Catalant Expert Marketplace
Traditional consulting firms aren’t right-sized for the work many companies need right now, and can no longer camp out in clients’ offices due to public health concerns and an increasingly digital workplace.