Legend has it that in the early 1900s, eager and able job-seekers would gather by the docks in Long Beach, CA, early each morning hoping to get a first crack at the work available for the day. There were always more people than work, so the foreman realized he needed to devise a fair hiring process. He decided that each day, he would throw orange balls into the crowd, and whoever caught them would receive the work. The process was quick and fair, but there was one problem: It did not allow him to hire based on specific skills or needs.
In today’s dynamic business environments, hiring still often feels like a game of toss-the-ball. Shifting organizational objectives and priorities make strategic staffing a challenge. Non-traditional hiring methods are increasingly necessary to help companies keep up.
Old School Methods
Businesses have always utilized temporary workers, whether for a day or several months. After all, they help fill stopgaps during surge periods or temporarily replace full-time employees who may need to take time away from their regular jobs. Now, however, the role of the contingent worker is changing. They’ve become less of a band-aid and more of a prescription for overall success, allowing for agility in a changing market. Indeed, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) predicts 47 percent of workers will be contingent by the end of the year, up drastically from 34 percent in 2015.
So, how do we fill these increasingly specialized contingent roles? Historically, companies have relied on traditional means like enterprise implementation, audit or cybersecurity. While these resources provide skilled talent, they often came at a higher cost and lower skill level. Many companies are starting to grasp the vast amount of talent available through non-traditional methods such as on-demand knowledge or direct sourcing.
Welcome to the New Millennium
It’s hard to imagine we’re already 17 years into the “new millennium.” While technology continues to advance at a record pace, processes at organizations are stumbling to keep up. Some firms, however, are moving forward with innovate ideas, for example, by granting access to a human cloud of high-caliber talent. Some workers of this talent pool may only want to work on special projects and not be a traditional employee. This provides significant leverage to companies who want to tap into this elite talent pool while enjoying cost savings and greater flexibility.
Direct sourcing is a model that allows hiring teams to secure talent and utilize a third-party firm to payroll the workers on a short- or long-term project. Firms like Contingent Workforce Solutions and Innovative Employee Solutions offer these services exclusively at substantially lower costs than traditional staffing agencies. Because the company is utilizing its own staffing team, there is no added fee for search efforts – yet another cost savings.
Utilizing staffing agencies, human cloud talent pools and on-demand knowledge platforms provides unique benefits to both the organization and the worker. With old-school staffing agencies, companies would get access to a recruiter who would search out and find the talent the organization needed at fees as high as 30-70 percent of the worker’s hourly rate. Compare that to human cloud talent pools and on-demand platforms, which allow access to vast talent across the globe, while providing innovative sourcing methodologies at fees ranging from just 10-45 percent. Companies that utilize third-party payroll firms enjoy services like risk-management, benefit administration and training and compliance at a fee of just 7-15 percent above required government taxes.
Additional benefits to direct sourcing for all these alternative methods include:
Leveraging current systems and processes.
Higher quality of talent.
Quicker ramp time.
More control over hiring process.
Better employment branding.
Increased manager and talent satisfaction.
Some of today’s most successful businesses are already integrating these solutions into their staffing strategies. Dan Khublall, Director of Global Contingent Talent at Thomson Reuters says, “We benefit operationally and financially from integrating these resources and technology, but there’s also a competitive advantage we gain by focusing on the candidate experience and using technology to stand out. Utilizing additional channels of engaging talent is a no brainer.”
The smartest companies are starting to realize la carte services such as these are a component of their overall talent attraction strategies. Knowing one service may be more useful than others in different situations, they’re starting to mix and match, depending on their needs. Companies that build out sound strategies with these services are a step ahead of their competition when it comes to agility, flexibility and overall cost savings.
The problem with the orange ball was that potential laborers would show up early to strategically place themselves in the sight of the foreman, which meant that the most accessible workers weren’t always the most highly or rightly skilled. Alternative hiring strategies allow hiring and HR teams to toss the ball more strategically – when and where they need to. They also keep companies on trend for the next big talent revolution: artificial intelligence.
Experts like Brandon can help you understand the increasingly complex ecosystem of a contingent workforce. To learn more about the on-demand economy, check out the June 2017 commissioned study “Address Critical Skill Gaps With On-Demand Knowledge” conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Catalant.