Four Things that Signal a New Age of Work

Posted by Christopher Dwyer on July 24th, 2017
Stored in Articles, Complex Categories, Lists, Process, Strategy, Technology

The world of work is changing. Traditional concepts of how to engage, acquire, and address enterprise talent have been replaced by innovative, on-demand strategies to fill business’ skills-based needs. And, with the transformative mindset adopted by many of today’s executive leaders geared towards harnessing the impact of the “Gig Economy,” the boundaries between full-time equivalent (FTE) and contingent talent are starting to blur. In this new world of work, the notion of the “blended workforce” has become a reality, forcing organizations around the world to adopt more forward-thinking approaches (as well as innovative technologies and platforms) as to how to best manage all facets of their talent engagement, talent acquisition, talent management, and contingent workforce management strategies and programs. The changing world of work dictates that executives rethink their mindset regarding talent, as well as the underlying tactics to effectively drive total talent visibility, real-time alignment of projects / requirements to expansive networks of talent, and a baseline of total workforce management to prepare for the Future of Work.

The past five years has brought a historical pace of innovation and growth to the contingent workforce, with nearly 38% of today’s total workforce comprised of non-employee workers (as discovered by Ardent Partners in its 2016-2017 State of Contingent Workforce Management research study). And, as the Gig Economy continues to transform both business and worker mindsets, the modern enterprise now finds itself at an interesting crossroads in regard to its ultimate talent engagement and management strategy.

With that, here are four things that signal this brave new world of work:

  1. The sustained impact of the Gig Economy, combined with advancements in on-demand talent engagement. The “consumerization” of the business world follows one major rule: everything must be available on-demand. The Gig Economy is not only a catalyst for the continued growth of the non-employee workforce, but has also enabled more and more business leaders with a desire to find, engage, and source top-tier talent in a real-time manner. Online talent platforms and labor automation tools have pushed this desire into a reality.
  2. The prevalence of next-generation innovations, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality, that are optimizing facets of work. The Future of Work is real (an issue we tackled in this week’s podcast), and the bridge to this evolving concept is paved with new innovations that are not only automating key facets of work, but truly optimizing them, as well. Chatbots, predictive and cognitive intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, blockchain technology…these are the platforms that are not automating specific attributes of the modern business, but also ushering in a new era of work.
  3. The convergence of non-employee and traditional workforce management. The “blended” workforce is a reality, as 38% of today’s total workforce is considered non-employee (independent contractors, freelancers, temporary workers, SOW-based services, etc.). That number is expected to grow yet again, and the question is not “When will it stop growing?”, but rather how “How much will it grow?” With this in mind, the once-stout barrier between contingent workforce and human capital management is starting to fade, with the concept of “total workforce management” slowly becoming an adopted program. Through the integration of human capital and CWM technologies (i.e. VMS, RPO, HRIS, talent management, online talent platforms, etc.) and convergence of procurement and HR strategies, the notion of total workforce management is within reach.
  4. The desire to be “agile” is forcing businesses to rethink how work is addressed. New challenges in the business world are often dynamic in scope, forcing stressed executives to develop new means of tackling growth, expansion, and increased competition. Talent is often considered the cornerstone of those items, and with a growing number of highly-skilled workers adopting a flexible (and virtual) workstyle, these business leaders are actively tapping into a new source of top-tier skillsets. With online talent platforms, labor automation systems, and other new sources of talent (including social networks) offering on-demand engagement, this aspect is shifting the way that businesses address all facets of work.

Interested in learning more about the Future of Work, the evolving non-employee workforce, or advancements in talent engagement? Subscribe to the Contingent Workforce Weekly podcast. New episodes launch every Wednesday morning.


Contingent Workforce Weekly, Episode 207: Is the Future of Work Another Business Fad?

Innovation: The Fuel for the Future of the Non-Employee Workforce (NEW REPORT)

Why “On-Demand” is Shaping the Future of Work

Is Blockchain a “Future of Work” Gamechanger?

The Future of Work Manifesto, Part II

The Future of Work Manifesto, Part I

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