Reducing costs, increasing efficiency, foster innovation – just some of the business jargons we keep hearing when organisations talk about incorporating Contingent Workforce into their Total Workforce strategy.
However, I believe organisations should look deeper and into the notion of “organisational agility” when talking about hiring permanent or Contingent staff. The ability to scale Talent up and down to fill Talent gaps quickly is going to be essential to success and I predict it will soon become more important than any other business drivers.Have you thought of organisational agility as a potential business driver? You should says @trevorpvas Click To Tweet
But before we go further, perhaps now would be a good time to define what exactly is “organisational agility”. According to the Business Dictionary, it is defined as:
The capability of a company to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market. A high degree of organisational agility can help a company to react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, the development of new industry-changing technologies, or sudden shifts in overall market condition.
Agility has always been critical in project-centric organisations that constantly bid for work. Their aim is to have constant, ready access to a workforce that can create more value with less work – also known as the “Lean Just in Time” approach. This allows them to react to specific demands with agility and speed with the goal of producing the exact product or service a customer wants, when they want and in any amount they want. It’s very prevalent in the Engineering, Resources and IT space.
The key operative word here, then, is “access”. As organisations seek to reduce cost and increase efficiency, they are also gaining a deeper understanding of their organisational agility and learning how to tap into different resources to achieve their goals anywhere, anytime they want. Whether these resources come in the form of permanent or Contingent workers is then irrelevant as it is now about access, not ownership.
So if agility is crucial to gaining unrestricted access to the Talent needed for success, then organisations must, as a minimum, fulfil these criteria:
- The organisation needs to have a complete view of their total workforce and their internal supply options;
- An understanding what capabilities (not people) will be required in the next 6-12 months;
- Have a market map of external skills available to the organisation and the costs associated to access them; and importantly
- An understanding of the external demand for those skills.
To put these into context, let me provide an example. I recently met with an owner of a rapidly expanding business and he explained how having organisational agility has allowed him achieve success. As the bulk amount of work lie during the initial stages of setting up, it was essential that he could ramp up resources in the short term before scaling back in the medium term. Having a complete understanding of his current workforce, view of what is required and what Talent is available out in the market is crucial to filing the workforce gaps quickly.
The most important priority, then, is to have access to the right skills and NOT to own these skills. Understanding the above is critical for the company to fulfil on this work that is worth millions of dollars. If you would like to learn more, we have the Contingent Workforce Conference coming up in September, do join us.
The Contingent Workforce Conference is only a month away, 2-for-1 Internal Delegate offer still available. Don’t miss out!
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