[part 4] The Future Of Work: Final Instalment Of The Series
In this series on the future of work, we’ve looked at strategic change organisations can make to be better prepared for the future of work, including potential obstacles to change. We’ve looked at the impact of technology, and the advances that will continue to affect the way we work.
Now in this final instalment, we’ll look at organisational approach to talent, and how business can shift to smarter solutions to achieve desired business outcomes through new, and trusted (but upgraded) means of engaging workers – all workers.
But first…. what IS the future of work?
Talent Engagement: It’s Changing (in fact, it’s changed already)
Given the diverse categories of talent, and the equally diverse formats for working that exist today, it’s no wonder business has had to evolve their approach to talent engagement & management. Here are just a few to consider:
Augmented reality: the ultimate boost for collaboration
Typically known for impact in gaming, the extension of AR and VR (virtual reality), into the realm of talent engagement, is particularly useful for collaboration. Onboarding for remote workers, upskilling & education for a borderless workforce, global team collaboration and real-time product development with clients or prospects, means the hassle (or inability) of travel is removed. This is the next level of an operational workforce.
Through the ability to leverage social media, online talent marketplaces, digital staffing solutions and self-generated talent pools, organisations can engage talent quickly and effectively, in a way that’s never been easier. In this realm, the model of traditional recruiting via agencies, comes into question from the key value points of time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.
Leveraging VMS technology
Traditionally deployed for managing staffing suppliers and overseeing an organisation’s contingent workforce, the VMS of the future of work is more than impressive. New functionality and capacity include:
- The ability to direct source talent: capitalising on the technology in place with online talent marketplaces
- Total talent management via pure integration into HCM systems
- Better workforce analytics (thanks to machine learning)
- Automated workforce analytics: thanks to intelligent applications assisting organisations to make better, more timely talent decisions
Take a look below (thanks to Ardent Partners) at the range of strategies organisations are deploying to better engage talent:
The ‘experience’ of working
Irrespective of industry, role or grade, the universal desirable for talent is for a positive working experience. Factors outside of the actual ‘work’ conducted by workers, include company culture, location, remote working possibilities, engagement factors, nurture, and the physical working environment (amongst others).
Caring for talent by addressing these factors goes some way to reaching what is deemed to be a critical path for talent engagement and success, in the future of work. Having said that, in principle these factors haven’t changed much over the past 10-15 years. Probably more.
What may not be considered to be as important however, is how the worker experiences the ‘everyday’ of their work life. Grand gestures aside, if the ‘normality’ of work is positive and engaging, there’s a win-win in place.
The shifting focus of contingent workforce management
According to Ardent Partners, the focus for organisations needs to shift, when it comes to the management and engagement of contingent workers, in the context of the ‘future of work’. Key areas of suggested focus are:
- Improving the engagement of contingent workers: loyal contingent workers are a long-term asset to a business, and stand to offer competitive advantage, just like quality permanent talent. Understanding the needs of today’s talent – for contract work, flexible working arrangements, the need for career agility – are all key
- Better business intel: harnessing technology like machine learning, AI, AR and VR, will stand any organisation in a position of advantage for better workforce decision making, in the future of work
- Total talent management: the market is talking about this extensively, right now. Being able to leverage workforce data – across the entire working population of a business – will be crucial for organisations, not only in the future, but increasingly today
One final factor that’s pertinent today, is the importance of leading on diversity. Prioritising diversity will be key for talent acquisition, cultural engagement and retention (and rehiring) of talent. The capacity to engage a broader pool of workers will become a self-fulfilling success strategy: workers want inclusion as a ‘given’ in the future world of work.
At CXC Global, we assist organisations with diversity through extensive reporting for our clients. Here’s one example:
One of our clients in the telecommunications industry, strongly values gender equality amongst their permanent workforce. When recruiting, they ensure that 50% of shortlisted applicants are female and that there is a woman on the interview panel.
To help them extend this commitment to their contingent workers, we provide an extensive suite of monthly gender equality reporting, including valuable information such as the pay gap between different types of job families.
Although companies are becoming more aware of gender equality in their permanent workforce, this is less the case for contingent workers. That’s why we’re providing our clients with the tools to better assess their contractor workforce, as well as benchmarking gender equality and other diversity measures, in the client’s industry and against our other clients.
The most important message we can offer you, is that the future of work is already here. Yes, there will be further advances – some of which cannot be predicted. But the trends we’ve outlined in this series, demonstrate that waiting to make change within your business to keep up with – and more importantly, leverage – the changing workforce, isn’t wise. Take action now, because as you know, making change in a business isn’t easy, quick or straightforward.