A flexi workforce is an important facet of how people will work in the future. An advantage of a flexi workforce is it can be increased to meet an employer’s needs and fall back to a baseline number when a larger workforce is no longer required. This provides numerous advantages to employers one of which is lower payroll on which they are employed on and thereby costs less than tradition workforce.
Another advantage is organizations can select the best talent from a pool of available workers that have skill sets in accordance with a project. Temporary, part-time, freelance and contingent workers fall under this model and are hired when there is a spike in business. From an employees’ perspective, being part of a flexi-workforce can be the cherry on a cake because it allows them to work in a role that interests them rather than in temporary gigs; as they often have to do when unable to find employment in a position they want to work in.
Businesses, definitely, are at risk of being in an emergency when unable to attract suitable talent among flexi candidates. Hence, doing workforce planning that anticipates shifts in their market is crucial.
Having extra hands on deck during busy times and fewer employees during lean times has many more conveniences. “Well-timed and happy workers" is one such benefit. Workers in such situations are more enthusiastic and driven by a willingness to learn and they leave a business with greater upside. Surveys, comparing existing staff and how much revenue they earn for a firm, reveal changing the number of workers in a single go creates many problems. But a firm that hires a flexi workforce doesn’t face such issues, which is why flexi workers are an important part of a gig economy.
According to the Aspen Institute’s Workforce of the Future study, 60 percent of employers now use contingent and on-demand employees and there is a high chance that more companies will use a gig-based labor model in the future. But there is huge concern about the number of unstable jobs that have emerged with the rise of the gig economy. The lack of a ‘social security net’ common in traditional employment hampers many professionals from participating in the gig economy.
On the other hand, professions in the gig economy are a promising solution for our country because India requires eight million jobs every year to keep its employment rate steady. The gig economy is responsible for creating 56% of the employment in India and is expected to grow by 25-30% annually. Gig professionals are not only hired at junior level but also at the mid to senior levels. Among gig jobs, some of the top paying ones include Content Writing, Digital Marketing, Branding, SW development, Consulting, and Recruitment, etc.
In the United States, 55 million people are “gig workers” which is more than 35% of the total U.S. workforce. This number is projected to jump to 43% by 2020. And the increase is the result of four major trends: blockchain systems, F500 utilizing more contractual employees, an uptick in fully remote companies and robust networking among freelancers.
Be it Uber or Lyft drivers, a musician, a freelance videographer, a person hired on Upwork.com, all are gig workers. No matter what they are called, they are becoming an ever bigger slice of the global economy. Employers want only one thing from them-deliverables! Hence, it is re-defining the concept of ‘job security' as well.
Flexi workers aren't distinct from the formal economy. Increasingly there is a need for companies to use available talent as effectively as possible. This makes it essential to adopt a flexi workforce model. It also makes it essential for HR departments to transform into talent acquisition centers. Unlike an HR department, a talent acquisition center has a wider mandate under which it is responsible for large aspects of an employee's tenure with a firm. A talent acquisition center uses technologies like AI to hire, retain, and promote the best people. AI-powered predictive technologies allow a talent acquisition center to identify with a high degree of accuracy which employees will be successful and which won't. These features of AI-powered tools are a microcosm of their potential when used by talent acquisition centers.
Hence, a flexi workforce is a powerful new trend creating new jobs and giving employees what they need, namely flexibility, choice of where to work, a work-life balance and attractive remuneration.