There are multiple business and workforce trends occurring that are affecting every business, large and small, in every industry that will require senior leaders to rethink how they acquire, utilize and manage a workforce that consists of employees, temps and contractors. The following trends have a greater impact on middle market companies.
- Intuit’s 2020 report, which I highly recommend reading, had four trends that caught my eye:
- The number of contingent employees will increase worldwide. In the U.S. alone, contingent workers will exceed 40 percent of the workforce by 2020.
- Small businesses will develop their own collaborative networks of contingent workers, minimizing fixed labor costs and expanding the available talent pool
- Baby Boomers gray, but they don’t slow down. They opt out of traditional retirement and choose work as a lifestyle… These will not be your typical seniors. Unretirement and active engagement best describe their lifestyle choices as they continue to work part or full-time in their current professions or opt to start new careers.
- Consumers and business-to-business customers will increasingly demand sustainable business practices, products and services
- CEO of a middle market company who had a difficult time finding a consultant to help them implement a product development process, and how tired he is of trying to find various consultants to support his company’s needs. He lamented that he wanted a one stop consulting shop that he could just call up and quickly get Subject Matter Experts (SME) without having to go through search, validation, contracting, etc. and still have a high chance of engaging the wrong consultant from a skills and cultural compatibility standpoint.
- A discussion with the Chairwomen of a large end to end recruiting company who said that companies are moving towards hiring teams of SMEs for projects to fill in the skill gaps they have in their organization for short term needs, higher risk projects and other non-permanent resource needs.
Most companies have leaned themselves to the point where they only can cover day to day operations, requiring SME resources for special projects, because everyone has a “day job” that consumes all of their time. We hear that repeatedly when we talk to companies about projects they are attempting to do. The key message from these trends is that companies will require more temporary and short-term SME resources and they are already hard to find. They will become harder as the number of contingent employees rise to 40% of the workforce and middle market companies move toward collaborative workforces. Middle market companies need a contingency workforce strategy.
So, where do you go to get resources? Many companies will rely on temp agencies, PEO’s, etc. to find lower skilled contract workers, but where do you go to find Subject Matter Experts to help create and execute strategy or to work on special projects, process redesign or other business issues inside the organization? Most companies rely on word of mouth, personal connections, LinkedIn, or will look to small boutique consulting firms who can provide short term advisers, interim executives and consulting resources and knowledge workers: i.e. SME partner. Most of these firms specialize in one thing or another such as IT, project management, coaching, organizational development, continuous improvement, strategic planning, etc. This requires that companies have a cadre of SME suppliers who are only capable of dealing with specific issues and that they must go through the same process to find them as they do to hire an employee. This is a huge waste, especially when trying to find someone for a project that is only going to last for a few weeks or months.
Work is done horizontally and not vertically and projects are usually multi-functional and require solutions that deal with people, processes and technology. What do you do when you have a project that needs SMEs for organization design, IT and process redesign? Hire 3 consultants? Not hardly. You need a different solution. The most effective way to deal with this is to identify a consulting partner who can provide SME resources across all functional areas on demand for any project or short-term need as it arises. The partner you chose needs to be compatible with your culture, trusted, and known in your organization. This helps reduce costs, lead times, is easier for your people to accept the resource, makes the learning curve much quicker and eliminates the need to find another firm or negotiate another contract.
Group50’s mission is “to be the only consulting partner needed by middle market companies. We supply advisers, interim executives, coaches and consultants to our clients on demand. We have consultants from every functional area who have significant operating expertise. We view ourselves as your bench strength when you need that pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth.
To find out more about our partnering model and how we can help you create a contingency workforce strategy, contact Jim Gitney, CEO at (909) 949-9083, email firstname.lastname@example.org or request more information here
About the Author: Jim Gitney is the CEO and Founded Group50® Consulting in 2004 with the goal of becoming the only consulting partner needed by middle market companies to significantly improve their productivity by leveraging people, process and technology as part of a company’s strategic plan. He has held multiple board and C-level positions in companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50. Jim is considered a strategic planning and execution expert. His has lead 7 financial and operational restructurings, has or participated in over 125 Kaizen events and is considered an expert in Continuous Improvement. Group50 consists of consultants who have spent their careers in corporate America learning how to optimize businesses and rolling up their shirt sleeves to get it done. #group50 #strategy #talentmanagement #IToperations #OD #organizationaldevelopment #workforce #workforcecontingencystrategy
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