Addressing the Challenges of a Blended Workforce

for’s employer blog, Hiring Tips & Insights

Whether they’re called talent management, people analytics, or good old-fashioned human resources, most forward-thinking companies have a team dedicated to adjusting to the “future of work.” And as organizations think about the future of their business and their workforce, they are not only asking what kind of people to hire, but increasingly what classification of employee to bring on. Usually, this refers to the blended workforce triumvirate: full-time, contractor, or contract-to-hire?

If the stats are anything to go by, the answer is contractors. In 2015, the Government Office of Accountability (GOA) announced that 40.4% of U.S. workers were contingent, which the GOA defined as agency temps, on-call workers, contractors, the self-employed, and standard part-time workers. More strikingly, according to an Intuit report, by 2020, over 40% of U.S. workers will be specifically independent—freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees.

In their 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte announced, “Our research clearly shows that one of the new rules for the digital age is to expand our vision of the workforce; think about jobs in the context of tasks that can be automated (or outsourced) and the new role of human skills.” Indeed, nearly half of HR professionals worldwide surveyed by PwC predict at least 20% of their workforce will be contractors or temporary workers by 2022.

So, what’s the problem?

Incorporating freelancers provides diversity of thought, flexibility, cost savings, and opens the org up to a larger talent pool. Furthermore, because contractors can end up being full-time hires, they can give an organization valuable time to find the right full-time person without the expense of a hiring mistake. Sounds great, right? Well, the land of a blended workforce is not all sunshine and rainbows.

Unfortunately, no clickbait list of solutions can address all the potential difficulties of incorporating contract workers into your business. This is, in part, simply because there are so many ways to use them, from the type of work they do (writing, designing, consulting, accounting, and so on) to where they do it (on-site, remotely, or virtually) to how they’re compensated (through a staffing agency, a direct invoice, or by salary).

Nevertheless, even if you haven’t already started using contractors to flesh out a team or complete a project, the likeliest pitfalls aren’t hard to conjure, and they can have a significant impact on the value the business gets from hiring contingent workers.

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