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Three Simple Steps to Prepare for the Future of Work

by Kristina McMenamin, on Feb 5, 2019

Our Panel of Experts Discusses How Their Organizations are Preparing for What’s Next in Hiring

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In our recent webcast, “Don't Be Left Behind: Ensure Your Finance Team Is Ready for the Future of Work,” our panel of industry experts discussed the next generation workforce. How are skilled professionals changing, how does this change affect hiring, and how can we find the next generation of top talent? Each industry is facing unique challenges, but the one thing they have in common is a shift away from traditional, role-based work in favor of a project-based gig economy.

Whether you’re part of a large corporation or a budding startup, this shift will affect the way you hire and engage top financial talent and resources across your organization. It will also create an opportunity for organizations that are proactive and forward thinking. So, when it comes to planning for the future of work—are you prepared?

We spoke to Michael Burdick of Paro, Jennifer Warawa of Sage, Paul Estes of Microsoft, and Brian Pena of Staffing Industry Analysts to ask this exact question and discuss how they first stepped into the gig economy. From their conversation, we’ve summarized three key steps to best position your organization for the future of work.

1. Step into the online marketplace

While taking the first step into the freelance marketplace may seem overwhelming, many organizations quickly discover the hidden benefits of a new talent search. By expanding a hiring search to include freelance and gig economy resources, companies can increase access to specialized skills and subject matter experts. In addition, freelance resources can be onboarded more quickly and less expensively, reducing the loss of productivity in the hiring process. But what is the best way to find top freelance talent?

Online marketplaces—like Paro—provide access to top-tier, diverse, and quality freelance talent. While professional networking and personal connections will always play a role in the hiring process, expanding into trusted online search options helps organizations connect with freelancers using familiar tools. As the labor market tightens, hiring managers who are able to leverage latest technology and employ more creative solutions to find talent will have a clear advantage.

2. Understand freelancers and how best to engage them

Millennials and young professionals first entering the workforce are reconsidering the traditional career path. Many finance professionals are bypassing traditional firms and roles, and instead taking on a more entrepreneurial mindset. This can seem like a challenge for organizations looking to connect with young candidates. However, there is still plenty of opportunity for large corporations to engage top, millennial talent by meeting them in the middle and allowing them to engage in the work as freelancers. This can be a perfect fit for companies looking to hire on a by-project basis, hoping to access top talent and skill sets not currently in-house.

Additionally, freelancers can provide a much-needed boost to stagnant teams and organizations. Surveys show that four out of five hiring managers report an increase in team productivity due to hiring a freelancer. Including these additional resources enables teams to get more done, allows businesses to quickly and efficiently scale to meet business needs, saves on time to find skilled, local talent, and provides access to a specialized skill.

3. Manage organizational change

As your organization steps into the gig economy, it’s important to manage this change both externally and internally. When you begin to engage external candidates, teams must position themselves as welcoming and hospitable to freelance workers. This means ensuring remote workers feel connected, included, and a part of the team. Internally, full-time employees need to understand how the team will be leveraging freelance resources. Encouraging your full-time finance staff to partner with freelancers and connect them with overall goals will help foster a team environment.

The company will go through transformation as team members at every level of the full-time organization learn new ways to work and how to partner with non-traditional resources. It’s important not to underestimate how this change will be felt by the team and to implement strategies for as smooth of a transition as possible.

Conclusion

As the number of freelancers in the labor force continues to grow, engaging with the gig economy will quickly shift from nice-to-have to essential. How can you ready your organization for this change? First, step into the online marketplace and begin to see what types of resources are available. Second, develop an understanding of how freelancers work and how they can support your organization. Lastly, begin to familiarize your full-time employees with the gig economy and organizational strategies around leveraging this workforce.

Advances in technology and a new generation of talent are driving change in the workforce, and organizations need to change with it. By fostering a proactive attitude toward the future of work, companies can align themselves with top talent and create an agile approach to the changes to come.

Want to learn more? Watch our latest webcast and panel discussion on YouTube!