The Shift to a Flexible Workforce: The Benefits, Drawbacks and Future Landscape

In this blog, we’re getting under the skin of the flexible workforce – the benefits, challenges and future outlook, with Jessica Holt, Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions at Capita Resourcing.
We live in problematic times with increasing and evolving challenges being faced in the workplace. Organisations need to be able to respond to these uncertainties and demands quickly, whilst adapting to changing workforce needs. It’s these businesses who will prosper in the face of adversity and are the ones who are driving the shift to flexible workforces.
So, what can organisations do to ensure their workforce is agile and aligned to meet their outcomes? Jessica Holt, Director of Contingent Workforce Solutions at Capita Resourcing offers some food for thought.
“First, you need to get a clear picture of your workforce, how and why you buy or engage that worker type, which routes to talent are effective and how the behaviours of hiring managers impact those choices. Secondly, obtaining data to analyse the sources to obtain that workforce and talent are critical in enabling you to form a clear picture.’’
Aside from organisational objectives, organisations need to be meeting the demands of the future workforce. Ultimately, they will be multigenerational, multidimensional and, crucially, they’ll demand choice – and Jessica Holt believes technology will be at the heart of delivering that.
“There will be a mix of robotics, service providers and individuals – with their value judged on productivity, capability and mobility. Connected devices will also have a big say in the flexibility of a workforce and provide new, innovative ways to collaborate and connect a workforce remotely.”
However, a flexible workforce comes with its challenges: Limitations in compliance and governance; headaches of how to contract individuals; the need for a robust vetting process to ensure the security of assets and information. Added to that is talent shortages and in particular, the additional impact of the amended IR35 legislation which was implemented in the Public Sector last year, and is due to roll out into the private sector.
With that in mind, how can businesses successfully manage a flexible workforce?
It’s worth considering the Employed Resource Model (ERM) which are Capita’s permanent consultants contracted back to customers on medium to long-term assignments. It offers organisations a flexible-permanent workforce, mitigating both contingent and permanent employment liability and risk, with the assurances of delivering high-quality output. Another reason to consider an Employed Resource is the significant cost savings organisations will experience versus hiring a contractor, and the option to build the future talent through the ongoing development of skills which could transfer permanently into the organisation.
Jessica Holt explained how more and more customers are looking for a modular approach that allows for a core service with flexible components. “They want blended solutions for resource offering faster access to compliantly onboard talent.  Services that provide greater automation, predictive and prescriptive analytics, along with help in defining a people strategy that clearly identifies trends and behaviours impacting hiring across their business is key. 
Engaging a provider that can be agile in their service, presenting a digital enabled platform which has an optimised user experience, is paramount. Also, one that can enhance and provide additional value around employer branding, campaigns to include identify and attract diverse talent, compliance and vetting, through to worker engagement and development.
Consulting with our customers to formulate an end-to-end talent management people strategy, using our expertise and ability to manage changeable workflows is a key advantage for organisations partnering with Capita.”

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