The new workforce: embracing the change

The world of work has changed irrevocably. In fact, it is no longer recognisable from what it looked like as little as five years ago. And it is still changing. As the world of work continues to evolve, so does the workforce. Building a workforce no longer means sourcing full-time, permanent employees in a job for life. It means sourcing a range of workers with diverse skills and background on different contracts in order to fulfil business, and employee, needs. To put this into context, according to a recent SAP and Oxford Economics report, Workforce 2020, more than eight out of ten (83 per cent) of executives say their companies are increasing their use of consultants, intermittent employees, and contingent workers.[1]

This increase comes as no surprise to me. It is a trend that we at Ciett have been seeing for some time now. Organisations need a range of skills, experience and knowledge in order to compete in a volatile, unpredictable and ever-changing business environment. And direct, permanent recruitment is not always the answer. Instead, companies need to utilise and embrace new and different ways of working. The Workforce 2020 report revealed the fact that the rise of non-payroll positions is forcing change on companies, with 42 per cent saying it is affecting their workforce strategy. Therefore leaders need to adapt and people management will need to become a top priority of the boardroom agenda if they are going to succeed in today’s business environment.

The large range of work contracts is needed not only for businesses, but to meet employee’s diverse expectations and attitudes to work. Whether it is wanting to work part-time in order to care for family, needing to make money over the summer break for students, or purely wishing to devote more time to personal interests – the trend points towards a more innovative approach to working. Ciett members have noted that the market is increasingly becoming candidate driven and 41 per cent of respondents in the Workforce 2020 report noted employee expectations are changing. This is highly reflective of the shift taking place.

It is not just businesses and employees that are benefitting from this shift, it is impacting economies too. As organisations improve their productivity and performance through the use of a wide range of contracts, they are fuelling economies and expanding their reach globally. It also allows people to work who would not consider permanent, full-time employment, thereby increasing labour market participation and inclusion. Therefore, it is in government’s interests to ensure that the correct regulatory environment is in place to encourage the development of new working contracts. Our members work tirelessly to ensure that governments understand the importance of encouraging a wide range of working practices and the impact this has on economies.

It is clear that workforce patterns are no longer fixed; they are indeed living, dynamic, ever-changing and need to be flexible. However, this is still relatively new for many and changes need to be embraced in order to really take advantage of the benefits this brings. I predict there will be more diverse work contracts defined in the next few years as employers, employees and governments make the necessary adjustments and champion a new way of working. And this will be a positive change for all.

 

The article originally appeared on 17th November 2014 here: http://staffingamericalatina.com/en/la-nueva-fuerza-de-trabajo-abrazando-el-cambio/

 

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