Since the CEO of GE, Jack Welch, coined the term ‘business agility’ in the 1970s, almost all companies now recognize the importance of reacting in real-time to broader industry and global trends. A rapidly shifting, technologically driven modern business environment means that being able to adapt to change is essential.
70 per cent of Fortune500 CEOs see the pace of technology development as their greatest challenge and the increasing rate of turnover of companies on the Fortune500 list proves that remaining agile is more important than ever. Agile organizations have been proven to perform better, growing revenue 37 per cent faster and generating 30 per cent more profits than their non-agile counterparts. Nearly 90% of executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit believe that organisational agility is critical for business success.
The overwhelming desire to become agile has contributed to the exponential rise of TaaS platforms. 83% of executives surveyed by the Oxford Economics Workforce2020 Survey said they plan to increase use of contingent, intermittent, or consultant employees to increase talent management agility in the next 3 years. A McKinsey study suggests that TaaS platform adoption could increase output by up to 9 percent and reduce costs related to talent and human resources by as much as 7 percent. Costs relating to talent, according to our own research, have been shown to be able to be reduced by as much as 90 per cent when compared to the traditional consulting business model. In an increasingly competitive, saturated and disrupted business environment, the ability to be cost effective while remaining agile is imperative. The rising need to remain agile can be partially credited for exponential rise of TaaS platforms.
As well as managing costs, increasing efficiency in talent acquisition is crucial and TaaS platforms have been able to muster a competitive advantage because of their speed and ease of finding talent when compared to traditional staff recruitment models. Expert360 boasts an average time of 48-72 hours for consultant deployment, starkly contrasting the 68 day average time to recruit full-time staff. This level of efficiency is valuable to businesses that are seeking agility. Similarly, increasing cost-saving measures means that more companies are attempting to upscale on demand and inject skills only when needed. By being able to deploy consultants on demand, TaaS platforms are allowing businesses to reduce their core staff and inject specialized skills only when required. This has the added benefit of reducing the financial and non-financial cost of redundancies. It’s estimated that up to 40 per cent of the workforce could be contingent by 2020 as businesses look to reduce core staff and increasingly inject skills when necessary. The gig economy not only allows for the deployment of skills as they are needed, but also enables hyper-specialization.
Using ultra-specialized freelancers means that companies can improve the quality of their project work and fill short-term skills gaps. Businesses are also using these ultra-specialized consultants in order to complete longer term implementation work on the back of strategic reviews. Similarly, employers are beginning to realize that those with a better work-life balance will also be more efficient in the workplace. Technology giant Cisco, for example, estimates it saves US$277 million each year in productivity gains by encouraging telecommuting and flexible working hours. The result of this is an increased desire to not only offer their own staff flexible working arrangements, but to also use the help of on demand workers with the flexibility to work when they want.
This ability to choose hours allows freelancers to improve efficiency and output. “I’m not really a morning person, so I tend to do a lot of work in the evenings,” said Hannah, an Expert360 on demand management consultant. “As a freelancer, you’re very focused around delivering what the client wants to achieve, rather than being process-driven, so you are able to maximize and leverage your time efficiently.”
Talent management agility has become a business imperative and on demand talent platforms are enabling this need. TaaS platforms are revolutionizing business agility from the core up. The ability to access employees on demand has become essential for businesses to keep up with disruptors and competitors that have the ability to upscale in an instant. The rise of online marketplaces for top consultants has added a new element to this dynamic, by enabling instant access to highly-skilled and experienced independent workers.
This is an excerpt from Expert360's whitepaper "The Rise Of Talent As A Service". Get the full PDF now (click here). This piece examines three major business needs that are causing the rise of talent as a service platform and the gig economy at enterprise level:
- The increased demand for talent management agility
- Cost saving measures
- Increasing focus on employee satisfaction and work-life balance