‘The Cloud’ has increased our ability to learn and educate online. As demonstrated by websites like Lynda, training can now be done on the web. Not only has ‘The Cloud’ given workers the ability to gain skills and experience online, but it has also opened the opportunity for professionals to complete work without being limited by geographic location. We can all see the changes in the workforce with the rise of the independent workplace. Work is becoming more project-based, dynamic, fast-moving, flexible, and increasingly digital in nature. Not only is independent work increasing amongst lower skilled areas, but a large proportion of professional consultants - from highly-skilled retirees to fresh ‘young-guns’ - are beginning to work as independent advisors. For businesses to stay ahead of the competition, companies will need to utilise this professional consulting workforce to access specialised skills and expertise, before only accessible by large organisations. One of the main industries that have been affected by this new attitude shift to independent consulting is HR. So, how will the industry change to adapt to the new consulting climate?
HR professionals will provide services for everyone
In the past, HR solely focused on providing services for permanent or contract employees. However, an increasing independent advisory workforce will mean that HR professionals will need to provide services for independent consultants as well as permanent employees. This will require HR professionals to develop a variable workforce-management strategy to balance an increased workload and facilitate for the needs of all employees, both permanent and independent.
HR professionals will use tech-enabled consultant platforms
The independent workforce is made up of a large number of consultants with a range of skills and seniority. To find these professionals and manage projects, HR professionals will need to use tech-enabled consultant platforms. Not only will these digital platforms assist in reducing the stress associated with continually recruiting independent talent on an adhoc basis, but these independent consultant marketplaces will match suitable professionals with projects, as well as provide a screening service to ensure that consultants have strong references and experience. This will reduce the risk associated with hiring new independent consultants. Further, as a strong relationship develops between HR professionals and independent consultant platforms, it is likely that businesses will be matched to the right talent on a faster and more efficient scale.
HR professionals will integrate independent consultants
In order for businesses to remain competitive and take full advantage of independent talent, HR will have to implement strategies to ensure that organisations are supportive and quick to embrace independent consultants. This will require HR to become more transdisciplinary in structure, as well as in the way projects are approached. In order to effectively employ independent consultants, businesses will need to find a strategic way to collaborate and integrate independent professionals in the workplace. This will ensure that businesses are engaging a variable workforce, while also facilitating for the fluid entry and exit of independent consultants. In order to keep up with the changes in the workplace and an increasingly digitalised industry, HR professionals must understand the independent workforce and how a shift to independent consulting will affect the industry. In a constantly changing technological environment, all businesses will need to adapt and move quickly to stay ahead of the competition. No industry is immune to technological disruption, and these 3 changes are just the beginning for HR.