One of key trends we follow is the growing awareness of the importance of contingent talent by corporate HR departments.
Long viewed by HR departments simply as a way to save money, the independent workforce (freelancers, contractors, independent consultants, etc.) is starting to be be seen as a strategic resource.
Corporations large and small are increasingly turning to independent workers to improve workforce agility and flexibility, provide specialized and/or hard to find skills and as a way to add competitive advantage.
This shift in thinking is leading HR departments to change how they engage and manage contingent workers.
A relatively new HR buzzword - "Total Talent Management" - is being used to describe systems and policies that integrate all aspects of workforce management, from temporary agency workers and traditionally hired permanent employees to independent contractors and some types of outsourced services.
This shift is important to freelancers and other independent workers in several ways:
- Companies are changing how they find and hire contingent talent, which impacts how independent workers market themselves. Our post from last week, Sources of Contingent Talent Shifting, covers this topic.
- Companies are becoming more aware of how much they spend on contingent workers and the risks they bring, especially misclassification risk. This is leading to the greater use of "freelancer management systems" to engage and manage contingent workers. Independent workers need to be aware of these systems and how they are changing the way corporations source and manage contingent talent.
According to the Staffing Industry Analysts, the concepts and ideas around total talent management are just starting to get traction.
But despite being a nascent trend, the shift towards total talent management is another signal that corporations large and small are increasing their use of freelancers, independent workers and other forms of contingent talent.