Global and local HR at the Core of Business


June 20, 2013
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The days of working for a company for life are gone. Nowadays Talent Management is much more complex and a significant portion of company workforces adopt flexible models. We are talking about the contingent workforce; workers who are not tied to the company in a continual manner—temporary, external, part-time and flexi-time workers and so on. The last survey by Staffing Industry Analysts states that next year the number of temporary workers in all industries world will climb 106 per cent above its peak in 2013.

Until recently, companies were seeking to rely on a streamlined core workforce–especially during recessions—and to fall back on a flexible talent pool during peak workloads. But all this is changing. It’s the workers themselves who no longer want to chain themselves to a company in such a fixed way as before. They don’t want to be tied down, they want to be their own bosses and their levels of commitment to companies are weaker.

This has much to do with the different way people approach their professional development. Even now we can start talking of a transition to an era beyond the knowledge one (following on from the industry era): the era of creativity and innovation. People are looking more than ever to develop their passion and work for companies that align with their personal values (just as Joost Van Nispen, founder and CEO of ICEMD – ESIC states).

To this factor we also need to add the so-called “talent gap”: although global unemployment figures are high there are still many unoccupied jobs due to the high level of specialization required. Those with profiles capable of taking on these jobs can afford not to be attached to a company in a more permanent way. Many prefer to be independent or offer services rather than be tied to a particular company interminably. Others prefer a flexible job, teleworking or part-time work.

This is especially true of the technology field and the knowledge-intensive sectors where innovative ideas and high creativity are sought. Companies see clearly they need to attract this talent to remain highly competitive.

In the face of this scenario, HR departments tackle big questions like how to win the interest of someone only linked through temporary work? How to capture him? How to retain him? How to make sure he continues to work with you?

Some possible solutions are:

  • The best experience: make his memory of the time spent working with you gratifying, making him to want to come back and even end up recommending you. (Just like when you reward customer loyalty to your brand).
  • Employer branding: closely related to the previous point. Developing your employer brand to the maximum will allow you to capture the best talent, as well as reward their loyalty and retain them.
  • Same benefits as regular workers: traditionally the benefits available to workers under flexible models were fewer than for the core workforce. Now the trend is to not to distinguish between different collaborators and offer them all very similar benefits.
  • Very flexible work models: flexibility to work from home, weekends, part-time, etc.

These self-employed workers are growing in numbers, and they are plainly becoming visible in virtual communities offering their services and creating a true “talent market” (Coworks, Addtribo, etc…). Given this situation, it is evident HR departments must adapt to and even make the most of the new work model by promoting the positives of these flexible models.

To close, we put the following questions to you. Do you think this will be the new work model? Can you think of new ways to attract and retain this kind of worker?


Maria José Fraile

About Maria José Fraile

María José Fraile is the Meta4 Corporate HR Director with extensive experience in the people management field, adjusting the HR function to the different developmental stages of a company: hyper-growth, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, crisis management, among others. She has also had the opportunity to work directly in the product line, supporting software application design, consulting and pre-sales solutions for HR management and knowledge management.

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