Monday, 22 January 2018

The rise of the ‘portfolio career’ could be good news for SME businesses. Are you ready?

Consulting firm PwC released their glimpse into what the working world might be like in the coming years with a telling statistic: 46% of HR professionals believe that at least 20% of their workforce will be made up of temporary workers by 2022.    In the USA, as many as 40% of workers are already classed as either part time or contingent, which reflects changes not only in the type of jobs offered, but the workers themselves.  

Desire for flexibility and varied work has given rise to the ‘portfolio career’: where professionals position themselves as freelancers with their own ‘brand’ and sell their skills on a short term, project basis.  From book keepers to IT Programmers and Marketers, people with ‘in demand’ skills are actively avoiding a traditional 9-to-5 commitment in favour of working the hours they want for firms they choose.  

So what does this mean for you as a business owner?  Will you be able to capitalise on the benefits of a flexible work force, or will you find it increasingly difficult to secure the talent your business needs?  Here are our top tips:

 Think like a Project Manager

If you haven’t already, you’Il probably need a shift in mindset towards temporary workers.   Rather than viewing your workforce as an office full of career temps, you would do better to think of yourself as a project manager, recruiting teams of highly-specialised individuals, allowing you opportunities to react to industry changes and diversify as per your needs.

Employers will need to adopt the mindset that every hire is temporary, whether explicitly stated or not. SMEs with dynamic teams of skilled workers will be more nimble and proactive.     

 Embrace tools and technology to manage a mobile workforce

If recruitment isn’t your day job, the idea of endless screening and interviewing will be exhausting. And if you’re a SME, outsourcing to an expensive recruitment agency wont be easy either.   

Sure, you could place an ad for a temp or contractor on a traditional job board, but that means waiting for resumes to come in, reviewing them, running interviews…. All up, weeks of delay.  A smarter way is to embrace technology solutions that match employers instantly with available temps. View their skills, experience, testimonials and availability then make an offer online to your shortlist.   Choose a provider that also takes care of contracts and payroll and you have a hassle free path to the skills you need.   Fast.

 Accept that people want work flexibility – and that works both ways

With this creeping invasion of work into private life, comes the consequent value shift towards work-life balance. Money is precious, but so is time – and that’s a key driver in the rise of the portfolio career. As a business owner, you should also be thinking outside the 9-to-5 when it comes to where and how key tasks in your business need to be performed.  An increasingly global work force means that with good planning and communication, staff in different time zones can exponentially increase your productivity.

 Develop a ‘B2B’ recruitment strategy

With candidates in the talent pool losing the mantle of ‘job seeker’ and replacing it with ‘contractor,’ the power balance shifts.  To attract key talent to fill a gap in your team, you will need to position it as more of a mutually-beneficial partnership than an employee/employer relationship.   In other words, a ‘business to business’ approach.

 For more insights, download our free ebook 'Just in Time Staffing'.

Temp Market is an NZ based online platform, matching employers directly with available contract and temporary staff.  Up to date skills tests, testimonials from previous employers, video introductions and a filter by hourly rate make it easy to shortlist and hire. Payroll and screening are part of the service.  Temp Market attracts administration, accounts and customer service temps, but also has a specialty division for IT Programmers/Developers.

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