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Open Happiness Indeed!

Source | LinkedIn : By Namrata Gill

While it seemed like an obvious question at the time, as I reflected on the interview a little later, I realized how this question has moved up a few spots in the last few years on a candidate’s “What I value from an employer” list. Gone are the times when people were happy with good compensation and job security; they now desire challenges, holistic learning, accelerated growth, meaning and above all, flexibility. There has been a clear paradigm shift from when these aspects of a workplace would be a luxury, to now when they are a necessity.

A fitting description for this talent scenario in this day and age was given in a recent report by Deloitte – “Welcome to the open talent economy— a collaborative, transparent, technology-enabled, rapid-cycle way of doing business. What the open source model did for software, the open talent economy is doing for work.”

Consequently, we are faced with the need (as we often are!) to rethink the way we acquire and manage talent. With more and more people preferring consulting or freelance jobs, which allow them to balance their work and learning on their own terms, we might soon be in a place where a major chunk of people who deliver on our business objectives may not even be on our rolls! It may sound ridiculous or far-fetched at first glance and I don’t blame you, because I went through that phase of denial myself.

However, after a cool glass of water, some significant global trends came into sharper focus, which made this shift to open talent economy not only plausible but rather expected. I’m laying out two of the principal trends here –

  • First, the Global Village phenomenon – people can share anything and everything across most parts of the world real-time; whether it’s views, products, ideas or culture. This gives companies and candidates alike access to more information than ever about each other and allows them to evaluate the compatibility of the needs and skillsets without the restriction of boundaries.
  • Second, Hyper Connectivity – Everyone is talking! People connect themselves with different information and social streams with deft facility – coping with dialogues on multiple channels, and absorbing information at a quick pace. There’s lesser and lesser need for face-to-face interaction to get things done and more and more scope for deeper and wider learning.

It’s important for organizations to understand how these trends affect their businesses as well as daily operations, especially on the people front. The benefits that organizations have witnessed by turning towards a more flexible workforce are hard to ignore –

  1. A popular example that has led to huge time and cost savings is the outsourcing of routine tasks as part of Shared Services to contract or part-time employees in several enabling functions such as HR and Finance
  2. Another form of flexible work that has quickly caught on is Crowdsourcing ideasfor projects and hiring Project-based consultants by leveraging platforms that provide access to design communities, developer communities, writer communities and many more. This gives companies access to the much needed subject matter experts, without having to invest too much in skills that are need-based and sporadic.

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