The Future Is the Flexible Workforce, Not the Gig Economy

This might come as welcome news to global mobility managers and human resource specialist alike, as they are both pressed to find full-time quality hires at the fastest notice: the future of recruitment and employment lies in the flexible workforce, NOT the gig economy. That means that most of the talents populating your ranks will still be employees who you can count on for the long-term, and not contract workers who go from project to project.

Take a look at the latest survey done by the Relocate Global Magazine. A whopping 62 percent of the company owners they asked said that they prefer permanent employees who will be accountable to them for a long time.

Another 49 percent contended that they themselves see no advantage to their firms if the workforce were to suddenly transition to the gig economy. Then, 60 percent said they are actively investing in the training of their full-time employees to make them adaptable and resilient to change.

More revealing is that only a miniscule four percent of those surveyed said that they see themselves employing gig workers for the foreseeable future. Because it is only these four percent that actually experienced distinct advantages in using contract talent workers.

Why is this good news for global mobility managers and HR specialists? For the obvious and important reason that they can channel their resources to maintaining long-term employer-employee (or assignee) relationships that they can nurture over a long period of time. They can also assuage their executives’ concern that the talent pool will be active and filled to the brim. CEO’s and other members of the C-suite are banking on quality talent to spur growth and boost productivity.

Where does the future lie then, if not among the gig workers? It still lies with full-time employees but those who are flexible, adaptable, and resilient to change, the very qualities that the CEOs are investing in as far as their talents are concerned.

As a global mobility manager, you can do your part in helping your own assignees and other full-time employees in undergoing this transformation. Here are a few tips how:

Help young workforce master their tech tools

Millennials and Gen-Z assignees alike have taken to video conferencing and online courses like duck to water. But what they might need more help in is how to master these resources. Setting up a web conference and breezing through a meeting is one thing, but ensuring that what is  discussed in those meetings are coordinated with the other members of the organization is another.

One concern that CEOs have about the flexible workforce is that they are not physically present, or that too much mobility can let things fall into cracks.

As a manager, in equipping your talents to master their tools, you can make them more productive. And the more they deliver results, the more the powers-that-be will allow them to be flexible. One more advantage to management is that, regardless of the location of your workforce, emotionally, intellectually, and professionally, they will always be at one with the corporate vision.

Create a more creative work environment to unleash their potential

Build a working space that your younger talent will love, then they will stay for a longer time in the physical workforce. Let their innate creativity unfold, and they can come up with out-of-the-box solutions that can sharpen your company’s competitive edge.

It all starts in the office and by the end of the day, their place for recharging: their home. Some of the examples in this Artsy article suggest the following:  ergonomic furniture that actually encourages your staff to stand while working, or push them to walk around the office during break time; a pet nursery where they can bring their dogs or cats to be cared for while they work; or gardens and greenery where they literally can breath fresh air and relax with Mother Nature once the pressure piles up. Also having great housing accommodation like what California Corporate Housing provides to its many guests for many years now is vital for these talents.

Help them stay informed, but equip them for the journey

This has to do with the training that the executives say they want to invest in the team. Information changes like lightning these days, and your flexible workforce will welcome the change. Make them an active participant in their continuing education. Partner with them in developing the kinds of courses they would like to take.

Encourage them to choose their own education providers. And again, relate all these to their participation in the organization. How can this ongoing learning assist them in making an impact on the company and the industry?

Show in concrete terms how it can also boost their careers and open new professional opportunities that they had not seen before.

Agility is the name of the game that will enable your company to stay on top, and your workforce is the key to sustaining it. They do not have to be contractual — just flexible, adaptable, and can ride with the change.