companies shifting more permanent jobs to gig workers, according to survey.

September 24, 2019

Just-in-time model traditionally used in manufacturing is becoming part of total talent management. 

ATLANTA, September 24, 2019 — Twenty-five percent of global enterprises and mid-sized companies are shifting permanent roles to contingent positions this year to remain agile, according to a report released today by Randstad Sourceright.

Randstad Sourceright’s Talent Trends research, based on responses from C-suite and human capital leaders and working professionals across 17 markets globally, found that enterprise and mid-sized businesses are using gig and freelance workers to fill formerly permanent positions, and these workers are having the same, if not more, impact upon their talent strategies. The survey also found that more than half (55 percent) of working professionals indicate that they are more open to non-traditional work arrangements than they had been in the past.

“Businesses and people are thinking about work in a fundamentally different way,” said Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad Global Businesses and executive board member. “In the same way just-in-time manufacturing has transformed the responsiveness and agility of the manufacturing industry, companies are now applying that thinking to talent management. By utilizing a greater proportion of contingent talent in a workforce, businesses can respond more quickly to a changing business environment and workers can enjoy more flexibility in their roles.”

The global contingent marketplace – including staffing, direct sourced, independent contractors, statement of work (SOW), and human cloud professionals – grew to $3.7 trillion in 2017, up from $3.5 trillion a year before, according to Staffing Industry Analysts.

The changing way businesses think about talent, regardless of worker classification, is also driving a trend towards “total talent management.” This practice looks at an organization’s acquisition and management of all human talent, including permanent hires and contingent workers, as well as non-human talent such as robots, AI, software, and automation.

The Talent Trends research found that more than three-quarters (76 percent) of businesses surveyed say they definitely or probably will undertake the journey towards a total talent model this year. In particular, the survey found that industries most impacted by automation – such as automotive and manufacturing, life sciences and healthcare, and banking and financial services – are the most likely to move to this type of talent approach.

"The global skills gap is now a canyon and it is having a profound impact on business decisions,” said Henderson. “Businesses are forced to think in new ways to harness all forms of human capital and automation to keep up with the rapid pace of change.”

With this new way of working, talent leaders are also turning to technology and analytics to manage talent acquisition. In 2019, 85 percent of enterprise human capital leaders say talent analytics is critical to talent acquisition and management, up from 70 percent in 2016. For mid-sized business, 77 percent of talent leaders say the same, up from 65 percent in 2016.

“Technology is not only impacting the way we work, but it is improving the way we manage work as well,” said JoAnne Estrada, global head, Contingent Workforce Solutions at Randstad Sourceright. “Digital talent dashboards are no longer an exception, but the rule for the way large businesses need to manage talent in the future.”

For more information, download your copy of the Q3 2019 issue of Talent Trends Quarterly, “Hire for the work, not the job.”

Q3 2019 Talent Trends Quarterly report highlights

  • Shift to Contingent Talent: Twenty-five percent of enterprise and mid-sized companies will convert more permanent jobs to contingent this year. Most (79%) mid-sized companies said the use of gig and freelance workers has at least the same, if not more, impact on their talent strategies and 80 percent of enterprise talent leaders held the same outlook.
  • Global Outlook: Workers in India (86%) expressed the highest enthusiasm to take on flex work, while those in Japan (35%) were least willing. Professionals in Singapore (65%) and Brazil (68%) were also accepting of contingent work. Slightly fewer than half in France (47%) and the UK (48%) felt the same way.
  • Total Talent Perception: Eighty-three percent of talent leaders at large enterprises believed the right person for a job can be permanent, contingent, or a contractor and from anywhere in the world. Although a majority of human capital leaders at mid-sized companies also agreed, just 70 percent felt this way.
  • Industry Impact: Automotive and manufacturing have the highest propensity to implement total talent management. Eighty-six percent of talent leaders indicated they probably or definitely will do so over the next year. This was followed by the life sciences and healthcare sector at 85 percent and banking and financial services at 76 percent.

More findings are available in the Q3 2019 issue of Talent Trends Quarterly.

Previous Article
The HRDirector: workplace diversity attracts freelancers and contractors.
The HRDirector: workplace diversity attracts freelancers and contractors.

Talent demand is at an all-time high. Learn how to build diversity and inclusion strategies that attract bo...

Next Article
Forbes: why isn’t HR leading the freelance revolution?
Forbes: why isn’t HR leading the freelance revolution?

The freelance revolution is expected to expand into the years ahead. How can HR ensure the success of this ...