The Wall Street Journal: embrace workforce ecosystem management.

December 5, 2022 Mike Smith

In today’s complex marketplace, 30% to 50% of an organization’s workforce ecosystem may be composed of contingent workers. Third-party partners and technology resources also provide essential services. As a result, accessing and engaging workers requires a broad perspective and tremendous agility. Clearly, a cross-functional internal and external labor pool is the “workforce of the future.” 

To thrive globally, business leaders are increasingly managing their workforces as interconnected, cross-functional ecosystems rather than strictly in terms of full- or part-time employees in distinct functions, according to “Orchestrating Workforce Ecosystems: Strategically Managing Work Across and Beyond Organizational Boundaries,” a report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte. 

Workforce ecosystem management enables leaders to build an agile and sustainable labor pool moving forward. Yet, according to the report, only 38% of 4,078 global survey respondents say that their organization currently coordinates managing internal employees and external contributors cross-functionally. 

Intentional orchestrators, who are most likely to embrace workforce ecosystem management, share common characteristics: They adopt a holistic, cross-functional approach in recruiting, engaging and allocating internal and external workers to achieve strategic business objectives. 

The report shows stark contrasts between intentional orchestrators and non-orchestrators, emphasizing the substantial benefits of integrated management. For example, 79% of intentional orchestrators say they will be able to hire employees to meet strategic objectives over the next 18 to 24 months, but only 34% of non-orchestrators feel the same. Similarly, 80% of intentional orchestrators feel they will be able to engage the external contributors it needs, while only 32% of non-orchestrator agree. 

Read more about workforce ecosystem management in The Wall Street Journal and find the full report here. You can also learn about total talent strategies in this complimentary playbook.

About the Author

Mike Smith

As chief executive of Randstad Enterprise, Mike Smith intentionally drives a culture of innovation and collaboration across our Enterprise businesses to build long-term client relationships with the world’s largest corporations. He consistently brings Randstad's “tech and touch” thinking to client conversations to solve complex talent challenges and create sustainable business value and agility.

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