While hiring has traditionally revolved around long-term contract hires, blended workforces are quickly becoming more popular. These workforces combine individuals with different types of contracts, bringing freelancers, part time workers, and traditional contracts together to create a more flexible and scalable workplace. This trend brings complexity to HR management and payrolling, but offers numerous advantages to businesses of all sizes.
What is a Blended Workforce?
Traditional hiring means hiring everyone with a fixed contract for a set period of time and a set contract. Today, more and more people prefer to work more dynamically, taking on freelance, part-time, and contract roles. The gig economy means that more individuals are able to work on a short-term contract basis, filing short-term needs as they become relevant and then moving on.
One of the biggest challenges in any growing organization is bringing on employees at a rate which matches internal needs to drive value. With traditional hiring, companies are forced to bring on full-time employees often before they are able to fully contribute, simply because demand is too low.
Hiring part-time and freelancers enables you to bring in work on an as-needed basis, so that you can perfectly meet demand without increasing overhead more than needed. This is especially advantageous for businesses with seasonal demand, because you can scale your workforce up and down quickly and easily.
Bringing on Experts
Most organizations can benefit from technical experts and highly-skilled individuals, but many don’t have the resources to hire and bring them on without creating more overhead than value. Hiring freelancers gives you the opportunity to bring experts and specialists on for short-term projects or a low number of hours per week, so that you can benefit from expertise and specialisms without paying for a full-time employee you can’t make full use of.
Choosing when and how to work gives many people freedom and the ability to keep themselves challenged and motivated without becoming stuck in a static environment, which can benefit you a great deal. The only caveat here is that you must be willing to bring even contract workers on as full members of the organization, so that they feel as though they are part of the organization and are motivated to contribute to organizational goals.
While outsourcing isn’t always a good option, it can be extremely cost-effective, especially for technical roles such as developers. Outsourcing allows you to reduce the cost of technical work by moving it to another country, where you pay less per hour for labor. However, this can cause some issues in terms of communication and timelines, so you should carefully manage and set up infrastructure to ensure good communication before doing so.
Today, most companies hire as many as 48% of employees through part-time or freelance contracts, giving them room to hire on more people in new and different ways. Organizations benefit from this in numerous ways, creating more opportunities for flexible and scalable workforces, where you can bring employees on in an as-needed function, even when they are very high-level or specialist.
While you will need additional HR structure to support different types of employees and to manage short-term contracts and hires made through agencies or freelance, the payoff is often very high in terms of enabling even a smaller organization to cut costs while ensuring that skilled labor is available where needed.