Part of my holiday reading included a recent report entitled “Building the On-Demand Workforce” by researchers from Harvard Business School’s Managing the Future of Work Project and Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute, which focuses on the recent embrace of digital platforms that are creating a marketplace for highly-skilled on-demand work.
According to the report, the number of digital talent platforms has grown from 80 to more than 330 since 2009. 90% of U.S. executives surveyed see a future competitive advantage for their firms by blending talent models to include both full-time and on-demand resourcing, helping them harness the power of both committed employees with deep understanding of company objectives and processes, as well as the fresh perspective, energy, and right-time-skills alignment that on-demand talent provides. The COVID-19 era has cemented for many how easy it can be to manage talent and activities virtually while still driving strong results and outcomes. Allison Bailey, a managing director and senior partner at BCG, calls these realizations and the resulting pivot to action the advancement of the “talent fluid future.”
More and more companies are developing strategies and protocols to enhance their talent fluidity, including adjustment of restrictive vendor policies that can make it impossible to engage on-demand talent in a timely manner. There are many activities that companies need on-demand assistance with that only require external perspective – such as research, analysis, or situational recommendations. The procurement of these work streams do not need to be held to the same standards as those that require on-demand talent to “look under the hood” or be exposed to any business-sensitive information, although the procurement efficiency for those types of activities can likely be improved in this digital and virtual era as well.
Digital or online talent platforms are proving to be the lynchpin of efficiency and success for the synergy of highly-skilled on-demand talent being able to be profiled and discoverable by hiring entities, and for those hiring entities to be able to quickly discover and easily engage highly-skilled on-demand talent. Leaders surveyed in the report also said that 90% of the activities they are sourcing on-demand talent for is deemed to be high-complexity, meaning they are not just using the platforms to source admin or support-type work.
Government affairs is one of several business-critical and high-skill functional areas that can benefit from the on-demand and talent fluid future, just like finance, marketing, or operations. Poligage.com makes it possible for companies and organizations of any size, anywhere in the world, to virtually engage our world-class and vetted network of policy and government affairs experts for on-demand consultations, projects, and other services. This on-demand engagement can either form the foundation of an organization’s government affairs function, or it can complement and extend the bandwidth of in-house resources.
It feels important to note that I do not believe on-demand employment is likely to become the norm for employment in the United States or elsewhere in the world. Companies and organizations will always need committed employees who possess long-term institutional knowledge and bring that knowledge to each activity they are a part of. But there are plenty of deeply experienced professionals -- whether caregivers in need of greater work/personal flexibility, older executives who have retired but are still ripe to contribute, or other profiles -- who will thrive with the opportunities presented by on-demand talent platforms, and who will greatly benefit the organizations that engage them.
Poligage will continue in 2021 to curate a network of highly-skilled, best-in-class policy and government affairs experts who are available for on-demand insights, projects, and other services with companies and organizations that are eager to experiment with or fully participate in a talent fluid future. We look forward to helping the on-demand workforce movement, enabled by online platforms like ours, to continue to grow and thrive.