Published on 2012/04/23

How iLearn! How iWork! - Working In A Blended Workforce Part 1

How iLearn! How iWork! – Working In A Blended Workforce Part 1
Today’s workforce is a blend of part-time and full-time workers. Being able to accommodate more employees might, in the long run, save businesses and fund jobs for more people. Image by Patrick Hoesly.

How Did We Get Here?

The Blended Workforce has arrived.  You just don’t know it.  Today between 40% and 50% of total labor costs of an organization is not done by full time employees on payroll getting a W-2.

If you still don’t know the world is shrinking and the speed of business is exploding you must be in a cave in the desert somewhere.  These workforce changes will shift into high gear once the economy starts to move ahead more rapidly.  How that happens depends on what angle or whose view you most believe in, because nobody, yes nobody, really knows, but we are all sure that it will.

When the economic conditions improve and hiring returns:

  • Demand for highly skilled workers will increase, remembering that there are not enough skilled worker to fill those jobs right now.
  • Skilled workers who have stayed with a poor job they did not like while waiting out the recession, will get eagerly into the job hunt, if they haven’t already.
  • Experienced skilled workers who stayed on the job either because they had to or preferred working will now retire at the Labor Department’s predicted rate of 10,000+ PER DAY.  Much knowledge in the minds of those folks will go with them.  We still won’t know the impact of that for some time.
  • In the meantime, the total of Generations X and Y lack the entry level experiences to fill all leadership pipelines of openings left by the changes noted above.
  • More businesses will want to expedite their global initiatives with market share at stake for early entry.  That will translate to not only generational and cultural adapting, but also languages and currency exchange and tax issues.
  • With fewer skilled workers, companies will bid up the price and add many perks to get the talent with a perfect match.
  • Once the so called “A players” are off the market, the net effect of the above sequence will mean those enterprises who have thought for some time that the “Talent Shortage” and “War for Talent” were only scripts for action movies will have a very rude awakening.  Realization will set in quickly that actively engaged and aligned talent is the ONLY competitive advantage in shrinking world where business is conducted at the speed of the Internet.  We will be in that position in what will seem like only a heartbeat.

What’s the Solution or Solutions?

First CxO’s will need to recognize that change is the real new norm and must assess many more analytics and risks than ever before with ever tighter decision windows.  Being able to harness and manage ever increasing volumes of virtualized data with fast search capablities is a major challenge ahead.  Flatter more collaborative engaged teams will be an active part of most all non-confidential decision processes.

Solving the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) securely is another hurdle because high value workers already come with their favorites and don’t understand why enterprises can’t just hook them up to the corporate network.  After all, look how easy it is to use Google, Bing, Facebook, YouTube and  thousands of other “there’s an App for That!”  The SmartPhone and Tablets with wireless connection to the Internet changed the way we work almost overnight.  These devices are ready made for push/pull search, learning, testing, certifications, and collaboration.  All are engaging processes that comes with the workers.  The security aspects of this seem to be the most pressing.

Third, the ability to effectively merge private cloud (web based) networks and open cloud networks will bring about huge savings and more efficient computing services to both internal and external clients.

While these forecasts may seem a bit presumptuous to some, there is ample data/evidence in the public domain to support these expectations.  If you have been following this logic, it is through the gap and time lag for these massive changes that blended workforces will play a key role.

Today nearly 50% of total labor cost/spend is outsourced – janitorial services to huge data processing environments, all have labor costs and operational costs associated with them, we just rarely looked at it that way.  As the pool of potential employees with high potential accomplished readiness diminishes, organizations are turning to more contractors, contingent, consignment workers and subject matter experts (SME) from across the globe that do “Just-in-Time” collaboration project work and fill skills gaps until workers can be on-boarded and up-skilled support by new global vendor and human capital management tools.

Skills, Proficiency, Promises, and Performance Mastery gets you there.  That’s HOW iLearn and HOW iWork!

NEXT WEEK IN How ILearn! How iWork!:  Working in a Blended Workforce Part 2: How They Work.

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