A blend of novel technologies and shifting attitudes towards work mean that the demand for agile talent is soaring. Today, countless businesses seek out agile talent temporarily.
According to figures from a global survey conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts, contingent workers accounted for 20% of workforces in 2017 – a significant leap from 15% in 2014.
In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at the key reasons agile talent is now becoming vital to the success of any growing business.
What Is Agile Talent?
Before we begin to explore the factors driving the popularity of agile talent, though, let’s quickly clarify precisely what we mean by this phrase.
There are many different types of contingent work and, therefore, categories of contingent workers. In its research study titled The Case for Contingent Work, Staffing Industry Analysts outline five key categories:
- Temporary agency workers
- Other directly-sourced temporary workers
- Temporary workers
- Human cloud workers
- Independent contractors
Agile talent tends to refer to highly-skilled contingent workers who collaborate on a short-term basis with several businesses.
Why Is Agile Talent So Popular?
Let’s dive right into the reasons that agile talent is becoming a popular choice for businesses around the world.
1. Faster to hire
According to findings from Jobvite’s 2018 Recruitment Benchmark Report, it takes the average company 38 days to fill an open position. This varies, of course, depending on the employer and the vacancy that they are hoping to fill.
That’s a significant amount of time, and it means that many businesses often find themselves stuck without the talent that they need. In today’s fast-moving business world where each day counts, that can significantly harm the growth of a budding business.
Those new team members will often need to go through an extended period of onboarding, too, to understand internal policies and procedures.
Agile talent is the perfect solution to this problem. Businesses can find, recruit and onboard agile talent in a matter of days. This helps companies to keep moving forward at an impressive pace.
2. Build diverse teams
Diverse workplaces are often more creative, productive and performant. Those businesses benefit from a variety of perspectives, and the majority of people relish the opportunity to work as part of a diverse team, too.
Agile talent can help to make businesses more diverse. Those professionals often work on a short-term basis, meaning that businesses can benefit from fresh perspectives and backgrounds regularly.
This dynamic can help businesses to evolve constantly. Those agile team members will bring new perspectives and best practice with them, too, assisting the companies to improve and learn through exposure to new professionals continually.
3. Find unique and flexible talent
Findings from The Open University Business Barometer suggest that over the course of 2018, a staggering 91% of organisations in the UK struggled to find workers with the right skills.
There’s a significant skill shortage, and this is still an issue today. In the same report, 70% of senior business leaders said that deficit was responsible for a longer – and more expensive – recruitment process.
This dynamic also places the power in the hands of those talented candidates, who can now command high salaries. This means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to access the talent that they require.
Agile talent could be the key. These tech-savvy professionals work on a more flexible basis, and they’ll often move from one project to the next, which means that their unique talents are more accessible to businesses.
This is why so many businesses are turning to agile talent to resolve their skill shortage issues. As the demand for more specialist skillsets continues to increase, we’ll be sure to see this preference for agile talent grow.
4. Cut costs dramatically
Finding and employing full-time workers is incredibly expensive. Businesses have to consider the following significant costs when hiring talent:
- Recruitment costs
- National insurance contributions
- Pension contributions
- Holiday pay
- Sick pay
- Maternity and paternity pay
There are several other factors to consider, too, like equipment and the costs that are associated with sourcing and maintaining a healthy working environment.
Putting together a full team can place a substantial financial burden on any business. This is one of the key reasons that companies, both large and small, are turning towards agile talent.
While agile talent may command a higher hourly rate, businesses can still expect to make significant savings – all while enjoying the additional benefits that agile talent brings.
5. Prepare for the future
Figures from Wonolo suggest that if the gig economy continues its current rate of growth, 50% of the US workforce can be expected to participate in it by 2027. There are similar trends taking shape in the UK and beyond, too, so businesses should be sure to try and develop their agile talent strategy sooner rather than later.
As time draws on, we’ll see that those businesses with a mature agile talent strategy will enjoy privileged access to the best talent at the best rates.
A big reason for the success of those businesses will be established alumni talent pools. Are you intrested to learn more about what those talent pools could do for you? Be sure to read our piece on why building a corporate alumni network makes sense.
Retain, Engage and Attract Your Agile Talent with Elevate
Are you currently riding the wave of agile talent? Develop a keen strategy, and you’ll be sure to unlock all of the benefits above.
Interested about the prospect of finding the best talent exactly when you need it? Join some of the world’s leading brands and access Elevate’s leading Talent Intelligence platform today.