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HCMWorks Insights

How to Manage an Agile Workforce in 2021

Posted by Julia Fournier on 26 Aug 2021

Economic uncertainty creates an unpredictable business environment. Seasonal demand fluctuates, companies experience sudden growth spikes, and employment needs shift, especially as of late. A business is only as resilient as its workforce, which is why many hiring managers are seeking out flexible employment arrangements and management approaches.

The combination of employees, contractors, and company alumni is a pool of skills, experiences, and competencies that can be leveraged to create a more resilient workforce. By optimizing the flexibility of employees and processes, businesses can better respond to market conditions and maintain productivity.

What is Workforce Agility?

Agility in the workplace refers to the ability to pivot, adapt to sudden changes, and adjust practices to operate successfully.

An agile workforce is characterized by its collective ability to quickly upskill, reskill, or reallocate resources to meet demand. This approach is facilitated by a high degree of visibility into performance metrics and a good understanding of available skills.  

Adaptive workforces are equipped to respond to any number of conditions, such as adjusting resources according to the scope of a project or the fluctuations of seasonal demand. 

Embracing an Agile Workforce Strategy

Companies that implement best practices benefit from cost savings, scalability, and efficiency. An agile workforce model seamlessly integrates people and processes for a unified approach to productivity. When forming a workforce strategy, there are a few approaches to consider:

Prioritize Retention & Employee Engagement

Unengaged workers lead to higher turnover rates and stalled business objectives. Lost productivity, recruitment expenses, and wasted hours spent searching and vetting talent can severely impact the bottom line. Businesses which focus on employee enthusiasm, provide opportunities for advancement, and cultivate a positive company culture retain employees with specialized skills.

Leverage Contingent Employees 

Using a blended approach to employment can help businesses benefit from the flexibility and advantages that full-time, part-time, and contingent workers have to offer. By accepting flexibility in their employment contracts, companies may benefit from tailored engagements with skilled professionals and knowledge workers depending on their current challenges. 

Engage Direct Sourcing Strategies

Though convenient, staffing agencies can limit companies with rigid sourcing arrangements and lofty expenses for services, which could have been accomplished by an internal HR team or Managed Service Provider (MSP). A direct sourcing infrastructure integrates both internal and external networks to identify and engage the right candidate for the open position. 

Streamline Consistent Practices & Procedures

Agile workforces often consist of a combination of different contract and employment types. While beneficial, this requires hiring managers to be diligent to avoid overspending and maintain compliance. Businesses which neglect to standardize procedures risk losing track of spend, headcount, compliance, and performance.

Establish Metrics & Collect Data

Responsiveness is dependent on understanding. By integrating technology and infrastructure into daily business practices, business leaders can gain visibility into key metrics and data. Solutions, such as Vendor Management Systems, can help store information in a centrally accessible location, organize data, and produce forecasts, all of which help businesses produce a scope of future deliverables. Visibility into data and metrics enables managers to make informed decisions and respond appropriately. 

Assembling and Managing an Agile Workforce

Agile workforces can be assembled and managed efficiently with the assistance of an MSP. At HCMWorks, we specialize in implementing, managing, and optimizing agile workforces. Companies that work with our contingent workforce management solutions can reducee overhead costs, diversify workforces, access top talent, and minimize risk.

To learn more about how we build responsive and flexible workforces, contact our team of experts.

Tags: Workforce Management, managed service provider

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