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HCMWorks Insights

The Fissured Workplace: The Disappearance of the “Company Job”

Posted by Julia Fournier on 27 Aug 2018

The past 20 years have seen rapid and significant changes in the way we live our everyday lives and the way organizations conduct business - none more so than the way companies are hiring workers.

During the 20th Century workers were employed by the company they worked for, but that’s not really the case anymore. Large companies are now outsourcing work to smaller companies or hiring workers within the contingent workforce, such as contractors, freelancers and consultants. 

What does this all mean? In essence, it means that most companies are no longer directly hiring full-time employees. They are using staffing agencies and smaller companies to outsource contingent workers and they are looking for workers who can work on a project-by-project basis.

This is creating what David Weil, Dean and Professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management, calls the “Fissured Workplace.”

What is the ‘fissured workplace’?

David Weil coined the term to explain a model that sees many large companies, such as Apple, The Marriott Hotel Group and Amazon, no longer the direct employers of the people helping to build their products or offer their services.

There’s no doubt about it, there has been a huge increase in contingent workers over the past decade.

A 2016 report from Pew Research Center found that some 24% of Americans had earned money through contingent work in 2016, and the story is no different in Canada. Contingent workers make up around 20% to 30% of the Canadian workforce, and it’s expected that two-thirds of the Canadian workforce will be remote and contract workers by 2025.

Weil claims that for most large companies, the only people with full-time company jobs now tend to be top executives and senior managers. A large portion of the workers below these positions are working for smaller subcontractors or on self-employed contracts.

This means that full-time jobs for many future workers are essentially a thing of the past.

What does this mean for businesses?

Weil claims that smaller subcontractors, because of the brutal competition in today’s marketplace, often don’t have the financial capacity to ensure good wages, benefits and other key labour standards.

While that may be true for many subcontractors, here at HCMWorks we know that, with responsible hiring practices, making the most of the unique talents within the contingent workforce can have significant benefits for both worker and employer.

From the employer’s perspective, making the most of the contingent labor pool gives companies access to top-tier talent, specialized workers, workforce flexibility, cost-savings, seasonal and on-demand workers and significantly reduced risks when compared to full-time employees.

It’s not just all benefits for the employer. Workers are able to deduct work-related expenses from their taxes, work in their own hours and to their own schedule, work from a location that best suits them and choose work that they genuinely want to undertake.

However, setting up the right talent acquisition strategy is essential if you want your business to realize these benefits - this is where a professional comes in.

How can HCMWorks help?

Vendor-neutral managed service providers (MSPs), such as HCMWorks, provide expertise for a company’s overall external talent strategy. An MSP will manage an organization’s entire contingent labor pool, give it access to top talent quickly, take control of worker and vendor payments, as well as oversee risk mitigation.

We will help you implement a company-wide strategy that’s perfect for finding your industry’s best talent, unlocking financial and organizational benefits for your business.

Companies are are hiring more non-permanent workers, and workers are increasingly looking to move into contingent work. Adapting to this modern workforce transition will enable your business to acquire and retain world-class talent.

Want to discuss your unique contingent workforce needs? Contact us today.

Tags: Contingent Workforce