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The 7 Pillars of HR Leadership – Part 2: Contingent workforce

In this blog series, we will describe the 7 most pressing challenges, trends, and possible opportunities in front of HR organizations as the enterprises they support to come out of this pandemic and adjust to the ‘new normal’
One of the unfortunate results of the first wave of lockdown and shelter-in-place orders was the massive decline in labor demand; even with the measures being lifted, companies are still reluctant to hire full-time employees. However, companies are now looking at a contingent-workforce strategy as a viable middle-ground.

Many organizations have successfully used contingent workers for project-based work in the past, and the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. Adding the uncertainty surrounding the probability of additional “waves” of COVID-19 infections, hiring contingent workers is an attractive alternative to traditional employment models. In addition, the increasing number of available contingent resources in the marketplace is fueling this trend further.

Contingent Workforce Growth

What can HR do?

While gig workers offer employers greater workforce management flexibility, HR leaders will need to evaluate how performance management systems apply to these workers. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind:

Critical skills and competencies:

HR will need to create unique work developing plans to onboard and upskill contingent workers.

Future of work:

HR will need to formalize administrative and management processes for nontraditional employment models.

Performance management:

HR will need to design systems that evaluate gig workers and include them in team processes.

Compensation and rewards:

To avoid a potential culture where employees see themselves as “haves” or “have-nots” HR will need to determine to what degree contingent workers will be eligible for the same benefits as full-time peers.

Diversity and Inclusion:

The changing nature of the workforce will bring in new opportunities and challenges when it comes to honoring the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

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