Modern workforces are ever-evolving. With the space for hiring bias shrinking, and with access to global talent pools with a staffing agency supplementing recruitment functions, the last two decades have seen massive growth in workforce diversity. In the same vein, blended workforces have been growing steadily, more so with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a distinct chance that blended workforces will usher in a new era of workforce management and business processes. Read on to find out how you can position your own blended workforce for the maximum benefit.
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What Are Blended Workforces?
Not to be confused with a diverse workforce, a blended workforce is one consisting of workers in a range of employment options. These include a mix of the primary employment types, namely:
- Full-time employment.
- Temporary employment.
- Part-time employment.
- Remote or offshore employment.
- Contract employment.
- Freelance work.
Typically, most businesses in a specific niche or industry have similar work cultures and workforces. For example, mortgage recruiters are typically looking for contract-to-hire or temporary workers in a high-turnover industry. Consequently, most mortgage firms have a large volume of their operational staff on similar employment options. A blended workforce, however, would mean that the same mortgage firm has a mix of different types of employees, from permanent to transient workers.
How do Blended Workforces Help Growth?
We focused above on the fact that employers with blended workforces offer a broader range of employment options than you see in typical workforces. But what is the purpose of doing so? The short answer is to simply gain access to a broader range of talent.
Consider the fact that remote working was already growing close to mainstream acceptance before the COVID-19 pandemic was even on the horizon. The problem was more with rigidity and conforming to conventional workforce models. Despite the massive economic disruption less than a year ago, businesses are still operating and surviving via remote workforces. This is a clear indicator that the mechanisms for remote working and similar models were at least functional, if not optimal.
At the same time, this also opened access to much deeper talent pools than most businesses could acquire with their conventional on-site models. They could now hire talent across geographical limitations, with access to exactly the kind of global talent and diversity needed to power through the pandemic. The fact that most remote work itself consists of blended employment options adds another layer to growth-focused talent acquisition strategies. These factors don’t just contribute to business survival, but transformation and growth as well. Here’s how to increase the chances of that happening:
Hiring the Right Blend of Workers
You’ll first need to evaluate your workforce and look for key talent gaps. For example, with remote work, you’ll need to ensure the systems and software your workers use remain up and running. You’ll also need to have teams in place to offer IT support or security services. That means you’ll likely be reaching out to an IT staffing firm to find you the right people for strategic roles. When you are open to blended workforces, a much larger talent pool for these roles opens up, with the increased flexibility to choose candidates based on hiring budgets and sustainability.
Enhancing Workforce Communication
You can strategically acquire the best blend of talent from every part of the world. Without effective communication channels in place, however, this is usually a recipe for disaster. As with on-site workforces, blended workforces rely on clear, prompt, and effective communication to work well and synergize. Poor communication will always create confusion, cause errors, and waste time in remedial efforts. With blended workforces, the hierarchy and flow of communication need to be on point. Many modern-day digital platforms and services offer great ways to communicate and collaborate, ensuring your blended workforce understands individual responsibilities and workflows.
Technology isn’t just a competitive advantage anymore. The current turbulent business landscape makes it an absolute necessity for survival. Blended workforces are typically not going to be working on-site. That means you’ll have to create a digital environment similar to the functioning of physical office space. In the pre-internet era, this would have been a nightmare for business leaders and workforce managers. The lack of control over off-site employees and the inability to track what they do would have left businesses blind, leading to catastrophic drops in productivity.
Modern digital technology offers the ingredients to the exact alternative businesses needed to conventional workforces. Making use of the right communication systems and security technology is the only way businesses with blended workforces can hope to succeed. Obviously, this necessitates improved security and information management, but you don’t necessarily have to hire full-time experts – simply add consultants offering vCISO services to your blended workforce. Blended workforces can be highly productive and efficient. But you have to ensure they have the right tools for the best possible output.