Many organizations have remained inactive when it comes to hiring and management strategies, leaving them failing to keep up pace with significant evolutions in technology and globalization.
Companies that have fallen behind in this way create opportunity for other businesses that are ready to adopt the new practices by the term, “Total Talent Management” (TTM). Staffing Industry analysts describe total talent management as follows:
“The concept of TTM integrates and engages the full range of talent sources, from traditional employees to a wide variety of non-employee workers including temporary workers, independent contractors/consultants/ freelancers, volunteers, outsourced resources, and even non-human options such as robots, drones and cognitive computing applications.”
According to Sarah Rickerd, author of “What is Total Talent Management?” specific implementations of total talent management within organizations vary. However, all of these arrangements allow enterprise companies to tap into the 1.45 billion mobile workers worldwide. This makes it possible to find the right talent for the project—no matter where in the world that worker is, or how they should be classified.
Risks & Rewards
One of the main concerns companies have when it comes to TTM is the issue of classification. Misclassifying workers as independent contractors or freelance workers when they should be employees (or vice versa) can lead to serious employment law violations.
It’s important not to misinterpret these concerns, but it’s also unfair to allow classification questions to hinder the implementation of a TTM program and deny organizations the significant benefits associated with the ability to utilize a full range of talent sources.
Rickerd states when talent acquisition and engagement are managed in a holistic way, enterprise companies are empowered to:
- Find the right talent to fill a specified need, without being restricted to a limited geographic area.
- Refrain from costly and time-intensive onboarding processes for full-time workers on projects that don’t require full-time coverage.
- Free up overhead capital and enable both organizational flexibility and competitiveness by retaining talent on a per-project basis.
Choosing whether or not to pursue a TTM approach is one that has to be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, if your talent requirements fall into traditional full-time roles, or if limited innovation in your industry minimizes the risk of disruption from more agile competitors, pursuing contingent work arrangements may not be for you.
“However, if you find yourself facing shortages of specific talents, labor pool limitations or the need for greater flexibility in project-based hiring, looking beyond standard hiring practices to tap new pools of contingent workers may be the right choice,” says Rickerd.
So you chose to pursue TTM, what’s next?
Legal liability is the first question any company must consider when pursuing a TTM approach. If you intend to retain freelancers, contractors or other non-traditional workers, it’s important that you settle your classification and compliance questions before moving forward. This can be accomplished with the help of your internal Human Resources (HR) or legal team.
With HR in mind, three considerations come to mind when engaging different types of workers: 1. access to talent, 2. technologies, 3. processes.
Understanding the benefits of accessing non-traditional labor is one thing, but actually finding qualified talent is another challenge in itself. Rickerd argues that you have a couple options to overcome this:
- Partner directly with individual freelancers.
- Contract with traditional temp agencies that specialize in different types of remote or contingent work.
Rickerd suggests thinking about the way you currently engage new talent; how you communicate expectations, reporting structures, company culture and more. Consider other processes you have in place, from talent management to compensation.
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