Insourcing for Agility: Optimizing Talent Needs through a Blended Workforce
Locating specialized skills when you need them and where you need them is a top challenge for companies that rely on professional talent. But even more challenging is getting the talent rapidly when there is an outstanding project at hand.
Enter free agents – the professionals who work on a project basis as valued contributors to an organization. They work side by side with the salaried employees, and are often indistinguishable in the content and quality of their work. Bersin & Associates refers to this as “insourcing” – the bringing in of free agents required on an “as-needed” basis to fill a specific talent gap. Insourcing creates a blended workforce – a combination of free agents, consultants, contractors, temporary workers and the salaried employees hired directly by the company.
Our research found that almost all organizations have some level of contingent or independent contract talent at work in their businesses today. The U.S. Department of Labor, which lumps all temporary employees (contractors and “temps”) into one bucket called “temporary help,” announced employment gains in such services increased between June and October 2011. This area of added hiring averaged 18,000 per month from July to October, an improvement from the average gain of 5,000 jobs per month during the first half of 2011.
This research bulletin explores how high-performing organizations select and incorporate professional consultants in their workforces today. These businesses all rely on augmenting their existing salaried employees with a contracted workforce.
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