An interesting thing has happened in the wake of the recovering economy. Small and medium-sized businesses are making do with fewer employees and hiring less. That in turn is changing the face of talent management.
According to a Kaufman Foundation study, “New businesses that continue to generate the bulk of the economy’s net job gains in recent years have been starting up with fewer workers than historic norms and are also adding fewer workers as they grow”.
One of the big reasons behind this new trend may be the new freelance economy where more workers are providing services on a contractual basis.
So how does this new cultural shift affect talent management? It seems that the ability to find these freelancing individuals may hinge on how effectively, recruiters and staffing agencies can find the most qualified workers.
However, a good portion of the freelance population provides high-level skills to companies looking for project-by-project help, in comparison with the numbers of temp workers performing basic jobs. Writers, website and graphic designers are just some of the people filling out the new freelance economy.
Now hiring firms can help clients find everything from marketing and social media consultants to event coordinators and they don’t have to deal with locational limitations. Thanks to business sites such as OnePlace and GoToMeeting, workers far and wide can join and participate in the virtual workplace.
Maximizing talent management will take some new skills from recruitment firms and staffing agencies as they mold their services to help their clients. Now hiring professionals will need to:
- Understand how to use social media to attract and engage freelance workers
- Frequent the online sites where freelancers find their business connections
- Find alternatives to career sites for getting the hiring word out
For example, in addition to referrals or campus recruiting, a hiring firm may use Twitter to find talent for new projects or post the need on LinkedIn to spread announcements throughout their networks.
The hiring industry is already seeing changes to help recruitment firms and staffing agencies learn to use online tools. As social media has proven its worth in providing workers for blended workforces (those that contain full time and project-contingent workers), staffing software has grown to include social media integration.
And as hiring professionals are contracted to supply talent from the entrepreneurial freelance market, social channels will become more important in establishing relationships with those who can help companies achieve their goals…one project at a time.
For more insight into the new look of hiring in 2012, download our whitepaper, 6 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Engage Their Social Channels.