1st June 2021

Are agencies under threat from talent architecture and HR’s easy access to freelance talent?


The benefits that have made WFH sticky and hard to ignore

The Covid pandemic has certainly shaken up the employment market; from the height of the crisis, before lockdowns took effect and vaccine programs put humanity into ascendancy over the virus, it was clear there would be some lasting changes to the business of recruitment. Now that developed economies such as the US, Australia, NZ and the UK seem to be on the way back, these changes are becoming clearer.

The major adaptation that companies made during the pandemic was to implement Working from Home (WFH) for as many employees as possible. In the main, this was initially regraded as a temporary measure.

However, several benefits have made WFH sticky and hard to ignore, with advantages for employees and employers. Such factors as the economics of downsizing offices; the redressing of the work life balance; and reducing the environmental impacts of commuting, have all created an appetite for a permanent increase in home working.

WFH or elsewhere remotely (such as a beach or tree house in Costa Rica!) en-masse has also created a big shift in attitudes and expectations of workers, and has impacted corporate HR management.

Employees – Salaried workers are now thinking and acting more like freelancers. Employees on payroll want some of the benefits associated with freelance working, such as greater flexibility to work where and when they want. Gallup describes Millenial and GenZ as “job hopping” generations, less committed to the organisation and engaged more by the work and co-workers than by employers.

Research suggests a significant percentage of employees are moonlighting by freelancing in off duty hours. Survey data extrapolated over the entire working population suggests as many as 3 million U.K. workers would accept a cut in pay in return for working fewer hours.

Employees are also now more likely to be cavalier and mercenary – they are more impatient than ever, wanting promotion after less than a year; expecting to change employers in less than two years; insisting on work arrangements to balance work and life better, even to the point of accepting a reduction in pay for greater flexibility.

On payroll staff also want more of what they have always wanted too… namely more investment in CPD, and greater choice and autonomy over their work.

HR Managers – Inhouse talent executives are being urged to think and act more strategically. As Talent Architects their goal is to align the workforce more precisely to the needs of the organisation. This means leaving no stone unturned in building the right workforce by acquiring the services of the right people.

Talent architects need to assemble teams with the right mix to fit the needs of the enterprise. It’s likely such teams will be diverse and inclusive, so they will be multidisciplinary, multigenerational, multi-ethnic and gender equal. One of the fallouts of building such teams, is that HR executives may feel driven to recruit talent directly.

How can agencies retain their value to corporate recruiters?

Talent platforms where HR execs can more easily identify talent and hire directly; automation of entry level hiring; robo-hiring working in conjunction with human experts; diverse talent pools where highly experienced baby boomers nestle alongside fast learning millennials. Quite simply, the fast shifting world of recruitment is now one of increased complexity.

The days of a recruitment consultant simply presenting an agency as the solution to all the workforce issues that keep talent executives awake at night are long gone. To provide value in age of talent architecture recruitment agencies need to:

Provide more value from your recruitment agency with ETZ

Part of delivering agency value is to ensure that clients are not unnecessarily burdened with tasks related to outsourced staffing, such as timesheet and invoice admin. ETZ simplifies admin with its digital, automated timesheet and invoicing solution. Hirers carry out timesheet approval in a single click, and recruiters and hirers manage multiple invoices as a single batch.

To find out more about how we help agencies like yours to deliver better value to your clients by taking care of the back office, call us on 0800 311 2266 or book a demo.

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