With the specialization of labor today, many businesses can no longer afford to do everything themselves. Thankfully, adopting talent as a service (TaaS) means they don’t have to.
Recently, our team was working on a major marketing execution and didn’t have capacity to design some of the creative assets, namely billboards. Rather than stretch our resources thin and deliver an inferior product, we turned to freelance talent to get the job done. Even today, we are in the process of hiring an external business expert to build a landscape assessment of the freelance market.
Businesses will always need talent for project-based needs, and many times, the best talent won’t be in-house. Leveraging TaaS improved our HR practices by enabling us to move quickly, take on multiple challenges, bring in specialists for individual projects, and maintain a high level of quality work across all channels.
How TaaS Makes Businesses Better
Companies that leverage TaaS see the following benefits:
• Wider Talent Pools
TaaS allows companies to access top talent; talent that would likely be unavailable in a traditional arrangement.
Right now, a handful of companies monopolize the best workers. With TaaS, even smaller companies with more limited budgets — as well as companies that aren’t in perhaps the most attractive industries or geographies — can access top-tier talent.
• Expertise Matching
TaaS enables companies to better match expertise to projects. When HR leaders can go beyond the traditional full-time equivalent (FTE) talent pool, businesses see better results. Not only does actual product quality improve under a TaaS system, but time to completion also gets shorter — independent contractors often require less ramp-up time in their areas of expertise, allowing companies to devote resources to other areas.
• Greater Flexibility
TaaS allows companies to maintain leaner head counts and compete more effectively as a result of their flexibility. For example, HR leaders can contract with a freelancer for immediate needs while searching for an ideal FTE candidate. For seasonal rushes and other workload fluctuations, TaaS enables companies to staff a capable workforce at all times without going through painful FTE hiring and firing surges.
Preparing for TaaS
TaaS isn’t just for bandwidth-strapped startups and small businesses. Giants like Microsoft
increasingly leverage TaaS as well, and with freelancers projected to make up 50 percent
of the American workforce by 2020, the trend will only continue to grow.
Companies that fail to evolve with the changing workforce will soon struggle to compete with their more forward-thinking competitors. Not only will these stubborn companies miss out on some of the best talent, but they will also fail to take advantage of the efficiencies a TaaS economy provides.
Companies today already struggle
to attract and retain top talent, so it’s important to make your business freelance-friendly before the market leaves you behind.
To begin implementing TaaS, you must first take several important steps:
- When staffing projects, consider both internal and external resources to ensure you hire the best person for the job based on expertise instead of full-time availability.
- Use online TaaS platforms to find and evaluate the best potential talent for your company’s needs.
- Build an infrastructure that can handle off-site workers. As most freelancers prefer to work remotely, HR managers must develop new onboarding, communication, and management procedures to accommodate them.
The Future of TaaS
As TaaS becomes more common, the roles of HR leaders will change. Rather than focus on identifying the best individuals for full-time positions, HR leaders will have to become better evaluators of talent relative to short-term needs. Finding the right person for specific projects — either externally or internally — becomes an HR leader’s primary objective. These leaders will need to become adept at comparing available skills to current projects, as well as leveraging technology to find and recruit the right people for various openings.
TaaS will match capable workers to the best possible projects and improve results, but before we get to that point, we must shed our traditional ways of thinking and start embracing the flexibility of TaaS. The sooner your company starts to work alongside freelancers, the better prepared it will be for the workforce of the future.
Rob Biederman is the co-founder and CEO of HourlyNerd, a service that connects businesses to top freelance business talent.