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A changing workforce is becoming more fluid

Brian Girouard

More than a third of US workers are involved in the gig economy, and it is anticipated that more than 50% will participate in it by 2027. Freelancing, working multiple part-time positions, and independent contracting are becoming more popular with the younger demographic. And there are many that combine a full-time job with a side business.

At the same time, business conditions are getting more challenging. Markets are being disrupted and companies must be prepared to change course quickly if the business environment changes. The demand to constantly be ready to change has impacted workforces and how companies build the right workforce.

With the growth of platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, the human cloud is becoming a popular way to engage people for work projects, and entire tasks, including payment for the work, are completed through the online platforms. This ability to find and engage a wide range of skills via a website is attractive to companies and freelancers.

According to the North America Staffing Company Survey 2019, only 13% of staffing and professional-services companies are partnering with a human cloud service, or own or have invested in this kind of service. One third are considering the option, but the rest indicated they are not interested.

Staffing and professional services companies are investing in more automation to operate more efficiently. The younger demographics are digital natives and expect everything to work like their smartphone. Automating on both sides – employees and clients – will make it easier to adapt quickly.

Agile companies require agile workforces. Companies need agility, adaptability, and expertise to compete in a more dynamic environment. At the same time, a growing portion of workers prefer the flexibility and variety of freelance or gig work.

This shift to a more fluid workforce means services and staffing companies need to also increase their agility and flexibility. Companies are beginning to understand gig mentality better and, for example, starting to offer services such as daily payroll. The gig worker expects to be paid the same day and staffing and services should be prepared to meet this need.

Staffing and professional services companies can take advantage of this opportunity by having the right framework and processes in place, because companies that expect to build agile workforces must themselves be agile. In my next post, I will look at how to overcome the existing barriers.

Brian Girouard is EVP, NA Services Industries Leader, at Capgemini and can be reached at