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Exploring a more fluid workforce opportunity

Brian Girouard

Companies want the agility of a more fluid workforce. For staffing and services companies, the opportunity is significant but the demands from workers embracing the gig economy are different. From onboarding to performance management, fluid workers represent new processes and systems.

The key will be for staffing and services companies to overcome the most common barriers to really make the fluid workforce run smoothly. Furthermore, staffing and services companies must work with their clients to smoothly integrate with their processes and systems. These include:

  • Procurement: the process for hiring a fluid worker is not the same as for a permanent employee, so procurement policies need to reflect the hire-as-needed movement
  • Matching: finding the right person with the right skills at the right time is vital. Technology needs to dynamically match open jobs to people’s skills and interests
  • Onboarding: systematic processes to explain the job contract, policies, and procedures to workers and ensure they have the right information
  • Resources: fluid workers still need tools and technology to do the job. Resources need to be provisioned appropriately
  • Performance management: create a structured feedback mechanism for fluid workers throughout the engagement, so they understand how they are performing
  • Offboarding: create a process to gather feedback from fluid workers and a thorough separation process to eliminate any confusion
  • Retention: build a database of fluid workers to be ready for future requests and ensure there is a communications plan in place.

A fluid workforce needs to be integrated into processes and procedures if companies expect these people to mesh seamlessly into their work culture. They want to feel like they are a part of a team, even if their employment is temporary.

The fluid workforce is the future. Companies need integrated talent strategies, processes, and culture to support this growth, and the governance to ensure the operating model works. This is the changing future of work and it is being driven by the younger demographics.

This requires new mindsets and technologies to capitalize on the opportunity. Staffing and professional-services companies need to balance the requests from their clients with the demands on the fluid workforce pool. It is a significant growth opportunity, but it will mean moving away from the traditional boundaries of recruitment. A new workforce requires new HR thinking, and also new ways of working. Transformation is necessary, and my next post will cover what needs to happen.

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