If companies have learned anything from Covid, it’s that they need to be agile. One of the best ways to build agility into your business model is with a scalable workforce. Here are 5 ways to start.
1. Invest in technology
Technology seems to be the secret sauce for everything these days, and it’s certainly the key to an agile, adaptable workforce. While tech spend varies according to sector, the average investment by companies is 2.6% of their total revenue.
With the right technology, you empower and connect your workers—but at a higher level, you automate your information systems (with, for instance, a CRM or ERP) so that:
- You have visibility across all essential functions: sales, revenue, supply chain, etc.
- Everyone across the company can access the information they need wherever they are.
- Data is entered once and then shared, eliminating wasteful, repetitive tasks.
- It’s secure, and you can control/audit who accesses it.
- It’s typically SaaS/cloud-based, so whatever happens to your servers and hardware, your information is retrievable.
2. Hire remote workers where possible
This is a spinoff benefit of technology: From your contact center and accounting to sales and marketing, all these roles can work remotely (and in many cases work more productively) if you have the right IT in place. Research shows the average company can save $11,000 a year per employee with people working at home only 50% of the time.
More remote workers also means a smaller real estate footprint. Covid has prompted many companies to reduce their office space. Some are eliminating it completely, taking advantage of not only work-from-home and hybrid working models, but also the ability to farm out functions like warehousing and logistics.
3. Hire temp and contract workers where possible
This goes hand-in-hand with the IT and WFH benefits. Contract work currently makes up about 20% of the workforce, and if current market trends are any indication, it’s a figure that’s only going to grow. Companies are shedding assets, and more workers are venturing out on their own. Again, with the right IT in place, companies can make the most of these circumstances.
4. Encourage job sharing / flex work
Does everyone really want to work full-time? No. Parents of young children, new entrepreneurs, and students are all among those workers who depend on the flexibility of temp work, part time work, and job sharing. Fortunately more companies are recognizing this reality, and are realizing in the process that by giving workers more options, the workers are happier, more satisfied, and more productive.
5. Partner with a temp agency
A temp agency can be your outsourced HR department—a partner who gets to know your business and your needs, and can work alongside you to source and hire workers while offloading that burden from you. Traditional hiring of a single employee can take 3-4 weeks, and it can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours to schedule a single interview. A good temp agency eliminates that headache while giving you the ability to scale your resources in line with market ups and downs.