The past decade has seen a revolution in how we work, accelerated by a sudden, once-in-a-generation global pandemic which forced companies to confront and adapt their traditional workforce structures in order to survive. Successful companies are now defined by their agility. They are organic organisations, able to draw on the best talent in a flexible, scalable way.
The sheer pace of today’s dynamic, hyper-evolving business environment means that change must be embraced quickly. When Henry Ford transformed industrial production more than a century ago – the last comparable workplace revolution – business moved a little slower. Still, the organisations which adapted to the new innovation the fastest proved the most successful.
The hierarchical, structured workplace model, fine-tuned to underpin Ford’s revolution, has endured, and it still largely shapes the employer-employee relationship to this day. Yet these formulaic, rigid structures which helped businesses thrive in the 20th century are now colliding with what organisations want to become: fluid, amorphous and hyper-responsive.
“A new generation of workers has never worked in a traditional structured and hierarchical model, and attracting them to work for you is crucial to filling skills gaps and winning the war for talent,” says Shai-Lee Spigelman, general manager of Fiverr Business. “They are expert freelancers, they can fit into any organisation, and they are skilled and empowered.
“Most of all, they want to work in a flexible way. 2020 brought not just a global pandemic but a global reckoning about what work should look like in the future. Businesses need to address this notion that people don’t want to work in the same way as the generations which preceded them. They must adapt and reimagine their workforce structure.”
The freelance workforce already represents some 46.5% of the global working population, according to the World Bank – a number which continues to grow. That’s not just because many millennials and Gen Z workers prefer flexible freelance working. In a recent study by Fiverr Business, 78% of companies said they are more likely to hire freelance talent than full-time employees while economic conditions remain uncertain, and this has been reflected in the growing demand for Fiverr’s platform, which connects organisations with on-demand freelancers.
The organic organisation is made up of a more fluid workforce, which enables businesses to scale up, down or pivot quickly when conditions change – an adaptive, dynamic organism staffed with a combination of driven and independent freelance workers and a core of full-time staff. Freelancers adeptly support existing full-time staff and bring diversity, specific skills and new perspectives to projects.
Nine in 10 companies surveyed by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group confirmed that they see a future competitive advantage in shifting their talent model to a blend of full-time and freelance employees. To integrate this blended structure in the most effective way, many businesses are introducing a new kind of CFO, the chief freelance officer, to ensure this talent group remains engaged and productive. Platforms like Fiverr Business, meanwhile, will be the driving force that supports the blended workplace.
“As the operating system that patches freelancers in to existing talent structures in the most intuitive way, Fiverr Business is at the epicenter of the future of work conversation,” says Spigelman. “Think about it as a talent platform that large businesses can tap into. By matching you with vetted talent, facilitating team collaboration, providing white-glove onboarding, flexible payment and communication options, and greatly simplifying the move to a more agile workforce for every participant, we can make great things happen.
“The pool of full-time workers that employers can hire is shrinking, and the idea that a business owns its talent because it employs that talent full-time is a myth, especially when you see that the average tenure in hi-tech is now just 1.8 years. Businesses must look to an organic structure not just to reduce fixed costs and scale when they need to, but to be able to quickly and effectively adapt to new innovations, economics and behaviours. That’s how they’ll win the war for talent.”
For more information, visit business.fiverr.com