Remote Work Has Opened the Door to a New Approach to Hiring | Harvard Business Review

Talent Acquisition

Much has been written about the challenges firms face in attracting and retaining workers. A narrative is also playing about how many workers have shifted their work preferences—with many placing a disproportionate value on flexible work arrangements. Simultaneously, thought leaders posit firms will increasingly deconstruct “jobs” into tasks and activities, so they have greater flexibility in delivering pieces of work through various work options, such as freelancers and project work. Within this picture sits an opportunity for firms to think creatively about addressing talent needs through a flexible work model. This article presents the notion of an “open talent” model — whose defining feature is project-based or temporary work that is staffed with workers who are not full-time employees. The article discusses reasons for using an open talent model, which jobs or tasks are most amenable to it, and how firms can decide when an open model makes sense. For example, the authors mention four situations where it makes sense to use an open talent model: 1) Insiders cannot be redeployed easily. 2) Outsiders are less expensive than hiring a new insider or paying overtime to existing ones, 3) Highly specialized skills are needed, and they are not available internally, and 4) Returns on exceptional solutions are high. The article has other ideas to help firms determine the work tasks that can be delivered through an open-source model. In turn, this helps unlock the capacity of many full-time workers to focus on work tasks that require a high level of firm-specific knowledge and skills.

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