Talent Disruption: Strategic Workforce Planning in the Age of Labor Shortages | Harvard Business Review Analytics Services

Workforce Planning

The number of independent workers—those doing gig, contract, or freelance work—continues to grow. According to a new McKinsey article on independent workers, “36 percent of employed respondents—equivalent to 58 million Americans when extrapolated from the representative sample—identify as independent workers—a notable increase from the same survey’s estimate of 27 percent in 2016.” As the share of workers that prefer independent work continues to climb, the “borrow” component of strategic workforce planning (SWP) can be an increasingly viable option for meeting an organization’s talent needs. But as this 12-page Harvard Business Review Analytics Services whitepaper mentions, the effectiveness of ‘borrow’ strategies in SWP will require a strategic collaboration between HR and the Procurement function. It notes how these two functions—especially in larger organizations—still operate in silos and often lack integration of strategies. As HR and Procurement teams work together to tap into the potential of the contingent workforce, HR leaders can start by helping their Procurement partners understand 1) the organization’s workforce strategy, 2) talent needs, and 3) why the use of contingent workers might be the best option for filling those needs. It will also require Procurement teams to expand their focus beyond cost control and consider the value that contingent workers can bring to the organization. Other points are discussed.