How Workforce Optimization Helps Companies Gain a Competitive Edge

By MBO Partners | April 23, 2024


Key Points

Independent talent can give enterprises a competitive advantage and access to in-demand skills.

Quickly respond to project demands, more easily meet budget constraints, and remain open to innovation with a blended workforce.

Technology can help increase transparency into independent talent, minimizing risks and costs.

Today’s organizations are implementing workforce optimization strategies with the goals of achieving efficiency and cut costs. Forward-thinking companies are leveraging new technologies and adapting to flexible modes of working, such as virtual meetings and remote work.

This new paradigm has highlighted the vast chasm between the traditional business model and the emerging modern one. One model will be able to adapt to the new reality and thrive, and the other will struggle to survive. Modern organizations increasingly have come to see the value in an integrative workforce strategy—one that relies on a highly skilled, independent workforce to remain agile and competitive.

Businesses are realizing that they need to think differently, and independent talent can give them a competitive advantage and access to in-demand skills. With a more flexible workforce, organizations can quickly respond to project demands, client expectations, more easily meet budget constraints, and remain open to innovation. Put simply, the way companies leverage talent resources in the future can, for the first time, create true competitive advantage.

Here are four ways workforce optimization can help your enterprise gain a competitive edge.

1. Increase Access to Top Talent

Organizations today need a way to easily access high-value talent. Independent talent, by nature, is not easily found in a single place. Research shows on average independent professionals have 3-5 clients at a time, so it is incredibly important to make sure these resources work for you and not the competition.

In order to attract the very best independent talent, forward-thinking companies are using modern technology to change where, when, and how work gets done. By shifting focus from hiring for a specific job that focuses on the role to engaging talent for a project focused on a specific outcome, companies can decrease operating costs and solidify a competitive foothold in the modern marketplace.

For example, technology like online marketplaces enables a transaction between the client and independent professional directly online, eliminating the need for a third-party staffing agency or consulting firm. A freelancer or independent contractor can fill out a profile and then apply to or be matched with projects that fit their skill set. On the other end, enterprise managers can post opportunities for available talent, and then evaluate and engage the right person.

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2. Boost Efficiency with Digital Platforms

Today’s technology combines tools, services, data, and processes to create a seamless end-to-end experience for independent talent and managers alike. Digital platforms bring together contingent talent with skills that run the gamut from graphic design, project management, and coding, to engineering and marketing. These platforms facilitate project-based work, allowing companies to efficiently deploy talent when and where they need it most.

In addition to finding skilled talent, managers can also use this technology to facilitate onboarding and engagement processes. Once engaged, they can easily manage contractor time and expenses, process invoices, resolve issues, and track performance. With a consistent process in place to manage the talent lifecycle, it becomes easier for organizations and independent talent to work together and build strong, lasting relationships.

Another rising trend among independents is the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) to increase productivity and grow their businesses. independents who have Gen AI skills can offer a lot of experience to organizations who are looking to tap into AII capabilities and explore new ways of using AI.

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3. Mitigate Compliance Risk

Companies must remain compliant when engaging independent contractors, ensuring all tax, labor, and other statutory requirements are met. Technology increases transparency into independent workers, minimizing the risks and costs embedded in legacy practice such as managers using their own networks to find talent, or payrolling all independent contractors regardless of their background.

Practices such as requiring up-to-date qualification documentation and offering flexible engagement options minimize compliance risk. Many companies choose to partner with an organization like MBO Partners, which specializes in independent workforce engagement and compliance to further ensure compliance measures are met. Part of MBO’s compliance process, for example, involves collecting and storing qualification documents for each independent professional an organization engages to minimize risk and build a defense file to bolster compliance.

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4. Increase Talent Satisfaction

The ability to engage independent talent is increasingly desirable, and, as such, the competition to attract, engage, and retain this talent is becoming more of a challenge. Independent professionals have skills that are in-demand, and they have a big say in the clients they decide to work with. Organizations must balance meeting the needs of this pool of talent to remain an attractive place to work.

Top satisfaction factors include a clear onboarding process and project scope, quick and fair compensation, and reasonable processes and procedures. Prioritizing these needs helps companies stand out from their competition and makes them a more desirable choice for top independent talent. Again, technology plays a big role here creating a simple, clear, and streamlined work experience for independent contractors you engage.

By strategically leveraging independent talent who can bring the right capabilities on demand, organizations can achieve critical objectives on schedule, reduce costs, close staffing gaps, and boost efficiency.

6 Effective Strategies to Attract the Best Talent

To learn more, read our case study on how a leading, publicly traded healthcare improvement company implemented workforce optimization strategies to direct source talent and improve talent engagement efficiency.

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