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The workforce of the future: how HR Managers can prepare

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When you imagine freelance workers, what do you think of? And when you think of the people hiring them, who do you see? Understandably, a large portion of the discussion around the world of work post-pandemic has been focussed on the challenges and opportunities posed by remote working. Will productivity levels stay the same? (Yes). Will health, both mental and physical, improve? (Yes). Will the office-based businesses survive? (Unsure). One thing that has become apparent as we have shifted to a more remote work-based model is that it’s not only possible for a whole range of business tasks to be conducted away from the office but that they’re often performed more thoroughly and successfully when they are. The freelance workforce can play a significant role in this new business landscape, allowing businesses to prosper, with the advantages of fresh insight, new skills, flexibility where it wasn’t available before, and frequently, a reduction in the associated costs, as talent is employed only as and when it is needed. While integrating freelancers into your working model can bring multiple benefits, it can also present difficulties from the perspective of human resources. HR teams need to be aware of the changes that working with a freelance team can bring, and rethink their strategies and key demographics for making those changes. In my experience, those changes can be covered by the following steps. Here are five fresh ways to think about hiring and managing the teams that may be the future of your business. Change your recruitment standards. When you’re recruiting for a new team member, the focus tends to be as much on team dynamics as it is on the skills and experiences of the individual. But when working with freelancers, the focus shifts to a work-first format. So, while certain freelance hiring is based on testing, it usually only works for singular small projects and can become expensive as the company increases in size and ambition. Very few teams are trained to identify a candidate’s red flags, which means the quality of the hired freelancers can bring down the overall productivity of teams. It is vital to create standards that team members must adhere to while hiring freelance workers. This could include what third-party platforms to hire from, portfolio expectation, minimum platform ratings/experience, the number of interview rounds to pass, minimum and maximum pay, and so on. Adhering to these standards minimises potential bad hiring, and also prevents team members from hiring their friends and families to work on projects. Create policies that are geared towards freelance workers Short term onboarding processes aren’t common within business. There are so many compliance issues to deal with. With freelancers, this is rarely necessary. What is necessary is clear communication routes. And established protocols for onboarding and offboarding talent. So, what’s the best thing you can do when it comes to hiring freelancers? Actually have a designated member of staff who handles onboarding and offboarding. And before you ask, yes, offboarding is important. Because […]

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