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Could this quintuple the size of the staffing industry?

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Just read two fascinating blog posts that were shared by Andrew Karpie, who is a research analyst with Staffing Industry Analysts.

From Filling Positions…to Matching Talents

Eureka!! The New Potential for Scaling a Business with “Contingent Workforce”

These blog posts describe a radically new vision of the working world. In this world, contingent staffing is more than fill-ins. More than seasonal help. And even more than a supplement to the core workforce. In this world, contingent staffing IS the core workforce.

The theory essentially goes that work today is made up of a lot of small tasks that require very specialized skills and/or knowledge. And workers have much more talent than we allow them to use. So rather than the traditional “here’s your job” model of work, organizations will restructure around projects and tasks, constantly shifting and acquiring resources to put the best talent on each task.

Essentially, this means that almost every job is contingent. While this model may not replace the assembly line, it makes a lot of sense in high tech, professional services, engineering and other knowledge and project based roles. oDesk itself has the equivalent of 250 FTEs as contract workers supported by 100 internal employees – they practice what they preach.

So what are the implications for your firm?

  1. Determine if this concept would fit any of your clients.
  2. Get ready to educate – you’re going to have to teach C-level execs how this concept works and why it makes economic sense.
  3. Gather data – get proof that this idea will work.
  4. Offer to help clients test the concept. (The article Andrew shared outlines strategies.)
  5. Measure results. Adjust plans. Repeat.

Be patient. Be persistent.

You may not get this new model right the first try, but if you can master the strategy, and show clients how to truly integrate flexible staffing into their business strategy, you will create virtually limitless opportunities to sell your services. And you will radically differentiate your staffing firm from everyone else who’s selling fill-ins and competing on margins!

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