Tap into Interim Talent with the Cloud

‘Gig-economy’ is undoubtedly one of the catch-phrases of 2017 as we witnessed a revolution in the way we work. The phrase might be used to refer to delivery drivers, but it also covers people with multiple clients, working for themselves, choosing to take short-term contracts, whether that’s for variety and to develop new skills or to fit with other responsibilities.

At the same time, organizations of all sizes are coming to terms with the digital era, dealing with agile market disruptors and the constant challenge of managing costs whilst operating effectively. The gig-economy offers an opportunity to tap into highly skilled talent, scaling experienced teams fast and get results, without breaking the bank.

New ways of working require new ways of thinking. However, while the benefits are clear, established businesses overlook the complexity of bringing interim staff on at their peril. Legacy systems, designed to support permanent employees, often struggle with the more fluid nature of freelance staff. If the usual onboarding process takes a few days and input from several employees, including new staff, it’s likely to significantly impact the productivity and effectiveness of a contractor on a six-week assignment.

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One critical area to get right is pay. If new starters cannot be added to payroll until a new cycle starts, unlucky employees might have to wait six weeks to be paid. For contractors relying on timely payments, that could well be too long.

This might seem unlikely, but a recent survey we conducted found that just over half (56%) of UK private-sector decision makers and little more than a third (39%) of their public-sector equivalents believe their payroll can meet the challenges of paying gig-economy workers. This despite 74% agreeing that changing staffing models requires new approaches to payment.

Leashed by legacy. What’s holding them back? A lack of faith in current technology and systems not coping, were two of the barriers, along with a lack of resource to pay people more frequently.

This is a classic example of the friction we’re seeing as organizations go digital. The desire and intent might be there, but the supporting technology isn’t. Whilst embracing change from a cultural perspective is critical, having the infrastructure to effect that change is just as important.

For many, that means cloud. We’re seeing more and more businesses using cloud computing to deliver tangible impact. In our survey, just 16% didn’t have any mission-critical applications hosted in the cloud – that’s the systems that make your organization tick.

What’s driving this acceptance of cloud? Increased flexibility (61%), reducing resource requirements (64%) and reducing payroll reconciliation cycles (41%), a key factor in delaying payments, were some of the reasons given for switching apps to a cloud environment.

A mature way to support new approaches. Businesses that are serious about going digital need to understand that it is not simply a case of updating processes or automating some functions – it’s a root and branch overhaul of every aspect of their operations. That means having a reliable foundation, a fresh approach to business and being committed to moving fast and delivering results faster. Gig-economy talent can help organizations scale quickly, but to secure the right talent, employers need to make sure that they are set up to onboard and pay contractors quickly and accurately. Trying to do that through legacy systems risks impacting their ability to access top talent.

MORE:  When is the gig economy not the gig economy?

Jerry Chilvers

Jerry Chilvers
Jerry Chilvers is managing director, Zalaris UK and Ireland.

Jerry Chilvers

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