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95% of Employers Will Use More Non-Traditional Skilled Workers Than Ever Before

The composition of corporate workforces is undergoing dramatic change driven by both the demands of workers and the strategic needs of employers. This is the consensus of the many HR executives who took part in the latest study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), the leading human capital research firm that helps organizations build and sustain high performance.

The new i4cp study, Beyond Uber: The Evolution of Work (available exclusively to i4cp members), explores key trends identified through 80 interviews with chief HR officers from leading employers, including Starbucks, 3M, McDonald's, Cigna, TIAA-CREF, Cardinal Health, and Cargill. Based on research conducted in coordination with John Boudreau, renowned thought leader and co-author of the book "Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment," it also outlines implications for HR and business leaders.

95% of companies are already using more non-traditional skilled workers

One trend that was clear: 95% of the executives i4cp interviewed are using or anticipate using more non-traditional (non-employee) skilled workers than ever before.

While the use of non-traditional workers is not necessarily a new phenomenon, what is new is the shift in the type of non-traditional worker these employers seek, as well as the strategies employed to utilize these workers.

"Clearly, Uber epitomizes the growing non-traditional labor force, as well as changing ideas and attitudes about both the implicit and explicit employer-employee contract. This evolution—one rooted in accelerating worker demand for control and flexibility—affects many companies across a diverse set of industries and business models," said Kevin Oakes, CEO at i4cp. "We believe this will increasingly become a greater factor in any organization's ability to attract and retain talent, as well as achieve productivity gains."

The implications of this trend extend to all facets of an organization, including how, with an increased emphasis on nontraditional workers, employers manage culture, engagement, and brand, as well as workforce planning and talent acquisition. This includes developing closer relationships and oversight with contractor and agency talent procurement, for example.

According to John Murabito, EVP of Human Resources at global health services organization Cigna, "We are trying to make sure that providers [of workers] we are dealing with also have the right people systems in place to insure a high level of capability.”

i4cp will continue to explore the evolution of work over the coming months, including its implication on organizational structure and design. All of this will culminate at the i4cp 2016 Conference themed Next Practices Now, March 29 – April 1, 2016. Other upcoming research projects from i4cp include:

  • How High-Performance Organizations View and Utilize Talent Mobility
  • Next Practices in Organizational Design
  • Leadership Development for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Upskilling Frontline Workers
  • Talent Acquisition Next Practices

i4cp members: download the report now.