On-demand talent: Reducing costs while building resiliency at modern businesses

On-demand talent: Reducing costs while building resiliency at modern businesses

Preparing for economic uncertainty frequently causes companies to cut budgets,  enact hiring freezes, or worse. 

Of course, these tactics come with significant and well-known costs. Whether it’s suppressed productivity due to lowered morale,  or the lack of the right human capital to respond to rapidly changing market circumstances, budget cuts often impact the ability to accomplish strategic enterprise goals. 

Now companies like yours have a better way. By incorporating on-demand talent as part of your workforce strategy, you can maximize cost savings while simultaneously gaining the resilience required to maintain your competitive edge. 

What is on-demand talent?

When pressed to fill critical roles, organizations often resort to traditional and costly talent acquisition models such as management consulting firms, workforce recruiters, and staffing agencies.

These models require weeks (or even months) of screening, interviewing, onboarding, and training. When using management consultancies, there are added costs around the size of teams such firms require and inflexible contracts that may become disadvantages during market changes. With staffing agencies, skills mismatches are common as agencies focus on providing whatever individuals they currently have available. Further, when your need for talent arises again,  the entire cycle starts anew.

On-demand talent acquisition solves all of these headaches by offering a different approach. As a modern, flexible model, it provides you with project-based access to experienced professionals, meaning you hire only the talent you need when you need it, and pay only for hours actually worked. 

With on-demand platforms, you tap into a global network of highly-vetted independent subject matter experts. For each project, an expert with the right hard and soft skills is quickly matched to your specific needs. The selection and onboarding process typically takes less than two weeks, with work beginning immediately. 

This proven workforce model is enabling companies like yours to quickly scale up or down while reducing operational costs and capturing savings compared with hiring in-house employees, contracting with management consulting firms, or utilizing staffing agencies.

Why flexibility matters

Regardless of the specific economic circumstances, enterprises that embrace flexibility and adopt a leaner workforce model are well-positioned to go beyond surviving turbulence to thriving despite changing circumstances by increasing agility and realizing cost savings. Many even emerge better off than before.

According to McKinsey, companies that quickly allocate talent to changing priorities are twice as likely to realize performance improvements and deliver better results per dollar spent. Similarly, Gartner emphasizes the importance of acting swiftly to seize opportunities and achieve growth during times of dynamic change and uncertainty. 

Adopting an on-demand talent model provides your enterprise with the flexibility necessary for quickly allocating talent and seizing opportunities in response to rapidly evolving competitive needs. 

Steps for reducing costs and boosting resiliency

To help you maximize cost savings and resiliency improvements, let’s look at the steps you can take to achieve these goals.

1. Lower Consulting Spend

Immediately reduce your consulting spend, replacing high-cost contractual obligations with independent experts on demand.  Experienced experts help enterprises develop disruptive strategies, drive organizational change, and uncover growth opportunities at a  fraction of the cost of traditional management consulting firms. Here's how: 

  • Engage  former MBB, Big 4, and Fortune 500 talent without the hefty brand-name price tag
  • Eliminate inflexible contracts that tie you down., ensuring efficient resource allocation and significant cost reduction.
  • Avoid bloated project teams by onboarding the exact number of consultants you need to address specific skill gaps.

Case in point: As part of a modernization initiative, a Fortune 100 telecommunications company needed to deploy Pega software and develop internal expertise for subsequent project phases. It initially hired a Big 4 firm to help. Later, the company turned to on-demand talent, ultimately engaging five independent experts with deep Pega experience from past implementations at companies such as EY, Infosys, and Wipro. With this team in place, the telecom company saved 45% by eliminating consulting spend and accomplished the knowledge transfer needed to empower its internal teams.

2. Quicker Speed to Market with highly-skilled professionals

Depending on the company and the nature of the role, around 49% of the companies reported a range between 1 month - 3 months to onboard a new employee. Add that to the time you spent recruiting for the role, it could be close to 5 months before the employee is completely onboarded. 

Instead, you can put significant skills, experiences, and expertise at your fingertips by engaging with on-demand independent experts. Such individuals have worked for well-established organizations, acquired years of relevant experience, and can provide effective hands-on knowledge transfer to your internal teams. 

The best independent experts offer decades of work history, hold an MBA from top US business schools, and have served at Big 4/MBB consulting firms or leading Fortune enterprises. Given their background with some of the biggest names in tech, media, and finance, they're ready to hit the ground running - no training required.

3. Break the one-off cycle

Rather than utilizing on-demand talent to plug short-term gaps, unlock the model’s true potential by integrating on-demand with your overall talent strategy. 

By breaking the on-off cycle, you invest in building the necessary infrastructure to systematically source, engage, and retain top-tier talent. This includes defining the parameters for using in-house and on-demand talent, such as establishing criteria for the type of projects or skill sets you’ll employ in-house or hire on-demand. In addition, design policies – such as internal communication structures – ensure that acquiring on-demand talent is a repeatable process. 

For maximum effectiveness, develop a program for creating one or more benches of independent experts you can access regularly. This can significantly ease the process of selecting on-demand talent for each new project.

Adding it all up 

Although cost savings may be an initial driver for turning to independent experts, you’ll gain so much more by pursuing a comprehensive strategy with on-demand as a cornerstone.  Rewards include:

  • Driving innovation: Outside perspectives bring new ideas and approaches to projects. Independent on-demand experts provide a fresh set of eyes to existing problems, helping drive innovation.
  • Enhancing productivity: Rather than depressing morale with excessive hiring freezes, or layoffs, using on-demand talent facilitates scaling down during tightening cycles without impacting your in-house workers. When expansions are required, you can cost-effectively scale up to keep workloads manageable and morale high.
  • Upskilling your workforce: On-demand independent experts not only assist with bridging gaps but also help elevate the skillsets of your in-house employees, enabling you to build a well-rounded and knowledgeable workforce. 
  • Supplying top-tier talent: The best on-demand platforms provide access to a deep pool of highly-vetted and experienced professionals from around the world, allowing you to hire the right person, at the right time, for every project.
  • Infusing resilience:  Enterprises that can pivot rapidly and with agility in response to changing market conditions generate higher returns, even during the most challenging economic times. Simply put, including on-demand talent as a fundamental component of your workforce strategy enables you to do just that.

Get started now

No matter what market forces your company is experiencing, a workforce strategy that integrates on-demand talent is a proven method for enhancing your competitive advantage and benefiting your bottom line in today’s rapidly-changing world. 

In short, the secret to success is joining the many other enterprises already leveraging independent experts by starting your on-demand talent journey now. 

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