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What is open talent and what role will it play in a remote workforce?

The newly remote or hybrid workforce has brought many changes to the hiring process, but how has it created a path to flexible open talent?

people walking representing the workforce and open talent

The workforce is changing, and that change is happening quickly. Flexible open talent is part of the move toward globalization and employers need to be ready for the new marketplace, where job-seekers look at themselves as bosses of their careers with a specific skillset available for hire.

In the past, that meant a single job with a single company, often lasting a lifetime. It meant great insurance and holiday pay.

In the marketplace, some employees are working based on projects instead of working long-term for a specific company.

The new model that is shifting toward a norm in some sectors provides positives and negatives to employees and businesses alike. Figuring out if your business is one that can capitalize on the trend is important.

Open talent isn’t new, but the pandemic and remote work has certainly accelerated its use.mA Deloitte study helps businesses understand how things are changing:

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“Changes on a global scale have upended these familiar patterns, and talent and employers now seek each other out, on more equal terms, from anywhere in the world,” the study states. “The evolving workforce is a mixture of full-time employees, contractors, and freelancers, and—increasingly—people with no formal ties to your enterprise at all. People move more freely than ever from role to role and across organizational and geographic boundaries. Global markets and products, driven by rapid innovation and post-digital disruption, demand new talent models that can be rapidly configured and reconfigured. Businesses expect agility, scale, and the right skills to be available faster than ever—in real time.”

And employees working without a safety net of a full-time, long-term job, expect a tradeoff in compensation and some non-traditional benefits like education bonuses and wellness opportunities.

If you’re interested in joining the pool seeking open and flexible talent, join platforms like Upwork and other freelance work platforms, then make a plan.

You need to know what kind of work leans toward open-workforce employment.

“In general, the types of work where companies will look to hire open talent is where they either don’t have the skills or capacity to fill the role internally, where it’s more cost-efficient to hire on a short-term basis, or where they need specialized skills that will yield high returns,” Employment expert Andy Sto said in a post on his website.

Sto said many companies are using open talent regularly for jobs including administrative tasks, software development, customer service, engineering, accounting, design, copywriting, and HR support.

Deloitte says there are multiple kinds of open talent ranging from partnership and borrowed talent to freelance and open source talent.

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This new world workforce is creating a new way of business according to Deloitte.

“In the open talent economy, with an expanded set of talent pools available and the opportunity to build and orchestrate talent networks, HR leaders need to reinvent workforce planning, and talent sourcing, to consider the broad range of talent from those that work directly for you to those that are part of your business and talent network,” Deloitte stated. “This will involve new approaches and analyses working closely with business and finance leaders to decide which talent resources to hold close and which to manage through contracts and relationships.”

If this model appeals, employers need to start now working with the HR departments to form a plan to make that global talent opportunity a reality.

Mary Beth Lee retired from teaching in Texas this year after 28 years as a student media adviser. She spends her time these days reading, writing, fighting for public education and enjoying the empty nester life in Downtown Fort Worth.

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