Mediocre Results are a Thing of the Past: How to Use Talent as a Service

November 9, 2015

Work as we know it is changing — even for corporations.

Traditional employment models are on the decline. Today, one in three Americans no longer earn income from traditional 9 a.m.-5 p.m. jobs. And for those who do, Gallup found that not even a third of U.S. workers feel engaged at work. In fact, 75 percent of HR leaders struggle to attract and recruit top talent, and nearly 80 percent report a significant retention and engagement problem.

Talent as a Service is an emerging solution to these trends. Like Software as a Service, TaaS offers on-demand tools that can easily scale as the company grows. TaaS lets you hire the exact talent you need for a project at the right time and for the right price. At the same time, individuals are free to pursue their passions and make money from it.

But calling in freelancers isn’t just for small businesses anymore. Corporations like Yahoo and AOL are also tapping into a new work model built on highly specialized freelancers with directly relevant skills.

Using TaaS to hire a consultant or freelancer for project-based work at your company is far better than stretching existing full-time employees. These team members often don’t have time to add on more projects, and the outcome will be subpar as staffers juggle various tasks.

When a project requires specific expertise, bringing in an external expert can dramatically improve results. Not only will the quality of work be better — thanks to expertise and passion — but it will also take less time to complete the work. Meanwhile, the consultant is rewarded for his passion and expertise. It’s a win-win situation.

When to Incorporate TaaS

Not sure when to use TaaS? Here are a few signs that suggest you should look to outside talent:

  • When You Have a Project With a Specific Timeline

TaaS should be used with project-based work that has a defined beginning and end date. If the work is for an ongoing role, consider hiring or promoting someone full time to the endeavor.

  • When You Need Specialized Expertise

If the project requires knowledge that your current employees don’t have, then TaaS is the way to go. This way, the job will get done efficiently and expertly without putting too much extra pressure on the team.

  • When You Have a Set Budget

Sometimes an important but impromptu project arises, and not every business has the resources to immediately hire someone full-time to take on the job. With TaaS, you’ll save time and money because of its flexibility and cost-effectiveness, as the freelance expert already has the skills in place to get the job done.

How to Use TaaS

Once you’ve decided you’d like to pursue TaaS, it’s time to vet external talent by using your professional network or, better yet, an online platform — this allows HR leaders to access thousands of highly specialized experts at the click of a button.

After identifying a few potential freelancers, there is a process you should go through to ensure you hire the best.

  1. Review: Always survey candidates’ credentials and work histories to determine if they have the right skills. And don’t forget to check references, testimonials, and online reviews — you don’t want to work with someone who’s difficult or can’t do what they claim they can.

  1. Interview: If the candidate passes the review stage, you’ll want to interview him or her — ideally on the phone or in person. This is important not only to ensure that the candidate has the right skills, but also to get a feel for whether he or she will fit in well with the company’s culture.

  1. Preview: Request a proposal that explores how a candidate would perform the task. You should understand how he or she would approach the project, both to better understand how he or she thinks and to ensure general alignment.

After these three steps, choose the expert that best matches your company’s need and get started.

The collaborative, sharing economy means changes for everyone — including corporations. With entrepreneurial spirit, HR reps and recruiters will need to focus on productivity and efficiency. Otherwise, a company can be left in the dust as the nimble race forward. TaaS offers opportunities for businesses of all sizes to reduce costs and slim down while also allowing individuals to do what they love.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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