The 'gig economy’ is a term that is hard to avoid nowadays. But what is it exactly and what does it mean for the outsourcing professional?
Businesses have never faced such complex political, economic, social and digital forces as they do today. For example:
Commentators have long debated the extent to which ‘short-termism’ (the concentration on short-term objectives for immediate profits) in business impacts both individual organisations and the wider economy. According to recent research, however, companies deliver significantly improved results when leaders manage with long-term strategic goals in mind and resist pressure from investors to focus excessively on meeting short-term financial targets.
There’s a new twist on March Madness, at least in the United Kingdom's IT services world, as the UK has officially triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty advancing Britain’s separation from the European Union. This blows open the future of the EU and, among the many other oft-discussed prognostications, challenges the whole basis of IT outsourcing services delivered between the UK and the EU.
Outsource got together with Raleen at last October's SIG Summit in Carlsbad, California, to hear about some of the key developments in the global labour market - and how procurement departments need to refine their approach to procuring people...
Outsource: Raleen, let’s begin with an introduction… Can you tell our readers what you do at ManpowerGroup?
The IT and tech sectors have long suffered from an epidemic of high turnover rates, shared by businesses that are great at acquiring, but terrible at retaining, these professionals. Prior research has found that factors such as low job satisfaction, poor organisational commitment and an abundance of alternative jobs on offer globally have contributed to an above-average rate of the movement of talent within these spheres.
Experts agree it’s too soon to say what the mid-term effects of Brexit are going to be on the UK and European economy. Despite early signs of business and consumer confidence shrugging off doubts, we can surely all agree that we’re about to go into a period of major, structural change for the UK and the rest of Europe - which suggests the best response strategy business leaders can have is maximum flexibility.
One of the key arguments that really defined the Brexit referendum in the UK was migration. British voters supported an exit from the European Union largely because they wanted more control over their borders. Those arguing for Brexit say that they are not trying to end migration entirely, just they want to ensure that the people who enter the UK have the right skills. Nobody should be able to enter just because they were also born in Europe.
A couple of years back, I approached a number of legal process outsourcing (LPO) firms - all of the largest and most reputable American and British ones. Many replied; only one expressed interest and took it further. I made a proposal to establish a centre in Beirut, Lebanon, and was hoping it would go further - but it didn’t.
But what if it had? What would have happened?
I recently posted on LinkedIn an article relating to the outsourcing of innovation, how large corporates were joining up with entrepreneurs and startups in the fashion, cosmetics and lifestyle sectors to form a 'supply chain of innovation'; and what opportunities and threats this type of relationship pose to an entrepreneur and SME from an agility and independence perspective.
For as long as I can remember, arguments about outsourcing have played a part in the US election cycle. In the final stages of the presidential election the two candidates will make promises they can’t keep and declarations about how bad outsourcing is for the American economy.
It has already happened. Digital technology has taken over. When it comes to global sourcing, job opportunities, branding, company cultures, it is all transparent. Job-seekers can see straight through you and your company before they walk through the door and shake your hand.
As a seasoned professional with over 25 years in the business, I possess demonstrable experience and expertise, and a professionalism which, when I recently found myself obliged to seek a new role, I expected to see mirrored in the hiring process: I believed the recruitment road to discovery to be a meticulous process underpinned by a rigorous, tried-and-tested methodology where there is due consideration for the predicament (which could, of course, feel like quite a belittling one) the candidate faces.