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The alternative workforce – a phrase that will be used ever more frequently in the HR segment in the coming years. Not only the self-employed, but also contractors, agency employees, freelancers and other “workers of the future” will soon replace traditional employees. However, are Czech firms ready for them? Only 33% of them consider this topic to be a priority; however, the percentage of those that are actually ready for it is even smaller. Join us in uncovering the secret of this trend and find out how it will define the future shape of HR.
The alternative workforce is on the rise and businesses are well aware of the fact that this is not a distant future: 37% of Czech firms anticipate an increase in contractors as early as in 2020. However, as our survey shows, a third of companies believe that the efficiency and effectiveness of managing the alternative workforce is inconsistent in the Czech Republic and varies in quality as well as performance.
One chair is not enough: the trend is part-time jobs with different firms
The traditional relationship between the employer and the employee is disappearing – the model of an employee that has one job, a concluded full-time contract and has a clear, pre-determined and unchanging job description is slowly becoming obsolete. Relationships are more flexible and “companies without borders” are emerging. People change jobs and do various work, often simultaneously based on multiple part-time employment contracts or as self-employed.
What are their reasons? The average length of human life is increasing, as does logically the career. However, people no longer want to be tied down by a single employer and one job for the rest of their lives. Therefore, there is a greater tendency towards multiple part-time, yet varied jobs and towards changing them more often – as a result, workers do not become stuck in a rut, gain a greater range of skills and broaden their horizons. Thanks to process experience, they may even be more efficient at the firm. Gone are the days when people spent 9 hours a day, 5 days a week at the workplace. However, this may place greater requirements on firms in terms of their stability, organisation and structuring.
Fewer than half of Czech firms have already been using the alternative workforce in one way or another. Besides IT, it has also found application in customer service, commerce or finance. However, only 20% of respondents from among firms have specific rules and procedures set down and put into practice for working with different types of workers. 41% of Czech entities are also afraid of the instability that the trend could create.
Who is the main instigator of this new organisation of work? In this regard, HR departments are the most actively engaged through benefit-related activities, payroll processing, performance management or sourcing.
The new way or the old way? Advantages and disadvantages of the alternative workforce
- Contractual freedom in remuneration, terminating employment, and the scope and manner of performing work.
- Possibility of working from home or abroad
- Lower fiscal burden than in the case of dependent/employment activities
- General independence
- A regular worker can more easily win labour-law claims (eg, in the event of a violation)
- The contractor’s will plays a major role (eg, in determining job boundaries)
Mobility: an aspect without which the world of work will no longer do
The internal mobility of employees has a series of advantages: filling key roles, increasing employee engagement as well as increasing the company’s performance. However, our research suggests that 67% of respondents do not use internal resources and prefer seeking new employees outside the firm. This is primarily owing to the unwillingness of Czech managers, who are afraid that they will lose talented colleagues through relocation. The other most frequent barrier is the inability of firms to identify employees with the potential for transfer.
“This is despite the fact that employee mobility is a win-win solution for both the employee and the employer. It gives employees the opportunity to gain new skills and broaden their horizons, thereby increase their value not only on the labour market but also within the given organisation,” notes Ladana Edward, a partner at Deloitte’s Tax and Legal function, and goes on to add: “On the contrary, in doing so, the employer may strengthen the employee’s level of engagement as well as his or her commitment to the firm. Last but not least, this also expands the internal network of teams: in turn, a quality network contributes to more effective and efficient inter-team communication and cooperation, understanding, and mutual trust, which are of critical importance in the 21st century.”
Is the topic of the alternative workforce of interest to you? Would you like to know more about the “workers of the future”? Read our 2019 Global Human Capital Trends study and find out what other trends will affect the segment this year.