Warning: this post is interesting but a little self-serving!
In the Feb. 25, 2010 issue of the Economist Magazine, an article entitled “Joining the queue” about recruiting firms stated:
“. . . Manpower [Inc.] is increasingly having to . . . help recruiters . . . manage high-powered but short-lived projects. Companies are putting together many more ad hoc teams often connected virtually around the world, notes Mr Joerres [CEO of Manpower Inc.]. “Perhaps only 20% of a team will be on the full-time staff,” he says, “so they need a much more on-demand talent spigot . . .”
I’m not an HR expert but it seems to me that “on-demand” talent is an idea whose time has come for a few reasons:
Most managers are familiar with hiring contractors to provide more “horsepower” for project delivery. This has long been a common practice in the IT industry. However as the HR issue has shifted from a shortage of workers to a shortage of experience and talent, more companies are engaging experienced outside consultants to provide leadership for projects as well as coaching for internal resources.
Consultants that provide hands-on management services can overcome the “experience gap” and get important projects off the ground without the need for a long term employment commitment. An added benefit is that a company’s middle management receives training and development during project implementation. These employees recognize that coaching from a senior consultant is an investment in their professional development which helps with the retention of top talent.
The conclusion? Resourceful companies don’t let a lack of resources become an obstacle to achieving business objectives!