How to build a project-based workforce

HRD talks to Expert 360's Bridget Loudon about the changing nature of work

How to build a project-based workforce

Organisations are having to completely transform the way they think about recruiting and engaging talent, according to Bridget Loudon, CEO and Co-Founder, Expert 360.

Loudon told HRD that all HR directors would have experienced hiring and retaining an individual who performs a job over an extended period. But this trend is one that’s declining.

“When we graduated from university we thought about finding a job and being promoted within an organisation. And maybe five or six years later taking a role at a different company,” she said.

“The reality of work now is that upon graduation a graduate might work on 200-300 projects until retirement over the course of their career. Some of those will be within an organisation, but others will be working for themselves as a contractor, a freelancer or an independent consultant.”

Loudon recently spoke at the HR Tech Summit in Sydney on the topic of How to build your very own project-based workforce.

“Organisations are now shifting to more project-based ways of getting work done. Employers are choosing differently how they hire and manage people,” said Loudon.

“But it provides challenges as well and Expert 360 has been at the forefront of this field for a while. We work with 40% of the ASX 200 to help them acquire talent differently.”

According to Loudon, people should think about their careers in terms of “a career of projects” rather than going in and performing the same job day in day out. 

It’s exciting for HR and people teams to both manage the transition and set their organisations up for success, she added.

There is one main point Loudon wanted to emphasise about talent system and the tech required to organise and manage project-based workers.

The software that has traditionally been in place to manage talent has been mainly systems of record. It’s keeping records of our people.

“But in a world where talent is moving around an organisation or in and out of an organisation faster than ever we need a system for our people – a place where individuals can come, engage and find opportunities internally within their organisation.”

Or if they are a freelancer a place where they can go and look for work with the particular clients they work with, Loudon added.

“The next generation of HR tech is one where there is a talent experience. And they get to engage and have control of connecting directly to opportunities with a company or with various companies - that’s where Expert 360 comes in,” she said.

“We provide organisations with advice where they can connect with their talent not just manage records.”

Loudon added that HR directors and talent teams need to think so differently about the systems and processes they put in place to allow their organisations to undergo the change they need to go through. Consequently, it’s important to look very closely at the new and emerging trends that are out there.

“Look at emerging technology and break free of existing ways of thinking about keeping records of talent.”

Bridget Loudon also spoke about why the binary nature of jobs and the current way we are working is not fit for purpose in modern times at a TedX Talk in Sydney. To view, click here.

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