A liquid workforce aims to make employees adaptable and flexible with their skills but does it solve hiring problems?
Hiring the right employees who will be the best fit for your company in the immediate future and the long term is the most important factor HR needs to consider when filtering prospective candidates.
Ensuring all staff - both current and new - are complementing a liquid workforce can have a massive impact on the business as a whole, the onboarding process, and employee retention.
What's so beneficial about a liquid workforce?
Making employees more 'liquid' isn't as simple as just making sure they are adaptable and flexible in their approach and their skillset. It also governs how they are trained, managed and collaborate with the professionals around them.
In short, having a liquid employee means that people will be able to adapt and evolve as external factors - specifically the digital revolution - change the nature or smaller details of their role. But managers and HR need to make sure they are putting the right measures in place to ensure every employee has the support and resources needed to do this.
A liquid workforce changes alongside their environment, whether it be an element of their role becoming automated or introducing new technology, and they adapt their skills to complement these alterations.
HR and managers need to ensure that this is part of a more holistic work environment. From agile working to continuous training and constant evaluation, there are a number of ways you can create a workplace that drives a liquid workforce.
How does this help hiring?
A consistent challenge in recruitment is making sure new employees can serve the company as well in 5,10 or 20 years’ time as they will tomorrow. For most industries, there's also the problem of a talent shortage in some areas. A liquid workforce has the potential to overcome both of these obstacles for HR.
By prioritizing candidates who show promise in their ability to adapt and learn quickly, you can create teams of people who are not only able to evolve alongside the company's changing business needs but also effectively 'cover' for other professionals.
A liquid workforce, when implemented properly, should drive more creativity and innovation as they're allowed to break free from any silo restraints. This means if you find your priorities are shifting as a business, you can turn to your current workforce and train them to meet demand, instead of having to frantically find new candidates.
Training internally rather than hiring externally not only removes the need for any onboarding time but also ensures that you have people that are already bought into and committed to your company culture, which is proving to be another headache for hiring professionals.
An antidote to automation?
As headlines continue to focus on the risk of losing jobs to robots, a liquid workforce naturally forces companies to rethink what the most valuable attributes are. When creativity, collaboration and the ability to adapt are at the heart of your hiring process, employees will automatically fall into roles that can't be replicated by machines. This not only gives any concerned employees peace of mind and confidence about their long-term future but also ensures companies are creating a workforce that will be just as valuable in 5, 10, or even 20 years.
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