Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

A new employment model and a more flexible workforce

One of the key indicators for economic recovery is that of a reverse in the increasing unemployment levels, however, according to a thought provoking article, such an analysis is based on the traditional employment model of contracted employees in single-employer jobs, in a situation where we are either employed or unemployed, a concept that may not be so relevant in the global economy.


Employers are going to have to review how they recruit, whilst workers may need to abandon the idea of the traditional one employer job. As workers, we may need to be prepared to assess what “being hired” actually means to each of us, whilst as employers, assess what “hiring” means.


Organisations need to be more flexible and ready to adapt to operating environments that are ever more unstable and less predictive than before. Organisation structures are no longer fixed, making the decision of offering full time employment both challenging and risky. Neither organisations nor workers should be afraid of this situation. Indeed, it presents challenges that may actually offer the best of both worlds to each. A new employment model that is virtual, on-demand, and project based will become not only less unusual, but will be more attractive. In an age where employees continue to fight for a work life balance, they will now be able to choose how often they work, given their own unique circumstances. Employers will be able to recruit based on projects and short cycles, saving money on traditional employment costs, and expensive reengineering and downsizing processes.


The hunt for talent will change too. There will be nothing preventing a company in Seattle recruiting a programmer in London, a Project Manager in Madrid, and an engineer in Australia for the same project, without expensive (in time and money) relocation costs. And the new competitiveness means that employers will choose to collaborate again with those workers who have been successful, meaning that new evaluation models will have a new reward structure: repeat and perhaps better projects.


The article concludes by stating that the “regular” job market as we know it may never recover in the way that analysts would like. Key economic indicators, such as numbers of people in full employment may never be the same again, but, that should not necessarily worry us. The idea of the “job for life” disappeared a generation ago. Now, the idea of the single job/single employer may be about to undergo a metamorphosis too. And for those of us (employer and worker) seeking flexibility, this may be a good thing.


March 6, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. Hi Kelvin, a good read. Note to you, you’ve got no social network features integrated into this blog. You’ve not activated Facebook or Twitter or Stumble or Digg , etc. Means you’re words can’t spread virally.

    Comment by davidjrodger | March 7, 2012 | Reply

    • thanks for your comments, David. Hopefully I’ve now added some social network features in…

      Comment by Kelvin Wright | March 8, 2012 | Reply

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