Future of Digital Reqruitment, Employment and Work

Today I have some ideas for you that could revolutionize the way you do business.

ishot 27 Future of Digital Reqruitment, Employment and WorkWhat facinates me is how quickly the traditional recruitment processes are getting inefficient and old because of the emergence of new digital tools for matching open jobs with potential providers. It is already well known that everything that could be automated, will be automated. Outsourcing of repetitive work to machines or outsourcing partners is not new. But how about your own employees? The workforce of the future is a netforce, mobilized through the internet to participate in organizational tasks and processes upon need.

In an uncertain environment companies keep underused people on a payroll because they may need them very soon again. Outsourcing tasks is often a cumbersome management problem of finding the right providers, working out deals and keeping up with the quality of deliverables.

Utilization rate may be very low for certain people working for an organization. A good example might be advertising agencies: the company’s real core asset is the ability to conceptualize new ideas for marketing and communication and sell them to a customer, yet a lot of flash coders, graphic designers and copywriters sit underused with lack of projects on sight. At best, the additional time is used to work on pitching new customers.

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Pitches for a Job at Elance.com

Digital recruitment processes will change this. Reqruitment markets like Elance.com, RentACoder, Guru.com, oDesk and designer support services like iStockPhoto and 99Designs in combination with latest digital working environments may as well change the world of reqruitment and how routine work is carried out. On-demand online workforce will help coping with uncertainty through decreased overhead and transaction costs. The end result will be increased efficiency, reduction of labour costs and falling prices. In other words, comptetive advantages.

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Provider Profile at Elance.com

New business models will emerge, where a company employs only effective communicators, such as key account managers, (online) collaboration experts and creative problem solvers. The value of work done alone will drop dramatically. The work that used to be predictable and based on expertise grounded in training and repetition will be outsourced and will start to move freely between organizations. The new netforce will work for multiple employers at one time and be available on-demand. Such an organization will become small, flat and agile like nanotechnology, although the turnover per employee may rise dramatically.

It will be easy to compare potential providers and individuals, because other organizations will do the evaluation for you. Digital CVs will include dynamic real-time performance indicators based on peer-reviews from other organizations. No more endless interviews with potential employees who selectively expose to your their past activities and try to cast as optimistic picture as possible about themselves. No more probation times, headhunters, psychological tests or other resource intensive practices for finding out if someone is good for you or not. The digital reqruitment environments will do the work for you automatically.

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Skills comparison at Elance.com

And if this is not enough for you, throw in crowdsourcing. Outsource repetitive small tasks and even idea generation to an unknown group of people through the internet. Starbucks is using MyStarbucksIdea to generate new ideas on how to improve their services and products. Amazon not just outsources your servers and data, but also helps you with people in the machine with a service called Amazon Mechanical Turk, a name inspired by a legend of an ancient machine that could play chess. A finnish company called Microtask is working on something they call cloud labor. They promise to split work assignments into tiny tasks and distribute these around the world with automatic logistics and quality control.

Do you really have the option not to consider netforce in the cloud as a competitive advantage? If it’s not you who does this, one of your competitors might as well.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/aapakari Antti Aapakari

    To add a bit:
    Monty Widenius used so-called netforce in 1994 so it's not a completely new phenomenon. Or it was back in '94. Things seem to go around in certain cycles and just the terms are different. What comes to cloud labor (including turk, elance, rentacoder etc.) those are suitable only for lo-end tasks and nobody calling themselves true professionals will probably ever list themselves as service provider to do something boring for 3 cents a piece.

    Interesting idea however and article well put together. Let's see what the future has in store for us.

  • http://iki.fi/markus.koljonen Markus Koljonen

    Also, use crowdsourcing for gathering feedback & merits, such as recommendations on LinkedIn.

    Why not make the recruitment process and online professional presence work a bit more like a game? Individuals could gradually develop their online skill ranking, gather merits and accumulate experience. Levels could be presented not only skill-based but field-based: technology, design, academic, economic…

  • http://chiropracticmarketing.com Gen125

    I have considered the idea of hiring a few virtual assistants and see how outsourced work can change things and maybe even free up some of my time. Only one thing discourages me. Most outsourced work involves non-native English speakers. I have nothing against them. I just feel that the language barrier might get in the way. There are some, of course, who are fluent in English but the idea of having to go through the whole hiring and selecting process is what makes me skeptical about this kind of recruitment.