Advice to employers from the ManpowerGroup may lead to a substantial rise in the use of Umbrella Company Employees and others in the professional contracting community: if organisations are to become agile enough to thrive in today’s competitive business environment, they must use multiple work models.

So says ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO Jeffrey A Joerres, who warned business leaders that they can’t expect to be successful in an environment that demanded speed and flexibility if they stick to one work model.

He explained: “Talent strategies need to be built around multiple work models that function as pipes, some larger or smaller depending on variables like the timing, type of work or region. If companies aren’t tapping into a variety of models, from classic teams to contractors to crowdsourcing, they won’t have the ability to use that model when they realise they need it.”

Mr Joerres’ comments were prompted by ManpowerGroup’s 2014 Organisational Agility Survey, which sampled the practices of over 18,000 employers based in 42 countries and territories. The results suggest that a majority of respondents made significant strides toward becoming more flexible over the preceding year, but many reported encountering barriers to flexibility. These included technological capabilities, workforce capabilities, employee commitment and leadership focus.

Mr Joerres urged business leaders to “constantly challenge themselves” to work out how to make business operations faster, simpler and more efficient. Developing the wisest means to unleash human potential and being creative about using different models of working in the context of fluctuating demand, he said, “is key to driving faster time-to-value and winning in the Human Age”.

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