I recently read a fascinating article entitled “Millennials are telling corporate America to go **** itself, and why that’s a good thing”. The premise of the piece is based around what we have known for a long time; Millennials are not interested in climbing the greasy pole to mid-management positions, condemned to a life of eating their sandwich in a cubicle and staring at a spreadsheet for nine hours a day. They want work that has a sense of purpose. And being able to contract to a variety of employers to achieve set ambitions, whilst working in a way that allows them to gain a work-life balance, something seen as essential by today’s 20 and 30 somethings, rather than just an optional extra.
And this is great news for Managing Directors and owners of SMEs. Let’s face it, the traditional corporate culture model was delivered its death knell in the 2008 financial crisis, and the phoenix that rose from the ashes is one of a flexible, agile workforce which can be utilised quickly to meet customer and scale-up demands, and dispensed with when a project is complete and/or an objective achieved.
The advantages of embracing an agile workforce model in your sales and marketing teams include:
The ability to bring in high-level expertise
Ambitious projects require not only high-level expertise, but fresh eyes from which to view existing processes and procedures and identify weaknesses which could prevent objectives being achieved. This is especially true when it comes to change management; according to a recent report, only 40% of executives believe they have the right skills in place to manage future change projects.
Utilising contractors and freelancers gives marketing and sales teams the ability to bring in specialist expertise to support in-house knowledge and skills. In addition, permanent staff can focus on the core business, which substantially mitigates risks associated with venturing into new markets or launching an innovative product.
Manage cashflow and budgets
Winning in today’s market, which is overflowing with consumer choice, means being able to take risks. But investors and lenders need to see a healthy balance sheet before they will finance projects. Staff costs and payroll administration are generally the highest outgoings faced by a company; therefore, having the ability to bring in talent swiftly when needed and trimmed down without the threat of legal claims when cash flow tightens, facilitates investor confidence.
No lag time between induction and full productivity
When hiring a permanent employee there is always a period of time, of weeks, sometimes months, where little productivity is expected whilst the worker is getting up to speed. When a contractor/consultant is brought on board, the whole point is they have the skills and expertise to hit the ground running and immediately start adding value.
You never work harder than you do for yourself
One aspect of bringing in contractors or consultants to manage a project often over-looked is the talent you onboard is self-employed. This means their reputation for rolling their sleeves up and delivering results fast is crucial to their survival. Permanent employees have the luxury of hiding behind their team and internal processes; there is zero room for a consultant to ‘coast’ in their position. They are brought in for their expertise, have set KPIs and once the job is delivered, they move on. Because of this, external talent can be a valuable source of advice for senior managers, both during the project and after it ends.
Embracing the benefits of an agile, flexible workforce is fast becoming essential for organisations who want to attract top experts in their field. Smart, highly-skilled workers are fully aware they can earn far more by being self-employed and providing their expertise on a contractual or consultant basis. The trend of using permanent staff to do the baseline work to keep revenue ticking over and bringing in outside help to scale-up a project quickly is becoming the norm. And this new mode of working appears to be keeping everyone happy.
You cannot get more positive than that.
Reach Revenue works with business owners, leaders and investors to develop high performing sales and marketing teams aligned to the strategic objectives of their business. To find out how we can help you, please call 0203 858 8030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.