Until quite recently, human capital-related information technology (including HCM and TMS) has not had much impact on the shape of “work arrangements.” Job Boards did not change the form of the traditional permanent employment work arrangement, and Vendor Management Systems (VMS) did not change the form of the traditional contingent/temporary work arrangements. Both of these information technology system developments only targeted improvements in talent supply chain performance, not the “restructuring” of actual "work arrangements."
Over the past six years, a set of forces has been converging (these include, increasing global economic competitive pressures, businesses requiring more flexible workforces and scarce talent, and changes in workforce demographics, expectations, and preferences). These forces, mixed with the new possibilities engendered by innovative integration of technologies like social, cloud, mobile, et al, have been having significant impacts on actual work arrangements (that is, spawning new forms). Perhaps one of the most radical of these has been “crowdsourcing” work arrangements, while one of the most pervasive has been “online freelancing” enabled by online staffing platforms like oDesk, Elance, and others. Concepts of “extended workforce” (Accenture), “work/workforce-as-a-service” (Collabworks, OnForce), “private talent clouds” (Elance) are now not just fantastic ideas, but in 2013 refer to functioning work arrangements that have unprecedented characteristics of being fractional, variable, mobile, on demand, etc.
As mentioned above, many forces are coming together to make these innovations of actual work arrangements an ongoing reality that businesses and workers are already increasingly adopting. But it technology and new “online, work-arrangement-intermediation platforms” that are not only enabling these innovations, but are arguably a primary driving force.
This session will focus on how new “online, work-arrangement-intermediation platforms” (like oDesk, Elance, and now many others) have been driving change and innovation in work arrangements” and what this means for Human Resource and Contingent Workforce management now and in the future.
The session will summarize
(1) the history and developments of these new “online platforms” (of which there are now hundreds),
(2) the new types of “work arrangements” that are emerging from these platforms (from "online freelancing" to "crowdsourcing" and more),
(3) some of the challenges they may present (classification and compliance, workforce integration, enterprise systems, etc.) and
(4) how the future is shaping up (what will be the rate of change over the next five years?).