Is There a Human Cloud in Your Future?
Contributed by Kristen McAlister
You can go online and shop for just about anything you want. It can be in your in hands as quickly as tomorrow, and now with Amazon’s new tests, possibly the same day. So why shouldn’t you have the same access for all facets of talent for your business?
There are not only new ways to source talent, ie. websites helping you find the right person, but also helping you on-board (as an employee or contractor), manage them, then have them move on to their next assignment. Two examples, oDesk and Elance, provide focused expertise, primarily in the areas of marketing and IT. You can log on, find the skill sets you need and have them working on your tasks by end of day. Think of it as crowdsourcing your talent.
Crowdsourcing Talent Inside and Outside the Company
Depending on the size of your company, your crowdsourcing can be an external database available via the web or an internal database that includes all your employees plus every independent contractor you have ever used. You have a project that needs to get done by next week. Who in your organization has the skill sets and expertise to make it happen?
Recently I was listening to the SVP of Human Resources for a medium-sized international organization explain how she is adopting a more flexible model within her organization. She had two initiatives to get done in a short amount of time and no available resources within her current staff. Within 24 hours she broke the initiatives down into tasks, identified the skills needed to accomplish those tasks and crowd-sourced the individuals to get them done. She was off and running.
We are seeing organizations become more flexible and agile with the ability to adjust quickly and take advantage of opportunities they may not have been able to in the past.
“From a service perspective, the fixed infrastructure and staffing constraints of a brick-and-mortar environment prevent businesses from making real-time adjustments to staffing in order to accommodate planned and unplanned business needs.”
Expand Your View of the Available Talent Pool
The challenge is always taking the first step. How do you adjust your organization to get more done and expand the expertise and skill sets of your organization without adding overhead?
- Start thinking in terms of initiatives and projects. Dust off your strategic plan and read through it. Strategic plans are great since they are typically written to be a project plan.
- Break up the project into tasks and list out what expertise or skill sets will be needed to get it done.
- Utilizing your internal database (physical or mental) or an external one, start your search.
Imagine what can be accomplished by opening up your available talent pool beyond your department or company, dividing up the tasks and watching your results multiply without any additional overhead.