Adopting an Open Workforce Strategy

Yesterday’s professionals were defined by the traditional eight-hour workday. But today’s workforce prefers flexible work schedules. Given its independence and autonomy, it’s easy to see why people are leaning towards the freelancing model.

Globalization and digitization have fueled the adoption of the “open workforce” concept by businesses worldwide. Firms are increasingly relying on a mix of resources and talent that includes in-house teams, contractors, freelancers, and other external business partners. This trend is expected to increase as organizations adopt dynamic ways to help meet business objectives.

The model of an open workforce allows businesses to be more agile, respond faster to new opportunities, and gain a competitive advantage. However, the evolving talent base poses issues, necessitating different approaches to performance management, risk management, and decision-making. These challenges include:

  • Managing a complicated and ever-changing network of employees, collaborators, and business partners that come with its own set of difficulties.
  • Preventing data security breaches and protecting competitively sensitive information.
  • Monitoring and control over the performance and productivity of external staff.

In Singapore, freelancers (also known as own-account workers or self-employed individuals) are in high demand. With the expanding number of freelancers, Singapore’s talent pool has great potential for firms to tap into.

5-Point Checklist for Your Strategy

Freelancers can complement your workforce when you have the right balance between control and empowerment. Being able to express the organization’s vision very clearly to everyone, ensuring that the staff is on board and understands the corporate goals is the key to attaining that balance.

The following checklist can help companies establish a robust strategy to reap the benefits of having a quality open workforce as part of their team:

☐ Set Clear Expectations

Employers must be clear about what is expected from a freelancer or contractor – whether it’s a new software app or beautifully designed brochure. It’s a good idea to write a statement that specifies exactly what you need and when you need it. It’s also critical to provide context for them. Because freelancers aren’t around all of the time, they won’t pick up on the objective through osmosis the way your in-house workers do. You’ll need to spend more time explaining what the aim is, how it fits into the bigger picture, and why it is important.

☐ Be Open and Innovative

Companies must develop new means of measuring performance and apply increased risk controls and security procedures to nurture an outward-looking strategy to recruit talent and gain exposure to innovative ideas. Integrate cultural transformation to create more transparent working practices. Create ways for teams and multiple players to share knowledge, ideas, and innovative processes.

☐ Promote Collaboration and Build relationships

Establish guidelines and frameworks to guide interaction between in-house and external teams to bring together an increasingly diverse workforce. Develop methods for sharing internal information with external employees, such as creating shared workplaces. While you do not have to invest as much in a freelancer as you would an employee, avoid forming purely transactional relationships with your open workforce.

☐ Embrace Automation and Digitization

Greater usage of information technology on jobs that were previously immune to automation or digitization necessitates integrating new internal systems. Use digital and mobile technology to their capacity to create value and master new tools to capture and streamline ideas and procedures.

☐ Provide Feedback

Although a formal review with freelancers is not expected, it does not imply you should not provide input. Telling them how you feel about their work will help them enhance their performance and strengthen your bond. It can be as simple as devoting five minutes after a meeting to reviewing what went well and what went poorly. Revisit the statement of work or contract regularly to ensure that they are meeting their objectives. Let them know if they are doing a good job, and likewise, do not hesitate to let them know if they are underperforming.

Effective HR Contributes to Business Success

Singaporean employers must keep within the legal HR and employment regulations when hiring freelancers and contractors with the proper resident status and work permits. KRIS HR Document Management System (DMS) is an invaluable tool for HR professionals to execute complex tasks related to an open workforce. These tasks range from creating many different contracts, storing personal employee data, distributing remote work policies, and more.

With the right systems and strategy in place, HR can ensure consistent decision-making across the organization, create the right incentives to attract and retain talent, and foster effective collaboration so all teams can meet the company’s objectives.






Find out how a HR Document Management System can simplify your everyday HR processes.