This week HR Lancers founder Chris Russell, took part in the #WorkTrends twitter chat put on by Meghan Biro’s Talent Culture community. Chris Was actually a guest on their podcast which you can listen to here. The twitter chat had a lot of great comments about the role of freelancing in HR and we wanted to summarize some of what was said.
The Twitter chat consisted of the following questions;
- Q1: Why are more organizations hiring freelancers for HR? #WorkTrends
- Q2: How is freelancing changing the nature of HR? #WorkTrends
- Q3: How can leaders better attract top HR freelancers? #WorkTrends
Here are some of the answers that caught our eye. There were some excellent reasons stated for why HR should bring in more freelance consulting experts.
- @MeghanMBiro says: We need a different array of skill sets in HR than before to be competitive in terms of hiring, engagement and retention. But we can’t always build out the ideal department, Freelancers give us strategic advantage.
- @saikatsaha: 1. The sheer objectivity that freelancers bring towards adding value. 2. Multi contextual experience brought in by the freelancers 3. No added pressure of helping them integrate with the cultural fabric of the firm. 4. Less ppl on payroll (Compliance benefits)
- @jimkatzaman: Freelancers offer flexibility. They can specialize in a particular area and can be hired for short terms. There is the added economic advantage of not having to offer benefits, which is a huge money saver. Less investment boosts productivity on the spreadsheets.
- @dcroucha: Couldn’t agree more. I have long followed and been a proponent of a hybrid talent model of employees, long term contractors and occasional specialists. Their desired employment style should have no bearing on how they are onboarded, developed and deployed
- @fullstackHR: some HR tasks are punctual, not transactional, so it’s better to hire a freelance for that specific job.
- @kenbyler: HR departments can sometimes become too introspective. Everything becomes a hammer or a nail. Outside experts might see the real need as screwdrivers.
When asked how freelance will change the nature of HR things got even more interesting.
- @AkwyZ said: We will have two types of HR professionals. The first group will take care of culture, training and development, compliance etc. The second group- Freelancers - hired to follow organisation growth and fill in specific workloads.
- @WhiteheartVic: Would you allow me to say that HR professionals are living their last decade? The profession as we know it now will disappear. A new profession related to human needs in organizations will arise, but they will not be HR.
- @WhiteheartVic: Indeed: the trends are clear. #AI and #DigitalTransformation will swipe more than 40% of jobs and professions, new professions will emerge. HR job content & task design are easily replaced by #DigitalTransformation, except the Human touch, but this will be a different profession.
- @MeghamMBiro: I see more freelancers in #HR than before, and many are experienced practitioners. They would rather work with multiple companies and have a great impact.
- @baski_LA: It's an opportunity and challenge, opportunity- to hire the rare talent without any long term commitment. Challenges - no commitment or loyalty to the orgs objective, purely driven towards the project
- @kkruse: Agree. But successful consultant or gig pros will tell you that while the commitment may be limited in scope or time, the responsibility to deliver is perhaps stronger. Reputation is our lifeblood. So we need to step-up or we won't survive long as contractors.
Now when it comes to how HR should be attracting freelance talent the comments were varied.
- @smartpathfin: Loop your freelancers into company #culture, peel back the curtain so they have the #insights they need, then allow them to work effectively with your support
- @saikatsaha: HR has to design, create & deliver a value proposition that is engaging & attractive for a shorter span but memorable enough for the freelancers to come back when new relevant projects return in the pipeline.
- @chrisrussell: include them in your weekly meetings, offer them project based work, also monthly retainers for x number of hours is always appreciated, they need the insight into your org in order to best help
It's an on demand world... "HR on demand" is a good thing to have in your pocket as a hiring organization. Long live the HR lancer!