Marcher Markholt


The rise of the blended workforce: 6 benefits of building a flexible and blended workforce

The rise of the blended workforce: 6 benefits of building a flexible and blended workforce

Background: Turbulent market tendencies and a rainy forecast

There is probably little doubt that the scarcity of talent is a critical issue in many organizations. Throughout countless studies, CEOs describe talent gaps as a significant impediment to company growth. For example, in a recent PwC study, 77% of CEOs reported top talent as the biggest barrier to growth. Businesses struggle to find the right talent, especially on their own.

Whether we’re talking about finding just the skills, scaling teams fast, having the ability to scale operations to meet fluctuating demands, or wishing for a more diverse workforce, managing talent is harder and more important than ever. Yet, we’re seeing an increasingly fierce competition to attract and retain employees at times when too few workers are available to replace those that are departing the workforce in advanced economies, as well as a vast number of new jobs being created continually. And that provides a true competitive crisis. 

On top of this, the past few years have been filled with unprecedented challenges. The Covid pandemic completely changed the way we work and then came what many call a recession. The ensuing business turmoil and record-low unemployment may have temporarily distracted some organizations from their chronic struggles to find and retain top talent, but the scarcity is only expected to increase as COVID-19 triggers an acceleration of digital transformation in most organizations. That leads to hampered growth potential, innovation capacity and employee satisfaction. 

The pandemic not only unleashed what we call “the Great Resignation” but also a Great Realization, meaning a reawakening of what it means to work and live in today’s world. Today’s workers have more choices. Some would like to work at the office, some at home and some hybrid. Some work full-time, some work part-time. More and more people are breaking out of the employer-employee mold, and the balance of power has shifted, and continues to shift, in favor of the workers. Today’s organizations and enterprise leaders now have an opportunity – go beyond traditional labor sources to consider how to best recruit and retain not just the best employees, but also the best talent overall. Including independent and self-employed labor.


The key: A blended workforce

For businesses, the key to withstanding constant changes is to stay flexible. For candidates, the traditional 9-to-5 job is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and people are to a much greater extent taking greater responsibility for their own careers and well-being. And the answer to that? The blended workforce is emerging as a strategic advantage in the war for talent with the potential to boost productivity, drive innovation and reduce costs as well as provide a healthier work-life balance and unlock greater levels of engagement.

If you refer to a traditional workforce, it consists of full-time personnel and employees on fixed salaries. A blended workforce adds independent contractors, contingent staff, temporary staff, freelancers, interims and part-time workers into the mix.


Benefits of building a flexible and blended workforce

According to research from e.g. Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group, there are several significant benefits of building a flexible and blended workforce:

  1. Access to a broader talent market
    Teams no longer need to be in the same location to work together, and hiring flexibility allows organizations to use talent with specific skill sets in any geographic location at the time of actual need. That also increases creativity and innovation in the organization.

  2. More control over expenses
    Freelancers and interims, companies can reduce overhead costs significantly (benefit packages, office space and inventory, etc). It might be both cheaper and faster to find and hire flexible talent and with blended workforce capabilities, companies can meet clients’ and customers’ needs through contractors.

  3. Access to specialized skill sets
    Some of the best specialists work independently, and the pandemic only accelerated this trend. By hiring freelancers and interims, you’ll chime into skill sets that can be outside of your company’s full-time knowledge base.

  4. Scalable operations to meet fluctuating demands
    Hiring flexible talent allows one to adapt to specific needs and hire accordingly, rather than employing someone full-time that is perhaps only needed six months in the year.

  5. A flexible and agile workforce
    By making the most of an agile workforce that takes advantage of employees who can be engaged in an on-demand manner, organizations will have increased flexibility when it comes to staffing.

  6. Ability to attract a more diverse talent pool
    There have never been so many independent workers as today and this trend will most likely continue. On the back of the Great Resignation and quiet quitting, talents are taking charge of their careers more than ever. Rightfully. They want to design their careers in a hybrid, flexible and fulfilling way based on their interests, natural skillsets, life events and changing energy levels. If you create the paths that lead them there you will have a great advantage.


Interested in learning about the most important focus areas when building and managing a blended workforce? Check out these 8 areas of focus


Looking to build your blended workforce? 

Whether looking for permanent employees, interims or freelancers, we got you covered. Feel free to send us an email at hello@marchermarkholt.com, and we'll get back to you.