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The challenge of the 'blended' workforce

Monday, August 26, 2013

One of the biggest challenges facing large firms these days is how to manage a ‘blended’ workforce. Few companies are able to operate with employees alone. The use of independent contractors ‘blended’ with employees is a new ‘normal’.

Managers understand how to manage employees. But ‘managing’ independent contractors is almost treated as a strange, unknown, black-art form. It’s a hidden workforce, ignored and un-researched. Australian-based Entity Solutions recently held a fascinating forum of senior HR and other managers to discuss the challenges posed by blended workforces.

Entity Solutions has produced a White Paper which discusses the issues. It’s worth a read. For us, at Independent Contractors Australia, it’s something we know a lot about. It’s our area of expertise. It’s why we campaign so hard on fair contracts. Good management of independent contractors in a blended workforce starts with fair contracts.

One of the keys to understanding independent contractors is that they are motivated by a desire to control their own work and achieve the work–life balance they want. This consistently shows up in research, including research organized by ICA.

Whether future governments, of any persuasion, will help foster the 'trend to blend' remains to be seen.
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