Gig Executive: The Ultimate Hybrid Talent Model
Somewhere between the Great Resignation or the Great Realignment, the hybrid workforce is gathering momentum. The way people want to work is changing, and the way organisations need to engage talent has reached an inflection point.
It’s time to think more flexibly about flexible work, because it’s one of the few permanent fixtures of our working future.
Gig Executive is the lively younger sibling of renowned executive search firm Fisher Leadership, and our unique brand of hybrid talent strategy has flourished due to the disruption of the global pandemic. The talent landscape has fundamentally shifted, and we are here to help you evolve your thinking from the hybrid workplace, to the hybrid workforce.
Gig Executives were once thought of as a rare breed. These seasoned leaders preferred to pick and choose purpose-driven challenges with clear-cut success measures over the safety and certainty of long-term employment. Between high profile gigs, these executives could spend more time with kids or grandkids, tending to their side hustle, fulfilling items on life’s bucket list, or traveling to faraway places. But today, this ‘rare breed’ is becoming more commonplace. Talented people everywhere are re-evaluating priorities, home bases, and their entire lives. An increasing number of highly experienced executives are choosing new hybrid models of work-life integration. They bring a blend of change-appetite and change-management experience that translates into a competitive advantage for any organisation.
Four reasons you should think about engaging a Gig Executive:
1) Right talent
One of the exciting outcomes of the shift to remote work is that it widens the talent marketplace. Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times during the pandemic, and people are responding. Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist at LinkedIn, says this trend is democratising access to opportunity on one hand, and democratising access to talent on the other. The hybrid workforce dramatically reduces barriers to engaging the right talent, at the right time.
The Work Trend Index survey was conducted by an independent research firm, Edelman Data x Intelligence, and referenced 31,092 full-time employed or self-employed workers across 31 markets early in 2021. The survey showed that over 70 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams. It’s likely three main models will emerge – centralised workplaces, decentralised remote organisations, and the hybrid “best of both worlds” approach. With over 40 percent of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year, a thoughtful approach to hybrid work will be critical for attracting and retaining diverse talent.
2) Right time
As organisations prepare for 2022, the hybrid workforce holds the keys to scaling capacity and capability on demand. Anticipating required skills and capabilities and inspiring a mindset of constant evolution and adaptation will be crucial. What capabilities does your organisation need in two months, six months, twelve months? And where should you deploy these? Adding Gig Executives into the talent strategy mix not only allows decision-makers to supercharge critical projects or ‘turn on’ required skills quickly, but also allows the rest of the workforce greater flexibility in how, when, and where they work. Employers are coming to understand the critical importance of building employee health and wellbeing (including mental health) strategies into their game plan. Gig Executives can relieve the pressure of an exhausted team or inject fresh energy into an initiative that has become stuck. Ultimately, Gig Executives support a more adaptable and resilient workforce to thrive in the future of work.
3) Right task
Given the rapid pace of change when it comes to skills and learning, leaders need to tool their teams to lean into the reality of constant disruption. Gig Executives can help develop, organise, and optimise existing talent. They have been described as “consultants that do”, and play a crucial role in empowering teams with best practice knowledge to apply to a task at just the right time. Research from Gartner says, “To build the workforce you’ll need post-pandemic, focus less on roles – which group unrelated skills – than on the skills needed to drive the organisation’s competitive advantage and the workflows that fuel this advantage.” The Gartner survey showed that 80% of the workforce, 92% of managers and 77% of senior leaders already felt poorly prepared for the future. A significant 40% of employees said they frequently completed responsibilities outside of their role.
When we take a briefing call with our clients to engage a Gig Executive, we are always listening beyond the client’s immediate challenge to unlock a more powerful solution for the task at hand. Skills are critical because they address core business challenges. The result being that a Gig Executive is selected on the basis of current and relevant competencies to enable a clear mandate for success. When it comes to task completion, Gig Executives tend to be laser-focused on their mission.
4) Right table
As global travel and skilled migration has been limited in Australia, our collaboration potential and ability to innovate are being threatened. We know cognitive diversity around decision-making tables is essential to risk mitigation, robust ideation and ethical leadership. For instance, companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams outperformed those in the fourth quartile by 36% in profitability, according to McKinsey research. Gig Executives often come with a wealth of diverse experience and the confidence to share their knowledge with the team. Curating the right mix of leaders at the table, at the right time, will be a critical enabler of better decision-making moving forward.
With right talent, right time, right task, and right table on our side, which side of hybrid history will you be standing on? As you create the hybrid workplace of the future, is it time to rethink your talent strategy to include the hybrid workforce as well?
Reach out to me or one of my whip-smart and hybrid savvy team for a conversation.