The gig economy
One of the most far-reaching changes is that people will no longer work for the same company for a long period. This trend is already underway and is known as the ‘gig economy’. The freelance workforce is expected to rise to 40% by 2020, according to estimates by financial software company Intuit. So how will this impact business as usual? “Companies need to start thinking as flexible networks of employees instead of as closed organizations. The challenge will be to find the right people for the right spot. That’s what will make a company excel,” Tony says.
Philips is already on the case. “We’re building an on-demand talent platform that can enable us to access contingent workers alongside our regular employees,” says Cynthia.
The emerging gig economy also means that Philips is thinking about how to engage people so they want to keep coming back, as well as how a project can add value to a candidate’s CV. “If you’re a freelance software developer, you want to have really innovative projects attached to your name because that makes you much more marketable for your next gig,” Cynthia says. To cater to a labor market that is seeking short-term opportunities, Philips is adding an assignment value proposition to sit alongside its employer value proposition.
Virtual teamwork will win out
Another step towards the new future at Philips includes improving technology to make it easier for people to work wherever they want to be – or need to be – in the world. “With new infrastructural support we want to make sure that we go where the top talent goes, so people don’t have to move to a certain location,” Cynthia says.
Removing bureaucracy is also a priority. “That’s what kills creativity, especially in software development,” Cynthia explains. To accelerate change, people are encouraged to share their innovation ideas on an internal social platform. Ideas with a certain number of ‘likes’ will be acted on. “We’re changing in the most meaningful places first and will then billow out.”
What can candidates do to stay ahead? Tony’s advice is this: “Be disruptive, be passionate about what you do, know how to promote yourself and focus on building your reputation. You are responsible for your own future, so invest time in these things.”