Field service organizations are under constant pressure to do more with less. As customer expectations for competitively-priced, high-quality services continues to grow, companies are looking for innovative ways to complete more work without taking on additional overheads. Mynul Khan, CEO, Field Nation discusses...
Field service organizations are under constant pressure to do more with less. As customer expectations for competitively-priced, high-quality services continues to grow, companies are looking for innovative ways to complete more work without taking on additional overhead.
The cost of full-time employees is rising. Benefits alone account for more than thirty-one percent of the average total compensation package. At the same time, every industry faces a looming labor crisis as retiring baby boomers are replaced with a more mobile generation of workers. The average millennial is expected to stay with a single organization for just two years.
To avoid a massive productivity gap, field service companies need reliable access to cost-effective, expert talent. The solution? Shifting from relying only on traditional full-time employees to a blended model that includes today’s growing on-demand workforce.
The Benefits of a Blended Approach
Becoming more agile means eliminating the greatest obstacle to your company’s full potential—lack of flexibility.
Over the last several years, we’ve seen more and more companies shift away from a fixed-cost, employee-based workforce to a blended mix of full-time and contingent—or non-employee—talent. More than forty-one percent of the average enterprise’s total workforce is now non-employee. Non-employee labor often includes everything from lawyers and financial advisors, to field service IT and equipment technicians.
Tapping into this flexible labor pool enables you to quickly scale up or down to meet demand, provide services across a broad range of skills and locations, and respond in real-time to changing customer needs.
While full-time employees will likely remain the foundation of your business model, there will be additional projects, initiatives, and skill gaps that may be hard to predict ahead of time. Incorporating a solid on-demand labor strategy will help you adapt to this shifting world of work.
Integrating a Contingent Workforce
Getting the most value possible from a blended workforce requires an updated approach to managing talent.
Finding skilled field service technicians using job sites, Craigslist, LinkedIn, and vendor lists is challenging. Meeting complex job requirements or SLAs under intense deadline pressure is also no easy feat. Without insight into each technician’s credentials, it’s nearly impossible to identify which contractors might have the technical and soft skills needed to act as true brand ambassadors.
Online talent marketplaces can connect you with thousands of qualified contract technicians based on specific skillsets, experience, ratings, location, and other key criteria. The more efficiently you can access a wide variety of high-quality contingent talent in any location, the easier it will be to find the right fit at the right price.
To build productive, long-term relationships with these valuable independent specialists, treat technicians as an essential part of your team. This means providing them with clear project expectations, timely approval of completed work, and fast payments.
The Importance of Technology
Relying on disjointed systems to track work progress or react quickly to customer issues can lead to information gaps. A well-designed technology ecosystem will help you manage a blended labor pool to ensure consistent, quality work from both internal and contingent talent.
Freelance Management System (FMS) platforms and other SaaS tools allow companies of all sizes to deliver the outstanding customer experience required today. Almost sixty percent of organizations across the globe leverage online talent platforms, and best-in-class FMS users outperform overall service industry averages for productivity and utilization.
While people will always remain the key ingredient for success, FMS and other technologies are transforming how we connect with and engage top talent.
Automated workforce management tools should integrate seamlessly with your existing systems. This enables users to view real-time labor pricing, find technicians, and assign work from one screen.
- Talent pools make it easy to route projects to your go-to team of technicians and provide instant visibility into your workforce capacity.
- AI software can automatically dispatch work based on skillset, experience, and location. For example, you can assign projects to available salaried staff first, and then reroute work to contract technicians to fill coverage or skill gaps as needed.
The rise of contingent labor has eliminated the greatest barrier to growth for many field service companies. Making the most of this flexible talent pool begins with ensuring clear communication and a collaborative culture. Just like your most important employees, independent technicians should be recognized as a valuable source of fresh ideas and skills needed to succeed.
Managing a scalable, blended workforce doesn’t have to be complicated and time-consuming. Armed with a solid plan tailored to your business’s unique needs, 2020 can be the year that you transform your labor strategy to leverage this new era of on-demand work.