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Updated on April 6, 2023
Blended workforces use a staffing approach that combines both full-time and part-time employees, as well as contingent workers such as freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers. The purpose of a blended workforce is to achieve business goals more efficiently by leveraging the unique skills, experience, and expertise of different types of workers and talent sets at a capacity that meets both worker availability and staffing needs.
Companies that institute a blended workforce generally reap a variety of benefits by using them. For starters, it gives organizations access to a larger pool of talent, allowing them to draw from individuals with different abilities and work experiences that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. It also allows for greater flexibility in how tasks are completed, especially tasks that address intermittent or short-term needs.
Retail and service companies use the blended workforce model as a standard, because it allows them to staff-up – or down – throughout the week. A blended workforce is also advantageous for short-term staff increases that accommodate periods of high-volume customer traffic, so they can maximize profitability during weekends, holidays, busy seasons, or company events. In addition to enabling employers to respond quickly to sudden changes in customer demand, having more workers available to cover various shifts means employers using a blended workforce are afforded more options when managing employee call-outs and other leave requests.
Furthermore, a blended workforce can help reduce operating costs, since companies are able to find and hire people with the skills they need, without the commitment of investing in full-time staff. By selectively handing some projects to gig workers or part-time talent, employers can avoid all the added expenses that come with onboarding and training new hires—and that’s just the cost of putting the talent to work. The cost-savings really add up when you consider that freelancers, gig workers, and even many part-timers typically don’t expect the same perks that full-time job applicants demand – like paid time-off, health and savings benefits, or bonuses.
And while all of these benefits alone are enough to consider using a blended workforce, it all begins with sourcing the best talent, which is also usually simpler, because evaluating people looking for project work is not as time-consuming as recruiting and interviewing employees can be. Many freelancers even advertise their services on websites like Upwork and Writer.com, so employers can get a sense of their skills and work examples in just a few clicks.
“During my interview, the company shared that they use a blended workforce, and that I’ll be able to delegate most of the mundane tasks that slow me down at my current job to a temp worker, so I can stay focused on the aspects of the job I’m excited about!
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