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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Fuller

Rethinking the On-Demand Workforce (HBR)

Digital talent platforms have matured, and many companies are using them to hire skilled gig workers. Now they need to get strategic about it.

As companies struggle with chronic skills shortages and changing labor demographics, a new generation of talent platforms, offering on-demand access to highly trained workers, has begun to help. These platforms include marketplaces for premium expertise (such as Toptal and Catalant), for freelance workers (Upwork and 99designs), and for crowdsourcing innovation (Kaggle and InnoCentive). Almost all Fortune 500 firms use such platforms. But most do so in an ad hoc, inefficient way, according to a Harvard Business School/BCG study. Companies need to get much more strategic about their engagement with talent platforms and fully embrace their ability to increase labor force flexibility, speed time to market, and facilitate business model innovation. That will require rewiring policies and processes and redefining working norms. Most important, leaders must inspire the cultural shift needed to realize the platforms’ transformative potential. Read the full article on


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