Digital transformation is changing the nature of work for many Australian companies. The reduction of manual processes is helping businesses to become more efficient and productive, with more time being devoted to projects that add value to the business.

However, digital transformation is highly disruptive and is leading many company leaders to refine or even completely rethink their staffing strategies.

Talent management challenges

Due to digital transformation, the ongoing challenge for business leaders is finding skilled talent to work with new technologies such as advanced data analytics, cloud computing and robotic process automation, while identifying and pursuing new business opportunities related to digital change.

This is not always easy when operating in a candidate-short market – indeed, Robert Half research has found 78% of Australian hiring managers currently find it challenging to source qualified professionals.

Digital disruptions are altering traditional labour models

Given the need to complete major initiatives quickly, manage through ongoing business challenges and address not only the ongoing digital disruptions but also the fierce competition for skilled talent, companies are asking themselves how they need to alter their staffing strategy as traditional labour models might no longer fit current business needs.

To create the right mix of talent, many business leaders are increasingly receptive towards a strategic and flexible staffing model designed for the digital age. This approach includes a mix of permanent employees who are focused on critical initiatives, and skilled contract professionals who support them and other specialised resources that can provide additional capabilities and perform high-value work on an as-needed basis.

Some of the world’s largest technology companies have already embraced this model. Google parent company Alphabet employs roughly equal numbers of permanent and outsourced workers.

Many businesses are now turning to this new model to address difficult talent management questions, including: “How do we align the right resources to achieve business process improvements and other key objectives that we’re planning?” and “How do we hire and groom new expertise at a time when the competition for in-demand talent is so intense?”

Added value of consulting

Looking beyond staffing, companies often need help improving performance of key business functions as well as running their business operations. By adopting a model that is based on a combined solution that offers both consulting and staffing services, team managers can simultaneously address performance issues in key business functions and fill operational roles through a customised blend of solution-based consulting.

This customised approach allows teams to then implement process improvements as part of their operational responsibilities, without resulting in any significant disruptions within the company’s business function.

The result?

Business leaders who are supported by the right tools and technology are able to scale their teams up or down quickly in response to new opportunities as well as potential risks.

This approach can significantly benefit companies in the digital age as it helps ensure that rapidly changing talent needs can be met quickly and effectively to exploit new opportunities, leverage new technologies and help leaders future-proof their organisation.

Responding to business disruptions and digital transformation requires a recruitment model that relies on a broader portfolio of staffing arrangements and technology solutions. Through the strategic use of comprehensive staffing arrangements, business leaders can better position their organisation to not only keep pace with change but also drive it.

About the research

The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted by an independent research firm, surveying 460 hiring managers from companies across Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.