“The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.”
-- Henry Miller
Take this job and love it
In our last post, we discussed the importance of passion, time and love as intrinsically motivating factors that transform vocational duties into the art of the work -- and how MSPs help beleaguered hiring managers reignite the flames that propelled them to success. The value of MSP programs in today’s increasingly blended workforce is both measurable and immeasurable. Tangible metrics such as performance, cost savings, fill ratios, submittals and retention are easily culled and analyzed from intelligent technologies. It’s hard, though, to assign a figure to the countless intangible benefits MSPs deliver. Still, one thing we seldom talk about in the contingent work space is how MSPs help complementary talent thrive and evolve in this new economy.
Although the panic caused by the start of the Great Recession has subsided, the mad dash to recover and push ahead has replaced it. Either way, today’s company cultures can be defined by high levels of anxiety, scrambling and disorder. The buzz word is “innovation,” yet it doesn’t always have a clear or functional definition. Talent find themselves struggling against last-minute decisions, poor direction, ambiguous or shifting visions, internal drama and ill-conceived project plans. Workers are jostled from department to department, told to switch priorities in the middle of projects and receive only lateral promotions, which lead to more responsibilities with no hikes in pay. Others simply leave, distributing their workload across the remaining employees.
Nearly two-thirds of America’s working professionals feel unloved, embattled and uninspired by corporate environments that have become impersonal, highly automated and data-driven. Talent today, especially the fresh generations embarking on their career journeys, are a social lot. They yearn for a sense of community, recognition, collaboration and interaction. They have love to give and seek it return. And by engaging with staffing curators who are aligned with high-performing MSPs, modern professionals have opportunities to realize their aspirations and passions through their contributions to these fundamental programs.
One of the most interesting aspects of the millennial generation is their embrace of autonomy, elasticity and entrepreneurialism. More than full-time staff, their attitudes resemble those of the country’s 18th century artisans: they take great pride in their work, and they seek flexibility and freedom to perfect their wares; yet, they also long to be instrumental members of a larger community.
The benefits of contingent labor are obvious to businesses. Yet the notable catalyst to the flourishing presence of complementary talent in the modern workforce is the talent -- not the organization. More companies this year -- 46 percent over last year’s 42 percent -- will enlist temporary and contract workers. Around the world, this attitude is spreading. Wolfsburg AG, a premier staffing company in Germany, sends more than 10,000 temps to work each year. By actively relying on contingent labor, the Wolfsburg region boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Beyond that, the talent themselves say that contingent work provides them with more diverse jobs, more opportunities and a better quality of life.
Today’s talent are throwing off the shackles of full-time arrangements in favor of assignments that provide them with more time, flexible scheduling, new skills and experiences, and even more money from having multiple clients and greater influence in negotiating rates. And if you think about it, all of those objectives are magnified by participation in an MSP program.
Talent are seen and heard
For MSPs attempting to balance all the moving parts of a program -- not to mention all the different managers and stakeholders across practice groups and departments -- ensuring that workers feel valued and listened to is an obvious concern. As we discussed in our article “MSPs Give Talent A Voice,” worker support is an inherent advantage within the MSP structure. Contingent talent, as employees of the staffing curators engaged in the MSP program, have access to built-in advocates -- not a faceless corporate board handing down obscure directives, or an army of supervisors and managers with wildly varying agendas. Every complementary worker has a voice -- and those voices are heard.
Work becomes defined by range, not routine
The advantages of an MSP to talent reach far beyond recognition. Let’s consider the reasons why many professionals begin a new job search.
They don’t love what they do. It’s difficult to excel in a position when passion is absent. The reality is that for most adults, it takes years to discover a job they sincerely love -- a career that answers their calling in life. Involvement in an MSP program exposes talent to a variety of companies, industries, skills and business cultures. Where a traditional full-time worker must eventually move to a new environment, top contingent talent get placed in new assignments with different companies served by the MSP through their staffing curators. The process of transitioning to new roles is expedited, helping workers find their ideal business fits.
They’re exhausted and listless. A bad job or incompatible cultural match can become a depressing affair. Prolonged unhappiness at work ultimately produces real health problems, both physically and mentally. For many workers, switching professions or employers is the antidote that transforms their lifestyles, infusing energy and eagerness back into their careers. Yet, changing jobs can be a lengthy, frustrating process. Working within MSP programs is dynamic. Each new assignment opens the doors to new markets, companies, projects and challenges to solve. Variety, they say, is the spice of life. In an MSP program, those spices are sprinkled over talent regularly.
They don’t care. At some point in a staid career, enthusiastic and motivated talent succumb to apathy. Monday serves only to signal the countdown to Friday. The first cup of coffee in the morning provides no joy or charge -- it’s merely the initial act in a series of motions that carry you to the end of the day. When disinterest takes over, talent can’t be valuable or effective in their roles. They no longer perceive their contributions as appreciated. Escaping that rut usually requires a career change. As we’ve seen, however, MSPs deliver change, variance, opportunities for discovery, ongoing skills refinement and advocacy. They give talent a reason to care and love what they do.
They feel alienated or out of place. As contemporary workforces have become more automated and impersonal, many workers express discontent with the lack of communication, team building and contact with their managers. They often cite poor direction or disorder in the work. They feel isolated and misaligned with their peers. Finding exceptional talent for hiring managers is the priority for MSPs and their staffing partners. They have cultivated networks of the finest people, with the relevant skills, to fill specific categories. And they focus on matching that talent to business cultures in which all stakeholders flourish and shine.
For talent engaged in MSP programs, they often find themselves surrounded by like-minded and equally driven team members. Top performers feed off others like them. Clients get high-functioning teams, composed of people who want to do more. This promotes stronger collaboration, productivity and efficiencies that improve business outcomes and profitability. It welcomes imaginative ideas and bolder visions that foster business growth. That’s the environment talented individuals crave, and which is nurtured through MSP programs.
Cab fare for the journey of self-discovery
It’s difficult for any person to know what they truly want without exposure and practical application. Think of all the friends you knew who began college with an idealized vision of what they would with their lives, only to change majors after a couple of classes. The working world operates no differently. For talent venturing out into the workforce for the first time, or those professionals facing the need for a dramatic change, MSPs can be a crystal ball that illuminates the path forward.
- Working across client programs helps talent articulate what they really want in a career and understand what’s most important. Workers come away with an enlightened perspective of what makes them unique, and learn to define their ideas of success.
- Exposure to diverse groups of colleagues and managers teaches people how to work successfully with others, nurture relationships and build professional networks.
- The dynamic nature of MSP programs empowers younger talent to showcase their skills, acknowledge their strengths, identify and refine their weaknesses, create their own opportunities and gain confidence.
- MSP programs brim with evolving experiences for workers. And as they progress, they continually achieve. These quantifiable accomplishments build a foundation on which talent can demonstrate their ongoing value.
People aren’t interchangeable -- one person’s utopia can be another’s dystopia. MSPs and their staffing partners know that. They keep things moving and flexible, and they understand the needs of their talent as much as the needs of their clients. Complementary assignments don’t benefit clients alone, they let talented professionals acquire firsthand knowledge of different business cultures, professions, skill sets and industries. They essentially help pay the fare for an individual’s journey of self-discovery. For talent, it’s an inspiring voyage filled with passion, fulfillment and revelation, propelled by a love of life and how best to live it.