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ISSUE 218 – Synopsis – DECEMBER 2022

Outsourcing – a new era
As with almost all aspects of business and employment operations, the impacts and influences of the pandemic are now lived experience. This is certainly evident in outsourcing where, along with ongoing volatility and a skills crisis, a marked escalation of reliance on outsourcing is playing across sectors, which looks set to dominate how firms navigate the dynamic and uncertain times ahead. Global Spend on outsourcing is estimated to have been a staggering $245.91 billion in 2021, with forecasts of $435.89 billion by 2028. Evidently, there’s a megatrend in third-party contracts, as a response to these seismic events and subsequent change, with data and analytics now driving the market and redefining the traditional face of outsourcing services. The two main forces behind the rise in outsourcing are the widespread adoption of remote working and the acceleration of digital transformation in businesses, which combined have made outsourcing easier and more attractive for companies looking to cut costs, manage a dispersed workforce, serve customers better, improve efficiency, speed up product development, innovate and focus on core competencies. In this much changed era of work and operations, we look for expert guidance to the future of outsourcing and insight into setting OS strategies to meet future challenges.

Blockchain technology
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise the world of work and adoption could very quickly become a differentiating factor in business efficiency and competitiveness. On one level, predictions are that it will revolutionise HR processes and transform workforces. In HR circles, up until now, Blockchain has been almost exclusively associated with streamlining the payroll process – automating and securing payments to employees, contractors and vendors – but plaudits are predicting it could be adopted right across the piece. For example, in recruitment, candidates can use blockchain to tokenise their identity and provide virtual credentials, while recruiters can perform background checks at source, in order to clarify information through blockchain verification. Personal information can be encrypted and stored on Blockchain, providing a secure governance system for private information. Additionally, Blockchain can improve the speed and efficiency of many of the key points in the employee cycle, from onboarding to benefits administration. There is no doubt that Blockchain will play an increasingly important part in HR provision, as well as empower employees to control personal Blockchains that encompass their entire professional identity. So, in this issue, we are looking for expert guidance in this accelerating area of technology and insight into how it can be utilised across HR and the business.

Leavers and graduates
The students now leaving education and beginning their working careers have experienced more disruption in their young lives than any generation since World War II. How that will influence their perceptions and expectations is now becoming evident. A myriad of student polls conducted and published predictably correlate around this cohort expecting good work-life balance, with only a small percentage relating an office-based role as something they are looking for in an ideal career. Unsurprisingly, most are looking for flexibility, control over when and where they work and career autonomy. This asks some hard questions about meeting business resourcing needs and the fundaments of future of workplace relationships in this new and unconventional landscape, in onboarding, L&D and the crucial role of mentoring and nurturing, in a setting where face-to-face experiences are markedly reduced. Additionally, employers need to consider the psychological impact that the disruptions of the pandemic will have caused. Many young people are anxious and wary of promises undelivered and so, in order to optimise chances of mutual outcome, a raised level of reassurance and support will be required, under very different circumstances to the traditional rigidity and surety of the nine-to-five workplace. So, what are the crucial elements employers must provide as this cohort of potential young talent enters a new world of work?

Resilience and agility
Above all else, agility and resilience are the fundamental business components for businesses trying to gain traction and momentum in the current turbulent global environment. The situation now is that the commercial optimism that marked coming out of the pandemic, has been tempered by escalating inflationary pressures and the prospect of a deep and protracted recession. But after a sustained period that rendered some sectors paralysed and many businesses putting business growth and diversification plans on ice, there is a pent-up energy and ambition to forge ahead with domestic and international opportunities. For UK businesses, the disruptions and red tape associated with leaving the EU one year ago, are all-too manifest and are hampering progress. Nevertheless, leading with resilience and agility are imperatives to unlocking future potential, along with innovation, decision-making, speed-to-action and finding balance between testing business reach and maintaining core values. Agile will be the focus of every CEO keynote and agenda, reflecting global trends across commerce and operation, but agile cannot exist without resilience and staying power and that can only result from driving engagement and alignment across the organisation.

Consequently, HR must rise to the challenge, champion innovative ways to work and act on data and analytics swiftly, unambiguously, reliably and impactfully, in order to build confidence, momentum and trust in a strong, resilient and agile workforce that is fit for the challenges of the future. 

As with all of our subjects this issue, we welcome your ideas and synopsis for potential articles. Please post them on our Editorial Portal

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