How work from home flexibility is encouraging the rise in project-based hiring

Many working women who had to take either a sabbatical or a temporary break as they found it difficult to manage a full-time job, are now being engaged for a specific project or outcome-based assignments, which are quality-oriented, timeline driven, and flexible.
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The pandemic has transported teams from cubicles and offices to kitchens and spare bedrooms. Many employers say that remote work outweighs the drawbacks. Firms like Twitter and Facebook captured headlines with announcements concerning permanent work from home.

The office space segment in the country is anticipated to witness a significant shift with huge technology firms like Google, SAP, Facebook, and Accenture presenting flexible work options to employees at the same time as the vaccination rate is increasing and Covid-19 restrictions ease across the country. A variety of top firms offer remote work opportunities.

Companies are offering new alternatives for when, where, and how employees would come back to their offices. Studies have shown that corporations have to re-look at work flexibility seriously to alter their staff to work from their homes, as these usually accompany multiple demands: space, time, and attention.

For employers, performing work from home will boost productivity, cut back turnover, and lower organisational prices, whereas employees enjoy fancy perks like flexibility and also the lack of a commute.

Apart from benefits like enhanced productivity, using a co-working space instead of paying heavy rentals, the lower bottom line in terms of operating costs, a significant benefit of the work from home flexibility has been in the hiring space.

Since a lot of work can now happen over technology and digital platforms with data being saved on the cloud and people having the luxury of operating from ‘anywhere’ with an internet and electricity connection, engaging people across geographies for specific and key requirements has become much easier.

Unless it’s a manufacturing plant set up where a physical requirement is a necessity, many of the other roles can be done virtually for which the employee need not be in the same location.

As the focus has started to shift from ‘being present’ to ‘being productive’, the emphasis on identifying talent locally for monitoring by the manager in the office has slowly given way to engaging talent across regions who are outcome-driven than salary-led.

The traditional model of an FTE (Full-Time Employment) has started to see a shift towards PTE (Part-Time Engagement) or even Project-Tenured Engagement.

Flexibility in work timings are on the rise as a lot of working women who had to take either a sabbatical or a temporary break as they found it difficult to manage a full-time job, are now being engaged for a specific project or outcome-based assignments, which are quality-oriented, timeline driven, and flexible.

Also, organisations are willing to remunerate them with a better fixed/variable package as it is not a recurring cost in the traditional way of fixed CTC’s.

While the ‘gig model’ of engagement was typically seen for the millennial generation, which was present to a large extent globally but not so much in India, things have changed and are clearly visible at leadership levels.

The trend being observed is that new-age businesses are engaging ‘young leaders’ for CEO and other key roles. These leaders, while having the academic rigour, innovation, and risk-taking ability, somewhere need ‘experienced’ people who have seen through challenges, in some cases similar to the pandemic, and can support the organisation either in the capacity as an advisor or undertake a specific role for an ‘interim period’ for a specific project.

This has a win-win proposition for both, the new CEO who requires experienced professionals for a brief period and the senior-most leaders who have toiled through their careers now getting an opportunity to balance their work and personal front, not really wanting or even having to engage on a full-time model.

Companies are engaging with partners who are looking at hiring interim CFOs who can steer them through the IPO process.

As a firm, we endorsed and have utilised this model to our benefit. With the advent of the pandemic, we too faced challenges. Team members were stretching themselves trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The other issue was engaging effectively with new clients online.

Hence, we took a conscious call to engage with external associates to support us and be “door openers” in different sectors. It paid off well and we started to see the benefit in terms of our bottom line not getting impacted and an increase in top-line. We further enhanced this service to engage with associates to augment our own team as well.

It has helped us immensely as a boutique leadership search and advisory firm to engage superior talent who are outcome and productivity-oriented and still have time for themselves and their families. Moreover, it has brought in newer competencies and skill sets to the firm.

In our experience, both as a firm and as a trusted partner to our clients, we have seen the benefit of project-based hiring even at senior leadership levels where ‘engagement’ is based on trust and transparency, and not merely on a contracted document. This seems to be the future of things as of now.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)