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How the liquid workforce may look different by the end of 2019

Posted by Alexandra Kane on Jan 15, 2019 5:36:30 PM
Alexandra Kane

If you haven’t heard of the liquid workforce, don’t worry. In all likelihood you have not only heard of the liquid workforce, you engage with its members nearly every day.

“Liquid workforce” is an all-encompassing term that includes contractors, temp employees, gig workers, freelancers, ICs and other resources. Essentially, all “fluid” workers who engage with clients or temporary assignments/projects rather than traditional full-time employment. The liquid workforce has evolved and expanded rapidly over the past five years, and is poised to make an even bigger impact in 2019 and beyond.  

In the past few years, your staffing firm has likely positioned itself to better understand and meet the needs of organizations looking to fully take advantage of the liquid workforce.

Now, get ready for some changes.

The liquid workforce is, well, liquid. It’s rapidly evolving as organizations and their needs are changing. Keeping up today really means looking ahead. Wait too long, and you could be left behind.

Change is the only constant, particularly with the liquid workforce.

As we continue to see organizations shift away from static workforces built around specific functions or skill sets and toward adaptive workforces structured around specific projects and initiatives, the next year will prove pivotal for organizations across the globe.

Here are some key liquid workforce trends to expect in 2019:

  • The traditional 9 to 5 will disappear. Today’s liquid workforce is, in many ways, rewriting what it means to be a part of the workforce. Along with the evolution of work comes the erosion of the traditional 9 to 5. As Richard Branson so astutely noted recently, the way we all work is going to change. Whether you’re a member of the liquid workforce, or your industry revolves around the liquid workforce, the way we work and communicate with one another will be very different by the end of 2019.

    By 2020, it’s estimated that 50% of the U.S. workforce will be temp, contract, or freelance workers. Ask a member of the liquid workforce why they’ve chosen to perform project-based or freelance work, and they will most likely mention flexibility as one of their core incentives. Workers today don’t want to be chained to a desk from 9am, only to log off promptly at 5pm. Their work and personal lives are both seamless and balanced in a new and exciting way. They may be at the park at 2pm, but checking emails at 9pm. The time clock of old is going away forever.

    Plus, your liquid workers may be down the street, across the country, or even halfway around the world. With the influx of remote workers giving employers the ultimate flexibility to assemble their own “dream teams,” a majority of their teams may not be online between 9 to 5, because it’s the middle of the night where they live!


  • The liquid workforce will (continue to) expand. Data shows that 38% of businesses globally are struggling to find the right talent. Rapidly changing technologies mean an increasingly wide skills gap that cannot be solved by many static workforces. In essence, the static workforce is strangling productivity and growth.

    Accenture further postures based on its research that we will see a Global 200 company with no full-time employees, an entirely liquid workforce, in the next 10 years. As more businesses craft solutions to bridge those gaps that leverage a liquid workforce, expect progress toward that assertion to move forward by leaps and bounds in 2019.

  • Liquid workers will expect you to bring your ‘A’ game. The liquid workforce isn’t just highly skilled, they are demanding. To bring their ‘A’ game to projects and initiatives, they’ll expect employers to do the same. From onboarding to training to communication with their team and the ability to update project work in real time, employers had better be ready to deliver precisely what liquid workers need to do their best.

    Research shows that only 33% of employees say they are engaged. Deskless and liquid workers are the most difficult to keep engaged due to their lack of proximity and face time. Mobile apps are attempting to reach and engage workers, but with middling results. Leading mobile app-based communication software found that four out of 10 employees missed key updates.

    Tomorrow’s liquid workforce (2019 and beyond) is becoming increasingly discerning about the companies they engage with for project-based work. They want and expect companies to engage in omni-channel communication to deliver important information where they are staying informed.

    For some workers, that will be SMS, others via email, still others via Slack, Skype, or other communication tools. Is your firm able to reach the liquid workforce where they want to be reached?

Engaging the liquid workforce is critical to success in 2019 and beyond.

Sense creates and delivers personalized, rich content to your workforce, wherever they are and however they choose to receive communication. With a 90% open rate for text messages, >65% open rate for email, and 30-40% response rate for communications, our omni-channel solution can help you best leverage and engage a liquid workforce to drive results in 2019 and beyond.


Contact us to learn more about our solution.

Topics: candidate engagement, staffing trends, liquid workforce

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