Towards an Agile Workforce

Many experts are now talking about “agile work” as a trend that will profoundly transform the work world by 2025. In fact, nearly one-third of the country’s labour pool is already composed of these atypical workers (consultants, contractors, self-employed workers). And this movement is expected to increase, according to a study from Randstad Canada conducted among human resources employees and executives.

More flexibility for workers

This new model of organization and recruitment is driven by the demands of young Generation Y workers. It was first established in technology companies by creating environments that are innovative, unstructured and constantly changing. Young workers, who shun standard jobs for the sake of more flexibility and control, like it.

The study reveals that more than half (55%) of them feel that this model gives them a better handle on their career. Close to a third (30%) opt for this type of work since it lets them choose interesting projects and assignments. More than a majority (62%) believe that skills and performance are more important than the type of work and demand more openness from employers regarding working arrangements.

Lower costs for employers

This flexibility lets employers have access to highly skilled workers and collaborators without having to hire them, thus reducing the inherent costs of labour (social benefits, offices and others).

Many of them (21%) also appreciate the increase in operational performance provided by the use of “agile” workers. They also think that access to such a variety of talents and specializations can facilitate innovation and meet the needs of customers.

The success of an “agile” worker

But the agile style is not for everyone and successfully appropriating this type of work requires specific qualities. “There has to be a good tolerance for ambiguity and a very strong capacity for adaptation,” says Mathieu Guénette, guidance counsellor at “Agile workers have to be self-structuring and self-managing, without becoming rigid, have very good relational skills and a strong capacity for innovation,” he adds.

In some ways, the agile worker must constantly redefine the parameters of his work and be humble. “This type of worker must act as a partner or consultant, rather than asserting himself by applying his knowledge,” says Mathieu Guénette. “His work reality is change!”


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