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Should You Build, Buy, or Borrow Your Workforce?

Where should your talent come from?

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Unleash Your Curiosity With the rise of digitalization, business transformation and disruption, new business models, and workforce polarization, where should your talent come from?

  • Economic and business trends to take into account in 2021
  • Possible strategies for talent and workforce management
  • Factors that impact your decision to buy, build, or borrow your talent

To buy, build, or borrow talent? This is one of the questions keeping many HR experts awake in 2021.

This webcast takes a deep dive into research led by SD Worx which investigated 3,000 companies spread across 11 European countries with the goal of assessing the state of workforce flexibility in today’s HR market.

Here are a couple of themes that were discussed:

Why opt for flex workers?

Since organizations will have to deal with highs and lows for quite some time, adding flexibility to their teams will be key to working efficiently and effectively.

The panel discussed why, in some circumstances, employers should opt for flex workers instead of permanent workers. Doing this could help lower costs, supplement key skill gaps, speed up temporary projects, and eradicate capacity issues.

However, it’s vital that teams assess hiring needs on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that decision is fully justified.

Ans De Vos, Professor at Antwerp Management School and the University of Antwerp, pointed out that: “One of the biggest challenges is that if you don’t have a grip on what the variety of reasons are, you not only don’t see what might be the real benefits of flex workers but you will also fail to see the risks, especially if you don’t have the HR systems to support them”.

Developing internal talent

Companies such as Amazon have recently announced large investments in internal re-skilling, drawing attention to the importance of developing internal talent within organizations.

The webcast discussed how employers should be looking beyond standard training techniques and into ways of developing people through the opportunity of new career prospects. For example, taking on different projects or moving roles.

The pandemic has meant that many employees were asked to take on new ad-hoc roles and Jans Laurijssen, Sr Managing Consultant, Team People & Digital Transformation at SD Worx explained how “The pandemic showed us what is possible, and that there is a lot of resilience in organizations and in people to do new tasks and learn new skills”.

Download SD Worx’s Report – Managing workforces beyond COVID-19: The flex reflex

Moderated by:

George LaRoque, SVP Content, UNLEASH

George LaRocque, SVP Insights UNLEASH: George helps global HR leaders and technologists understand each other by drawing on his direct experience and research-based insights. He balances his passion for the promise of the future of work with pragmatism, having spent more than a decade as an HR leader, a decade bringing leading HR tech brands to market, and another as a top market analyst.


Ans De Vos, Professor, Antwerp Management School and the University of Antwerp

Ans De Vos is a professor at Antwerp Management School and the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business Economics and is holder of the SD Worx Chair “Next generation work: Creating sustainable careers.” Through her academic work and teaching, Ans seeks to strengthen individuals in their career development as well as organizations in their career management. She investigates important evolutions such as digitization and flexible work and their impact on careers both from an individual and organizational perspective. These are also the core topics of her teaching activities at Antwerp Management School. She frequently cooperates with organizations on challenges related to sustainable career management and is a well-known speaker on this topic. She recently became the chair of the Flemish Partnership Lifelong Learning initiated by the ministers of work and of education.

David Wilson, CEO and Founder, Fosway Group

A major commentator on the HCM, talent and learning technology industry, David is a strategic advisor to many major corporate and supplier organisations in the UK and Europe. David personally leads Fosway’s HCM and Talent Research and corporate advisory agenda. He is the author of over 200 research papers and articles on HCM, talent and learning technology and innovation, as well as being a leading speaker at major conferences globally. With his extensive market knowledge and detailed insight of corporate projects and experiences, David continues to influence the thinking of many of the leading companies and vendors operating in the market today.

Jans Laurijssen, Sr Managing Consultant, Team People & Digital Transformation, SD Worx

Jan is a seasoned HR consultant and senior researcher at SD Worx and the University of Antwerp. He consults our clients on “future of work”, occasionally teaches and is a well-known speaker on the topic. He co-ordinates the research on “Next Generation Work” conducted by Prof Dr. Ans De Vos in the partnership with Antwerp management School. He’s particularly interested in the costs and benefits of contingent work and is looking for answers to the question: “why do companies compose their workforce as they do?”

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