3 Events Driving the New Labor Model

There are three one-time events that every organization will encounter, and the smartest ones are changing their hiring practices to manage them.


One-time, labor-intensive events often require employees to work overtime, which can lead to chronic turnover. According to Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, that's why organizations need to consider the new labor model. “Instead of maybe hiring two permanent members of staff and having that heavy fixed compensation cost on their balance sheet, companies are saying ‘I'll go external and I'll bring in either a consulting firm, or I'll outsource it to a firm, or I'll use a subject matter expert.’”

A new survey from Robert Half Management Resources reveals that financial executives most frequently reported their roles have grown over the past three years to include more human resources efforts (39 percent). With this new responsibility, financial executives are looking for non-traditional ways to hire talent in order to address two common challenges: scalability and skills. “When initiatives and one-time events come up, finance executives just don't have the scalability and they don't have the skills,” shared Hird. “And as a result, the human capital discussion is becoming so important for finance executives, because for them to remain competitive and be efficient and address these one-time events, they need a labor model that, number one, they can get access to the skills that they don't have internally, and number two, they can scale those teams up or down dependent on what they need.”

These one-time events that every organization faces can be categorized in three ways: build, fix, and clean up. 


Financial executives are sometimes faced with building or standing something up, typically an accounting process or a department. Hird gives the example of a company that offshored their accounts payable to India five years ago, and is now pulling it back onshore. 


This type of event occurs when an accounting process or system is broken and the company’s employees do not have the bandwidth to fix it without compromising their primary responsibilities. 

Clean Up 

According the Hird, the finance department invariably is the last department that organizations make any consideration for. “Everyone's so focused on getting the acquisition done or divesting the business, what they're not necessarily planning for is the implication for the accounting department. And as a result, there are huge backlogs or processing inefficiencies, and huge amounts of workload that happens.”

An important aspect of the new labor model to consider is that it is being driven not only by the employers, but also by the employees. “We're seeing the employee demographic is changing massively and more employees are looking for flexibility. And that doesn't mean work-life balance. People want more flexibility in work choice and they want opportunities to accelerate their professional development quicker. The way they're going to do that is not by sitting in one permanent job for five years in one company. They want to move from project to project, and sometimes that means going from company to company. So we're seeing this sort of evolution of independent career consultants. The talent pool's gotten even tighter, because you've got more people leaving the traditional permanent marketplace, and it's forcing organizations to use these different talent pools than what they've used in the past.”