If we talked about the blended workforce a few years back, the concept would have sounded absurd. Working with multiple kinds of workforce setup wouldn’t have made practical sense. But fast forward to today, there has been a 180-degree shift in how companies view the workforce now.

CoVID-19 has made it abundantly clear that companies cannot take the future for granted. They should be ready to adopt new solutions in order to be prepared for the changing workforce demands and dynamics.

As a result, many companies are actively contemplating using the blended model while others who were fast and farsighted enough have already adopted it.

Blended Workforce

What exactly is the blended workforce model?

A blended workforce is a combination of permanent and gig workers working in tandem as part of a single workforce. Gig workers range from part-time, contractual, consultant to freelancers and SOW workers. The contingent workforce comprises staff from different locations who do not work on company payrolls and are hired for a designated period.

Blended Workforce

The adoption of technology in the last few years has made working in a blended approach a lot easier. Companies can now search for gig workers on the new crop of on-demand platforms like Upwork, Gigster, and more.

Blended workforce model gives a company the flexibility to place the right talent in the right projects at the right time. It enhances workforce optimization by allowing companies to expand or contract their workforce arrangement as and when required. Plus, the economic benefits blended workforce model provides further eases of the company’s burden.

Benefits of Blended Workforce

1.    Lower Staffing Overhead


Cost Reduction

Hiring a permanent employee is quite expensive in comparison to the contingent staff. This is attributed to the additional expenses of the salaried employees which include salary, insurance, bonuses, retirement packages, and more.

On the other hand, getting started with a contingent workforce does not demand any of this. Their work with the company is time and task-sensitive. That means these workers are paid only for the decided time and work and their compensation is devoid of any bonuses, retirement packages, company benefits, and more. Which is a major reason why the contingent staffs are less costly for a company.

The optimized way to employ contingent staff is on short or non-core work where the dependency on the employee is short-lived or has a lesser impact on the company functions.

For instance, if you are planning to hire a UI/UX developer for a one-time development project. Then it would be wise to opt for a freelancer who can get the project done in the stipulated time and can be released upon project completion. Hiring a permanent employee for such a short-lived requirement would be time and money expensive.

2.    Scalability

Scaling an on-demand workforce becomes a lot effortless if companies have the right network in place. Platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Catalant, and Gigster provide you access to a large network of freelancers without much hassle and make the talent search process a lot quicker.

Since there is no long-term commitment with the gig workforce and minimum contractual obligations, it is easy for companies to scale their workforce up and down as required.

Even if the project shuts down the next month, releasing the contingent workers would be a lot easier than firing a full-time employee.

3.    Innovation and Diversity

Innovation and diversity are some of the most prominent reasons why companies should opt for a blended workforce structure.

Working in an on-demand setup gives contingent staff the agility to work on different projects in their lifetime. And their multi-industry exposure expands their scope of understanding to multi-folds. Which is a major challenge with people working in the same background or experience.

Further, full-time and contractual workers working in tandem also promise to be a great combination for innovation. It cushions the brand with stability. At the same time, challenges their risk appetite for the new ideas.

Platforms to Find Talent

Digital Talent Platforms Over the last two to five years, companies like Amazon, Enel, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, and Prudential PLC have adopted the blended model. They discovered an innovative, technology-led solution to closing the gap for high-skills talent also called digital talent platforms.

These early adopters realized that there is plenty of talent to be found—if only they looked for it differently. Instead of hunting for full-time employees to join the organization, they began searching for part-time talent outside the company. To do this, they used a new batch of technology-led companies such as Toptal, Catalant, Upwork, Infojini, and Fiverr.

These intermediaries use their platform to match the highly skilled, capable talent with the company’s diverse needs such as finance, legal, medical, marketing, and more.

Related Articles: Revamp Your Contingent Talent Experience in These 3 Steps

Collaboration in Blended Workforce

Managing a scattered workforce can be tough. Workers can be working from different locations, time zones, and schedules. This can often lead you into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ setup – which is dangerous for the company, project, and the workers.

Leaving half of your staff unattended and unengaged can directly hamper productivity, communication, and output as well as tamper employee motivation.

Therefore, companies must create technology platforms to set up a middle ground between the internal and external staff. Platforms where contingent and payroll workers can brainstorm and engage together – an all-inclusive platform.

To achieve this, you can adapt communication approaches like –

  1. Use project management tools like Slack
  2. Include contingent workers in project mails
  3. Use team chat applications
  4. Conduct regular video conferencing to inform, educate and communicate


Early adopters like Amazon, Unilever, and more have become more comfortable with sourcing contingent talent and working in a blended setup. They have started moving towards a blend of full-time and part-time workers and are doing all it takes to set up a balance between them.

Be it in form of creating contingent workforce policies, adopting new collaboration tools, or doing some tweaks here and there. And the emerging digital communication and talent platforms are making it further possible for companies to adopt an on-demand workforce model




Stay in the Know!
Sign-up for our emails and get insights that’ll help you hire better, faster, and cooler!
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )