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Best Practices for Making Use of the On-Demand Workforce in Senior Care

The last few years have seen significant growth in “on-demand” products and resources. Just think about the number of organizations using on-demand cloud computing, or the number of people choosing on-demand television services.

In the workforce, On-Demand means that organizations and companies hire individual contractors and staff members on an as-needed basis, offering flexibility to both the company and worker. Many industries, such as retailers, marketing agencies, and merchandisers use on-demand workforce, leveraging third-party companies or digital talent platforms to access on-demand employees.

Close to half the population is expected to be part of the “on-demand” workforce by this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic expected to accelerate the trend of companies turning to digital talent platforms to access highly skilled workers. But with 53 percent of small-and medium-sized businesses affected by the skilled labour shortage, there is a clear need for best practices and methods that capture the demand for, and supply of, skilled workers so that companies can embrace the full potential of digital talent platforms and engage effectively with the on-demand workforce.Graphic of a group of BookJane health care providers standing at the ready

Nowhere is this truer than in senior care, with the senior population expected to grow at unprecedented rates – over 4 million caregivers will be needed in Canada by 2030 – while the shortage of skilled workers able to care for them continues to shrink.

On-demand workers accessed via new digital technologies may help to resolve the supply-demand problem in senior care. But to engage with on-demand skilled workers at a strategic level, and truly make the best use of the on-demand workforce, organizations will need to focus on five main challenges:

  1. Reshape Culture: Permanent employees often feel threatened by freelance or temporary workers. Employees in this mindset often struggle with sharing vital work information or raise doubts about the work abilities of the “outsider.” Organizations must pay careful attention to cultural change, by educating employees about how they can benefit from an on-demand workforce. For example, many employees seek more flexibility in their shift schedules. With the addition of on-demand workers, the possibility for shift sharing can become a reality.

  2. Rethink the Employee Value Proposition: Organizations must help employees to see how they can personally benefit from on-demand talent platforms. For that flexible schedule seeker, highlight the benefit of the on-demand workforce!

  3. Re-organizing Work into Components: The key to success for getting the most out of a talent platform is to ensure that the organization can break work down into components that are easily handed over to on-demand workers. When companies use talent platforms, more up-front definitions and clarity of work tasks are required.

  4. Reassessing capabilities: Developing a portfolio approach to skills allows organizations to engage strategically with talent platforms. The first step is understanding which capabilities exist in-house versus which skills can be leveraged through on-demand workers. Once internal capabilities have been established, organizations must strike the right balance between dividing the work internally and externally.

  5. Rewiring Organizational Policies: Many organizations that want to leverage the on-demand workforce are still subject to regulations that were established in the pre-digital era. Finding solutions to internal mechanisms and processes that can support the new way of working will be crucial.

To bring about change and innovate new business models that leverage the growing on-demand market, organizational leaders in senior care need to recognize the potential of engaging with the on-demand workforce to truly transform their organizations. 

Learn how BookJane helps health care facilities improve shift fulfillment by 40%, dramatically decrease their time to fill shifts, and significantly reduce burdensome scheduling and administration time.


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