Following is a guest post developed for the team at KellyOCG around some of the key disruptive trends I’m following. Hope you enjoy!

disruption-change-gig-economyThere is more fluctuation and innovation in the way that talent is delivered today than at any time in the past, and talent leaders need to understand some of the key trends that affect how work gets done. Disruption is one of the overarching themes that companies simply can’t avoid, and it affects organizations in a variety of ways. In addition, the gig economy is a growing piece of the global talent picture. Together, this combination creates significant challenges and opportunities for the organizations that are in tune with the changing nature of work.

Disruption: Internal and External

In a global study of CHROs, IBM found that the number one concern for these talent leaders was industry convergence. A good example of this comes from the competition between Carnegie Mellon and Uber. In 2014 Carnegie Mellon had some of the world’s brightest robotics minds working on its campus. These people were focused on the bleeding edge of robotics technology and their research could have created new breakthroughs and advancements in the use of robotic technology for the betterment of mankind.

But then they left.

In a surprise move, Uber lured the scientists away and brought them into the organization. I’m sure when Carnegie Mellon was thinking about competition, it considered other top-shelf universities and think tanks. But it didn’t consider the possibility of a ride-sharing service taking over one of its highly prized assets.

What this means for today’s business leaders is that it’s no longer enough to simply look at the two or three long-term competitors to keep a pulse on the industry. New competition can come from any direction. And company leaders are funny in that they always think that they are somehow shielded from the impact of these new technologies and business models. This reminds me of some recent data from Pew Research Center. The organization did a study and about two-thirds of people believe that robots or computers will take over jobs in the future. At the same time, 80% of those respondents said that it wouldn’t affect their own jobs. Just like Blockbuster didn’t take Netflix seriously, companies need to take this concept of industry convergence seriously.

Gig Economy Impacts

I believe the old philosophy of build or buy is behind us when it comes to talent. For much of our history we’ve been able to find talent in the marketplace or develop them from within. It’s clearly time to redefine that to build, buy, or borrow to expand our view of talent to those beyond the four walls of the business. Businesses like KellyOCG are no strangers to this, but companies of all sizes are waking up to the possibilities. Whether it’s through the prevalence of services like Fiverr and Lyft or just a greater understanding of the importance of employer branding and marketing to reach the right people at the right time, business leaders in general are more comfortable with the idea of being able to reach and connect with talent on demand.

New research says that there are 800,000 people in the platform-based gig economy in the US. While it is a dispersed network of positions, if the “gig economy” was considered an employer it would be the second largest in the US, more than double the size of McDonald’s. More importantly, the gig economy has grown tenfold between 2012 and 2015, and there’s no reason to expect that to taper off. If anything it’s growing rapidly due to the number of new companies reaching the market with their services.

On the corporate side, I see a major oncoming conflict with how we get access to this on-demand talent. In many organizations there is a procurement process to determine how external resources are leveraged. But talent leaders are looking for more flexibility and granular control over the who, what, and when of talent decisions. This is due in part to the compliance concern of not treating these people like employees, but the old models are receiving a lot of pressure. Uber and other services are pushing the boundaries of who is and isn’t an employee, and this demand will eventually drive change at the legislative level given enough pressure from the market.

Talent, Strategy, and Services at KellyOCG

These trends are a reality for businesses today, and they could be cause for alarm; however, KellyOCG is aware of the changing nature of work and has a full slate of service offerings to help companies navigate the waters. The work that KellyOCG is doing around analytics, workforce planning, and employer branding are incredibly valuable for the organizations it serves. I’m excited about the possibilities of deeply integrating KellyOCG’s services into its overall offerings to truly support the growth and results of its client firms as part of their ongoing talent strategy to build, buy, or borrow. Everyone else is talking about the war for talent–KellyOCG is helping companies win it.

This guest post originally appeared on the KellyOCG blog.