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Paul Chiswick
Corporate Solutions
Director, APAC
CXC Global

Andrew Curcio
PwC Australia

Rebecca Houghton
Senior Product Manager
People Experiences
Australia Post

Tony Wu
Head of Growth

PwC have identified five megatrends, published recently in their groundbreaking research, Workforce of the Future: The competing forces shaping 2030 (report here). These five trends are:

Andrew Curcio of PwC showcased where Australian business is performing well, in respect of adapting to the future of work. And, what we're not doing so well. 

Firstly, where we're getting it right:

  1. We're successfully building trust across our organisations
  2. We're displaying a sound focus on talent and leadership, where our leaders are role-models
  3. We're showing respect and care for worker's physical and mental health
And secondly, where we can improve:
  1. We can undertake more meaningful conversations about the future of work
  2. We acknowledge new technologies like AI & robotics, but not in the context of the workforce of the future
  3. We can stop treating permanent and contingent workers in separate silos
  4. We're not adept at utilising the incredible opportunity presented by workforce data & analytics

With a significant shift in market demands, and therefore services (a 15%-20% decline in traditional letters business), Australia Post had to radically alter their services and therefore, their approach to talent.

Some of the experiences of Australia Post's transformation include:

  1. A real shift to engagement of digital talent. Australia Post is now one of the top 20 employers in Australia for digital talent to work
  2. The focus on PEOPLE rather than the black & white requirements of JOBS is real. Development of talent is going a long way to fulfill critical skills requirements
  3. There's a focus not only on CV & experience, but on people's knowledge & insights
  4. Training people to get them job fit, is an ongoing investment
  5. Expansion of job categories: for example, truck drivers. By backwards engineering the role, Australia Post was able to determine the skills & approach required from talent, and the training and career pathway. By doing this, redeployment of people in expiring job categories was possible

Organisations are increasingly engaging contingent workers to fulfill critical roles and business outcomes. However, the management of contingent workers has traditionally been the domain of Procurement, while HR has taken responsibility for permanent workers.
As a result, the ability for organisations to engage, assess and redeploy contingent workers, has been difficult. Why? Because mostly, third party suppliers were involved, a situation that also helped to mitigate co-employment risk. This dynamic is shifting and the 'blended workforce' is emerging.

Take a look below, at some of the indicators of why the blended workforce is on the rise:

  1. CEO's and Executive Teams want to drive performance for ALL people, not just the permanent workforce
  2. Critical job data, traditionally owned by HR, can provide valuable insights into the engagement and management of contingent workers 
  3. Ensuring there is a robust understanding of Contingent Workers' job description, measures of success, statement-of-work
  4. CIOs are increasingly involved (given their need for contingent workers). Put simply, they want the right skills, the right workers, and few barriers to achieving that
  5. Improving the engagement of contingent workers requires the collaborative involvement of HR AND Procurement, and consistency of approach is key
  6. A move towards 'total talent' is happening (slowly). This involves adapting some perm talent policies and procedures to contingent talent
  7. There's a shift to focusing on quality: quality of contingent talent, quality of worker management processes, quality of contingent worker experience within the organisation, higher quality engagement process, higher quality supplier experience
  8. Cost remains important, but quality and value are increasingly prevalent

Organisations need a catalyst for change. Look at the big banks: the uncovering of unethical behaviours is driving boards to focus on ALL talent, in respect of policies, management, procedures. Focusing on 70% of workers - your perm staff - won't cut it any longer.  


The employer brand remains a critical component of the organisation, especially in the context of contingent versus permanent talent.

Here are some of the learnings on this topic, from the session:

  1. Australia Post are decompartmentalising ALL audience segments - from customers, contingent talent, rejected applicants and existing workers - in their interactions to create a better experience for all
  2. Few organisations know how to manage the employer brand in the context of contingent vs permanent talent: enter technology disruption whereby organisations can interact with the talent marketplace, irrespective of whether they're contingent or permanent (there's a lot of investment in tech taking place, with a focus on accessing the best talent for the organisation, and engaging that talent: this is a shift from the prior focus of looking at HOW talent is engaged as a separate stream of work)
  3. Some bigger corporates are creating their own talent pools of prospective and past hires (across permanent and contingent). This is about finding the BEST worker for the job or project at hand, and has a powerful impact on the credibility of the organisation's employer brand
  4. The multitude of mediums organisations are using to reach out to the talent marketplace, means the employer brand message must be consistent. It also makes the engagement of all categories of talent, far easier


The utilisation of contingent workers presents risks for organisations, from a legal standpoint. Hence the demarcation of perm talent from contingents. But over the past five years, there's been a shift...

  1. Better integration of the two groups, through the provision of non-monetary benefits
  2. Engaging workers in different ways, to build value for them
  3. Better management of the risks, through an integrated, blended worker environment. This is especially the case, where the organisation reaps great value from the contingent worker segment
  4. Risk is a focus at the Board level: where value (of the worker) & risk are addressed together. Value doesn't mean a decline of risk profile - but rather, it's about worker engagement coupled with compliance with statutory requirements