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MSME Day 2023: How ‘flexi-hiring’ can improve talent access for MSMEs

World MSME Day 2023: While the MSME sector is ready to employ close to 1 crore people over the next 3 to 4 years, it has various limitations in terms of talent access.

World MSME Day 27th June 2023: Over the years, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have emerged as a crucial part of India’s growth story, and talent plays a critical role in fuelling this upward trajectory. While the MSME sector is ready to employ close to 1 crore people over the next 3 to 4 years, it has various limitations in terms of talent access. With a lack of brand name, lack of resources to invest in talent acquisition, and quickly shifting skill requirements, MSMEs have been facing severe challenges in attracting the right talent.

Additionally, the current volatile business environment has also left MSMEs to grapple with the need to control talent costs for business continuity, while also hiring for newer, in-demand skill sets. In this context, Flexi-hiring can help them attain stability on their budget while gaining access to top talent in the market

Key Benefits of Flexi-Hiring
Flexi-hiring involves hiring employees on a part-time or fixed-duration project basis to meet the current requirements of the firm. This offers MSMEs the opportunity to easily adjust their workforce according to their current financial status and requirements. In today’s market scenario, rapid technology adoption has necessitated that MSMEs quickly adapt their offerings and services to suit the demands of their customers. Flexi-Hiring allows a larger degree of agility and enables a quicker time-to-market for newer offerings and functions. When MSMEs identify a new market opportunity, they can rapidly put together a team with the required skills and expertise from a talent mix of permanent employees, freelancers and gig workers.

Today, the gig economy is rapidly expanding, with several employees realising the value of flexible work and multiple streams of income. Flexi-hiring also widens the talent pool for MSMEs by enabling access to a large pool of freelancers and gig workers with specialised skill sets. It also allows quick, temporary backup for permanent employees on short-term breaks like sabbaticals or maternity leaves.

Ideal Flexi-Hiring Strategy for MSMEs
While Flexi-hiring can offer lucrative benefits for MSMEs, it must be used with a clear strategy. The lack of a well-outlined strategy may lead to over-hiring or under-hiring for certain functions. It is key for business leaders to analyse the business requirements over the next few months by taking into consideration the overall trajectory of the market, upcoming projects and targets, new technologies that are likely to emerge, and so on. Following this, the requirements need to be segmented into various categories like long-term projects, seasonal requirements, ad-hoc requirements, project-based requirements, etc. This exercise will enable the firm to identify gaps in terms of talent and specific skill sets, which can then form the base for a talent acquisition plan.

Further, MSMEs can outsource their recruitment to reliable partners to enable access to a larger talent pool and overcome entry barriers such as a lack of brand name and advertising budgets. It is key to work with hiring partners that have extensive experience and in-depth domain knowledge of the industry to ensure the best hires.

Flexi-hiring not only addresses the hiring challenges faced by organisations but also aligns with the broader trend of flexible work arrangements and the gig economy. It offers benefits for both employers and employees. While organisations gain access to a diverse talent pool, specialised skills, and cost-efficiency by hiring workers on a flexible basis. Simultaneously, individuals seeking more autonomy and flexibility in their work find opportunities to pursue their desired projects and achieve work-life balance. As the gig economy grows and employees increasingly look for flexibility and multiple sources of income, Flexi-hiring will continue to rise in India. This will in turn ensure that MSMEs have the right talent to play an important role in India’s economic growth in the coming years.