Listen above or read an excerpt of the transcript beneath, which has been edited for clarity.
Allie Nawrat: Hello, welcome to UNLEASHcast. This is our second Future of Work focus. You might notice that it’s not Jon introducing it today, it’s me, Allie Nawrat, I am a senior journalist here at UNLEASH and also the talent and recruitment lead. I’m joined by my colleague Dan, who is also a senior journalist, and who heads up our HR tech and transformation pillar. How’re you doing today, Dan?
Dan Richardson: I’m very well, thank you. How are you?
AN: I’m good, I’m good. We’re enjoying being in the office today getting out in sunny but cold London. So, the first piece we wanted to talk about, I think was this one you wrote earlier this week, Dan, with BT. Do you want to tell me about the gist of the story? And what were the most interesting bits?
DR: Yeah, I’ll do a quick synopsis. So we’re really lucky. Mark Murphy, director of HR technology over at BT said he’d catch up with us about elastic teams, really on the back of a deal they did with Distributed. It’s not an acquisition, but they’ve merged the company as part of their digital startup amplifier. And I was like, oh, I never had to BT down has being really on the pulse or, you know, these like, new ways of working in terms of technology.
You know, it’s usually in-house with companies like that. And he said, ‘No, this is the way we’re doing it. We can get freelancers coming in, but we know they’re accredited. We know they’re super good at their jobs’, and it’s flexible for them, because they might not want the nine-to-five with BT.
AN: Exactly. Yeah, I think you’re pulling out the freelancers angle and that’s also one of the bits I found most interesting about it was that, you know, we have a digital skills crisis. We’ve written a lot of stories about this. I think there’s a skills crisis in general, but particularly in digital and tech, and maybe freelancers are part of the solution, or potentially all of the solution – it depends on your perspective.
DR: I think you when you look at technology, a lot of the work is stuff like in sprints, this ‘run-up’ to release, so I think in that respect is actually really well suited to freelancers or gig workers or whatever you want to call them. I think interestingly, it’s a bit of a shift. I think usually companies do it – I’m going to put my hands up moving around, you won’t be able to see it on the podcast, but bear with me guys – where you have people working around all year, but they’ll have a few months of that year where they know things gonna be really hard, they’re gonna have to work overtime, and I think now maybe you get an opportunity for people to say ‘I’m ready for this. I’ll come in for this month for this company,’ and probably make a good wage off it because it’s a valued skill.
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