Speaking with Connor Heaney offers compelling insights into how the dynamics of the open talent marketplace in the US, Europe, and the rest of the world are closely connected. As the international business community continues to better understand the practical benefits and the enormous potential of open talent, creating transparency throughout processes – from sourcing, compliance, and procurement – will be critical to the future of open talent.
Connor Heaney works for CXC Global, which provides businesses and enterprises across the world with contingent workforce management and HR outsourcing solutions. Specifically, Connor is the head of CXC for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. His role is to execute the CXC vision in shaping the future of work with a focus on solving clients’ contingent workforce challenges and playing a collaborative part in their daily success stories.
A Vision for the Future of Open Talent
Connor believes that the future of work will be defined by open talent but that international organizations currently lack the resources to address the full scope of challenges. He explained, “open talent needs intermediaries between end-users and finders of contingent labor and the workers themselves to solve highly complex problems. These intermediaries are needed to streamline cross-border hiring, working with talent marketplaces, bringing direct sourcing into various different companies – and ensuring businesses are not exposed to complicated compliance issues that arise when employing talented people from different countries and cultures.”
Navigating International Compliance Regulations
Businesses continue to wrestle with a new global economy shaped by the confluence of ongoing COVID-19 adjustments, digital transformation, disrupted supply chains, and evolving consumer and employee expectations. These multi-level transitions are forcing companies to realign their workforces in ways that reduce wasteful financial overhead and increase efficiency and productivity.
However, businesses, especially enterprises, have been slow to embrace contingent and independent workers, freelancers, and open talent largely because of one formidable and looming challenge: compliance. Properly addressing compliance regulations – which, at least on the surface, become more opaque and unwieldy as workforces become globally distributed – has rendered some of the world’s most notable companies completely incapable of embracing real change.
“Enterprises are absolutely concerned about the compliance elements inherent to engaging open talent,” said Connor. “And it’s not just about labor laws and misclassification. Organizations worry about cross-border intellectual property risks, taxation complexities, and even internal cultural resistance to hiring workers outside the company.” That demand for solutions has led to emerging infrastructures and platforms that support the open talent economy and serve as compliant payroll firewall engines between users of contingent labor and the workers they use. Connor states that the change has been strongly driven by a huge regulatory convergence stemming from the US.
“The two macro trends reshaping open talent are, first, an extreme talent shortage in the US and Europe and, secondly, substantially more companies willing to explore different means of accessing global talent. Robust and rapid digital transformation is accelerating demand for technologists, consultants, doers, thinkers, and executioners in a particular space. But concerns over compliance remain a profound obstacle to adopting open talent. Thankfully, that is changing as enterprises are discovering a new generation of compliance systems and mitigation strategies that reduce costs and risks while they invest in growth.”
Compliance Begins with Procuring the Best Talent
Ensuring that compliance standards are met begins with creating governance mechanisms that can identify the most suitable workers in specific marketplaces who offer the highest value in terms of talent, credibility, and productivity. As businesses pursue the goal of better, faster, cheaper, they increasingly require infrastructure that allows them to efficiently locate, screen, and onboard workers at scale from around the globe.
The unprecedented speed and scope of integrated software technologies and dynamic platforms have forever changed the way businesses procure talent across borders. Today, procurement means companies can benefit from international labor arbitrage while mitigating exposure to risk associated with local labor laws and taxation agreements. Connor elaborated, “Pre-vetting and procuring talent to secure the right fit requires both a granular knowledge of the individual worker and a global capability to contextualize and analyze that specific knowledge at scale.”
Connecting information – information about people, information about local employment laws and legislation, and information about business goals and organizational ambitions – is experiencing a radical change. “The evolution of interoperability among different platforms allows enterprises to synergize their efficiencies using open talent while being confident that regional laws and tax regulations are being fulfilled,” Connor said. “This new dynamic that aligns international human talent and fluid operational transparency within businesses is accelerating the proliferation and practical need to adopt open talent to remain competitive. The future of work is right in front of us.”