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Jacqui GrahamMay 3, 20247 min read

AI and the Contingent Workforce

What are the possibilities and the what are the things to avoid?

In our latest Flexing Up Podcast episode we were joined by industry experts Adrian Casey, and Martin Wells from Evolved.AI to explore the really positive transformative powers of Artificial Intelligence and the profound impact it's having (for those that are embracing it) on work efficiency and driving slick productivity.   AI is here, and it is here to stay!  Now is not the time to fear it - it's time to use it, take advantage of it, let it help you become the best version of yourself, your teams and your business that you can be. 

"It's not just about the challenges; it's about the opportunities that AI brings to the table.  We're talking skill evolution, staying ahead of the curve, and yes, even making AI your career's best friend", observes Evolved.AI CEO - Mike Kollo

We are at such an exciting juncture where AI technology is no longer a distant concept, or an interesting nice to have, but in fact a real tangible reality shaping the way we work and succeed.  In this fascinating and insightful discussion we uncover, with the help of our experts, the ground breaking synergy of AI technology and contingent workforce strategies to achieve optimum success.  

As the CEO of Evolved.AI Mike Kollo points out....

"It's natural to feel a bit uneasy. But here's the thing: understanding and adapting to this AI wave is crucial. It's not just about keeping your head above water; it's about learning to surf this massive wave of change".

Some of the key highlights of our discussion were the following:

1.   AI's Impact on Work Efficiency

Artificial Intelligence is fundamentally changing how work is done across industries. By automating repetitive tasks and streamlining workflows, AI is driving significant improvements in work efficiency. From data entry and analysis to customer service and administrative tasks, AI-powered solutions are freeing up human workers to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their roles. This transformation is leading to increased productivity, faster decision-making, and overall business growth.

2.   Augmentation, Not Replacement

Contrary to popular belief and concerns, AI is not here to replace human workers but rather to augment their capabilities. By leveraging AI technologies, businesses can enhance the skills and expertise of their workforce, enabling them to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. From chatbots assisting customer service representatives to predictive analytics guiding decision-making processes, AI can work harmoniously  alongside humans, complementing their skills abilities and driving even greater outcomes.

“We haven't let anybody go; we haven't replaced anybody.  I once described a good way to think about AI is basically everybody gets a thousand interns. They're actually not very skilled; they're not very experienced. They kind of run with the education they got, which some of it is very deep, but at the same time quite limited. And so there's a lot of skill in getting an AI tool and figuring out -  how do I use these one thousand interns for the best.  Incredibly powerful”.  Martin

3.  Transformation of Recruitment Processes

AI is revolutionising recruitment processes, making them more efficient, accurate, and unbiased. Through AI-powered tools, businesses can automate candidate sourcing, resume screening, and skills assessment, significantly reducing time-to-hire and improving the quality of hires. Moreover, AI helps stamp out unconscious bias in recruitment by focusing on objective criteria and removing human subjectivity from the process. This ultimately leads to more diverse and inclusive hiring practices, benefiting both employers and candidates.

4.  Addressing Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias has long been a challenge in recruitment, leading to homogeneity in the workforce and hindering essential diversity initiatives. AI offers a solution by providing objective and data-driven insights into candidate selection. By analysing job descriptions, resumes, and candidate interactions, AI algorithms can identify and mitigate biases, ensuring fair and equitable hiring practices. This not only fosters diversity and inclusion but also enhances the overall performance and innovation within organisations.

“AI actually can be a fair judge where it can review decisions that are made; it can look at CVs, it can look at job descriptions, it can review conversations for a thousand applicants and can tell you where there's been bias, tell you where they felt like there wasn't a good decision relative to other other candidates. I think it's very powerful and interesting that in many cases it was a better judge”.  Martin

5.  Embracing AI as a Mandatory Skill:

In today's rapidly evolving digital environment, AI proficiency is becoming increasingly essential for both businesses and individuals alike. Companies need to invest in AI education and training to equip their workforce with the skills needed to thrive in the AI-driven economy. Similarly, individuals must embrace AI as a mandatory skill and continuously upskill themselves to remain competitive in the job market. By embracing AI, businesses and individuals can unlock new opportunities, drive innovation, and stay ahead of the curve.

This demand has propelled the rise of AI-savvy contractors who not only possess the expertise necessary to seamlessly integrate into these new initiatives, hitting the ground running from day one, but also serve as AI champions for their companies and teams, guiding the way forward with their expertise and training.

Embrace it as hard and as fast as you can,  and use it wherever you can, and be open about that. Say “I'm faster because of AI, I use AI regularly, and I'm very good at it”. I found that in terms of contingent workforces we tend to be hiring the people who are embracing AI and are demonstrating how capable they are with it.” Martin

6.  Transitioning from Fear to Excitement:

While the prospect of AI adoption may initially evoke fear and uncertainty, individuals can quickly channel those emotions to excitement by recognising the huge opportunities it presents. AI has the potential to augment human capabilities, enhance job satisfaction, and enable individuals to focus on the higher-value tasks that require their passion, creativity and critical thinking. By embracing AI technology and exploring its possibilities, individuals can harness its power to drive personal and professional growth.

 “It's mandatory and it's right now.  It's very accessible, it's very cheap, it's very available, it's easy to learn and there's a lot of great tools to support it. I'd be very sure that in the next 12 months if you are not embracing AI tools you are not going to be competitive”. Martin

7.  Empowerment of the Contingent Workforce: The contingent workforce, including freelancers, contractors, and gig workers, plays a crucial role in today's economy. AI-driven tools and solutions empower these workers by providing them with access to new opportunities, resources, and support systems. From AI-powered job matching platforms to virtual assistants that streamline administrative tasks, AI enables contingent workers to enhance their productivity, expand their skill sets, and thrive in a dynamic work environment.  With the right attitude and skillset it has the ability to catapult contractors way ahead of their peers in a competitive digital world. 

“They get access to tools that can help them quickly onboard, help them quickly understand a code base, help them quickly get a grasp on culture and have an AI agent at their disposal to help them navigate and quickly demonstrate their value.  That's the very real opportunity for them”.  Adrian


8.  Unlocking Opportunities for Efficiency and Innovation:

AI's ability to unlock opportunities for efficiency and innovation is reshaping the future of work. By automating routine tasks, optimising processes, and generating actionable insights from huge amounts of comprehensive data, AI enables businesses to operate more efficiently and competitively. Moreover, AI fuels innovation by facilitating the development of new products, services, and business models that meet evolving customer needs and market demands. As organisations embrace AI technologies, they can unlock new possibilities for growth, differentiation, and success in the digital age.


For the full discussion tune in to our Flex Up Podcast, on your favourite channel below, for more valuable insights and actionable strategies for your contingent workforce planning and design and how to thrive in the AI-driven workplace of tomorrow. 

Remember to follow the show and leave us a review, so we can hear your personal thoughts - and so more people in the contingent workforce space can access and learn from our expert panel's insights.

If you would like to speak to the team at Oncore for more information about how we can take the hassle, risk and compliance challenges out of end-to-end contractor management - get in touch here.