A New Era Of Innovation: Inside The Workforce Technology Revolution (Part One)

Originally published by Ardent Partners at

It may be difficult to share this perception, given the fact that we’re still mired in an uncertain economic climate, but businesses today are in a rosier position than they ever were before regarding how they find and manage talent (and the ways they address how work is done). The Future of Work Exchange (and the nearly 17 years’ worth of research within its foundation) has often stated that talent is an enterprise’s top competitive differentiator. Throw in a global pandemic that ushered in a new era of work, along with a reimagining of the talent acquisition function, and what we have is a business market that will, probably forever, be laser-focused on the skillsets and expertise required to thrive on a truly global scale.

This, of course, places the utmost significance on a key arena within the typical enterprise: its utilization of workforce management technology, which includes extended workforce management, talent acquisition, talent intelligence, remote/hybrid workplace augmentation, direct sourcing, compliance and risk mitigation, and more.

Today’s workforce management platforms (a broad term, yes, but one that encompasses so many of the core functions addressed within contingent workforce or talent acquisition initiatives) look markedly different than just a few years ago, when an emerging virus upended life and business. In a post-pandemic world, one in which the Future of Work “movement” is nearly fully-realized from both enterprise and worker perspectives, it is these workforce-oriented platforms that will:

  • Revolutionize the art of direct sourcingPlatforms such as WorkLLama were battle-tested in staffing, which allowed them to plug-and-play directly into the contemporary needs of the modern business; WorkLLama’s provides a robust take on direct sourcing, via a slew of Best-in-Class technology oriented around ATS, candidate experience, referrals, and talent community development. LiveHire has been a market leader for over a decade for a reason: they have perfected the convergence of total talent management and direct sourcing with their unique approaches towards talent mobility, talent experience management, and enterprise-grade software that is integration-ready into greater HR and workforce systems.
  • Reimagine the massive applications of artificial intelligence. AI has become ubiquitous in its size, scope, and impact; every business, no matter the sector or region or size, has either implemented AI-fueled capabilities into its operations or has begun the process of doing so. Platforms like Opptly are actively reimagining the implications of AI in talent acquisition through next-level artificial intelligence tools that enhance talent matching, augment candidate engagement, and proactively prioritize “skills DNA.” Digital staffing giant Upwork recently integrated generative AI into its market-leading “work marketplace” offerings through new flexible AI work opportunities for candidates and a new “AI services hub” that is powered by OpenAI technologies. (The company also announced its collaboration with Jasper, a prominent generative AI content generation platform that will providing workers on the platform with cutting-edge generative AI tools to enhance productivity and elevate the quality of their work.)
  • Transform the ways businesses manage the extended workforce. Only a couple of years ago, the phrase “extended workforce” began to overcome the traditional uses of “contingent workforce”; this was not another buzzy, fad-driven shift in nomenclature but rather a reimagining of the non-employee workforce to encompass and reflect its true value and impact (especially since, as discovered via Ardent Partners and Future of Work Exchange research, the extended workforce comprises 49.% of all enterprise talent today). Beeline was a major force in this transition, transmuting Vendor Management System (VMS) functionality into technology that was more meaningful and deliberate. The platform has since unveiled forward-thinking offerings such as its Global Workforce Intelligence tool (a total talent intelligence-driven module that provides real-time insights into total talent), high-volume and shift management automation via its JoinedUp acquisition, and upgrading its Hiring Manager Experience (HMX) to better support the roles that are actively fighting the war for talent. Worksome is actively making waves through its agile, flexible, and end-to-end offering that focuses on the contractor experience while also being built for digital talent engagement and frictionless contingent workforce management. The solution represents a new and exciting crop of providers that blend freelancer management functionality with powerful technology that has the potential to disrupt the extended workforce solutions market.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this article series, in which we’ll highlight other innovative workforce management platforms that are actively reconceptualizing the Future of Work and the many ways businesses find, engage, and manage talent.

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