Workforce crowdsourcing enables companies to create a dynamic, flexible set of resources to complete project activities. Crowdsourcing is a reasonable alternative for both internal tasks and work based on external labor. Making best use of crowsourced labor requires a shift in how managers think about orchestrating this new form of labor.

How to Crowdsource Your Workforce

Workforce crowdsourcing means changing from a mode where a department, project, or even a company, owns a specific set of resources to sourcing a dynamic set of resources needed to get a piece of work done. We’re seeing enterprises start to embrace and explore this new capability as more and more companies offer crowdsourcing capabilities.

Crowdsourcing in the enterprise can be done in several ways. It can be done as an internal crowd. It could be done as a fully external crowd, or it could be done as a combined, curated crowd between the enterprise and external group.

We see a lot of opportunity in this technology, and we’re exploring things like using workers to do micro tasks, where they don’t have very much inflate into the overall project. But we’re also using this technology to go beyond and gain access to very specific skills and talent that we can bring to the enterprise to get larger pieces of work done.

When we think about new areas to explore, we’ve been looking at several different opportunities. We started our testing with something called job-jar, where we’re looking at small pieces of work that need to get done. And we created something called the digital talent broker. With that digital talent broker, we’ve been able to source 15,000 hours of work already in the early stage pilot of this capability. The challenge isn’t so much finding people to take on jobs; it’s finding enough jobs to put in the job-jar to meet demand and the excitement of individuals who want to pick up this additional work. That’s an all-internal opportunity at which we’ve been looking.

But we’re also looking at things like crowd testing and using crowdsourcing to take on activities like software engineering. That’s much more complex so, as you look at projects doing software development, using the crowd becomes much more challenging.

Some of those challenges are around orchestration. This new mode of working requires a new form of project manager, a new kind of program manager, who can orchestrate the full set of work across a very diverse and disparate set of workers.

When we think about crowdsourcing, companies need to consider how do you break up work? How do you find the right person to source that job? Additionally, are your legal and HR policies around this able to tackle finding, capturing, and using the crowdsource talent in the best ways for your enterprise?