Capgemini Research Institute

The fluid workforce revolution

How a blended workforce strategy is key to success in the age of AI and automation

The fluid workforce is bringing a sea change to the future of work

With organizations seeking the agility, adaptability, and expertise to compete in a dynamic environment on the one hand and increasing numbers or workers preferring the flexibility and variety of work on the other, it’s not really surprising that the nature of work is changing – and becoming more fluid. In fact, nearly 80% of organizations used independent workers, freelancers, gig, or crowdsourced workers in the past year, and this number is only set to grow. But what does this mean for the workplace and for the future of work?

Mind the gap

To find out, for the latest report from the Capgemini Research Institute – The fluid workforce revolution, How a blended workforce strategy is key to success in the age of AI and automation we talked to executives from organizations using a fluid workforce, to 4,000 members of the fluid workforce, and to nearly 1,000 permanent employees. We found that:

  • The fluid workforce is becoming a core part of the organizational workforce – almost three-quarters of executives expect to increase their fluid workforce over the next 12 months.
  • COVID-19 is further accelerating the usage of fluid workforce among organizations – 70% agreed that the current COVID crisis will lead them to hire more fluid workforce in the future
  • Organizations are filling critical expertise gaps with fluid workers in high-skilled roles – such as AI/ML experts, agile coaches, or blockchain experts in IT and financial analysts and data scientists in finance.
  • Organizations fail to provide an experience endearing to the fluid workforce – close to 60% of the fluid workforce finds it difficult to fit in.

A fluid workforce can help organizations thrive

In this day and age, organizations need to be agile to thrive and a fluid workforce can help them to do so. However, this will require that they make dramatic changes to their talent management strategy including fluid assets into main stream capabilities, shift the recruitment and retention operating model towards make-or-buy principles and short-term/mid-term balance, and build a culture where permanent and fluid workers feel equally valued and can work as a blended team, leveraging their respective capabilities and skillsets effectively.

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CRI Fluid workforce

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Infographic Fluid Workforce...

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Sound Bites

Ley Wilson, Supplier and vendor management lead, Travelex

A fluid workforce allows companies to open up the book to a broad spectrum of talent than just what’s on their doorstep. This system allows companies to bring in people just for the short term. These are people who can help us change direction or produce new projects. And, while they are here, they can capture and transfer their learning and expertise to our full-time employees.

Nitin Sethi, Global IT director, business transformation and engagement at Visteon Corporation

When you do a proof of concept, you require a different range of skill sets, which in most cases you’ll not be able to find in the internal resource pools. Moreover, much of this PoC work may not warrant having a dedicated workforce for 100% of the time.”

Erin Hicks, Global HR operations and contingent workforce expert at Experfy

Organizations are worried about intellectual property. If a fluid worker creates IP for them in the course of a project, how do they ensure that the IP belongs to them? These are important concerns that companies have today. However, the real question is, what are they doing about these concerns? Organizations must have a thoughtful approach to retain rights to IP without turning off the benefits and value which these fluid workers bring.

Key Takeaways


of the organizations surveyed say that they have used a fluid workforce over the past year


organizations agreed that the current COVID crisis will lead them to hire more fluid workforce in the future

About the Capgemini Research Institute

Capgemini Research Institute

Capgemini’s #1 ranked in-house think tank on all things digital


Claudia Crummenerl

Expert in Change Management and HR Transformation, Human Resource, Workforce Transformation

Isabell Schastok

Change Management, Agile and Workforce Transformation

Jerome Buvat

Expert in Digital Transformation & Strategy, Strategy & Transformation

Nancy Manchanda

Expert in IT and Digital Research