Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

The workforce is changing. Know how this direct sourcing program is changing the way agile firms find top talents! [Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles]

November 11, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson

Happy Friday, everyone. Welcome to “Mindfulness by Miles!” 

Today, we’ll be sharing some of the key points we discussed in a webinar MBO Partners conducted in October 2021. 

The main topic of the event was about optimizing talent programs with branded marketplaces. Here, we spoke with a top industry professional from KPMG. 

You may watch the recording and view the transcript of our discussion here

We also encourage you to read the article below. We’re sharing some of our insights about ways to create direct relationships with highly skilled workers through branded talent marketplaces. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Mindfulness by Miles  

Enterprises today are having to adapt to new business practices. With the acceleration of various workforce trends due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some firms are even facing shortages, especially for highly skilled, in-demand workers. 

That’s why lots of companies nowadays are looking to increase their businesses’ speed, flexibility, agility, and use of independent labor. 

What’s more? 

They’re also turning to private branded and curated marketplaces to access, hire, and manage highly skilled independent consultants, contractors, and gig workers. 

Photo from HRZone

On October 14, 2021, MBO Partners conducted a webinar titled, “Optimizing Talent Programs with Branded Marketplaces.” 

In this event, MBO Partners’ CEO Miles Everson and COO Audra Nichols shared their insights with KPMG’s National Director for Recruiting and Advisory, John Henkel. 

They highlighted new data from an exclusive report on the use of branded marketplaces and contingent labor, and shared how organizations can engage and optimize their own workforces for future growth. 

They also discussed other topics such as: 

  • The benefits of establishing strategic plans to set a path for business success in the coming years
  • Ways to establish a successfully branded marketplace as part of a direct sourcing program
  • What organizations with defined programs are achieving in terms of cost savings, productivity, and access to skills
  • Actionable insights regarding established and grown internal direct sourcing programs and marketplaces

Let’s dive into these topics further… 

According to Everson, Nichols, and Henkel, today’s human resource (HR) landscape has evolved and that’s why it’s important to know the growing trends in organizations across various industries to directly source talent. 

They say knowing these trends will not only help firms establish talent pools and virtual benches but also create direct relationships with highly skilled labor via branded marketplaces. 

Some studies and statistics were also highlighted in the webinar. According to Everson, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Americans 45 years old and below will likely change jobs in 4.5 years. Meanwhile, those who are 35 years old and below will likely change jobs in 3.2 years. 

This shows in today’s work landscape, firms no longer have a permanent workforce. That’s why Everson states when hiring workers, companies must not think about either-or strategies. They need to have a full-time workforce AND an extended workforce, which consists of consultants, independent contractors, gig workers, etc. 

For Everson, this ecosystem will lead to business success in the future of work. 

Another statistics mentioned in the webinar was from MBO’s State of Independence of America report, which said the number of independents grew by 30% in 2021, and most of these workers are millennials and Gen Zs. 

Based on this data, Everson, Nichols, and Henkel agreed that not having enough jobs is not the problem the world is facing right now. Rather, it’s not having enough full-time workers to work on a certain job. This talent scarcity drives employers, managers, and recruiters to rethink how they’re going to use their workforce. 

One of the strategies firms are implementing nowadays? 

Building branded marketplaces as part of their direct sourcing program

According to another study by MBO Partners, branded talent marketplaces are changing the way agile firms find top talents. Contingent labor trends also show business priorities have shifted. 

Currently, the average contingent labor workforce of companies in the U.S. is at 28%. This number is expected to grow to 38% in the next 5 years. Some of the top reasons for adopting this type of workforce are: 

  • Increased productivity
  • Getting tasks done more quickly and efficiently
  • Meeting workload peaks
  • Access to specialized skills and hard-to-hire talents

Surprisingly, saving money is no longer part of the top reasons as the factors listed above take more of firms’ priorities. 

That’s why for Everson, Nichols, and Henkel, a branded marketplace is the best way to find contingent talents. They say usage of internal independent talent worker marketplaces are expected to grow in the next 18 months as high levels of satisfaction are reported by current users. 

… and one way to attract talents to branded marketplaces? 

Building a relationship with them


When Nichols was working at UnitedLex, she said they had a program called, “Engagement Campaign.” Here, the firm focused on building positive relationships with talents that came into the firm’s pool by letting them know as much about UnitedLex as clients and full-time employees did. 

Through this program, the company was able to ensure those who came to its marketplace actually wanted to work with various teams and employees because of their passion to be in an organization that offered lots of opportunities for them. 

Meanwhile, KPMG has a different strategy. According to Henkel, the firm has a robust recruitment-branding-marketing strategy, and he and his team spend a lot of time doing research about the contingent workforce. 

For instance, whenever KPMG sends out surveys to its engaged resources, it wants to know how it could further refine its marketing to make its brand more compelling for highly skilled talents. 

Henkel also adds that once talents are coming into KPMG’s pool, he makes sure everyone in the firm treats these independents as true professionals and not just people who come and go. This enables the contingent workforce to feel valued and contribute to KPMG. 


Everson states nowadays, independent talents are looking for companies they think could be “Clients of Choice.” This is because in the current world of work, the balance of power has shifted from employers to employees. 

This means workers of today have the power to pick which company they would like to work for… AND in a much more fluid or mobile way. That’s why in the webinar, Everson, Nichols, and Henkel said branding is crucial! It’s everything companies do to let independent talents know who they are. 

Besides, training and creating impactful learning pathways are an added feature of robust, branded talent marketplaces. By harnessing the power of these workers, firms establish positive interactions and value creation to ensure both full-time employees and independent talents stay happy and fulfilled. 

We hope you learned great leadership and management insights from Everson, Nichols, and Henkel’s webinar! 

Keep in mind that for your talent marketplace to thrive and TRULY add value, you have to build a culture of proactive engagement and co-creation within the workplace. This will not only attract highly skilled talents but also bring about positive changes in your organization. 

Stay tuned for more topics related to the independent workforce and the future of work! 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”

High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently. 

In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals

Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals. 

High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can. 

Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “The Business Builder Daily” newsletter. 

These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce. 

We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life. 

Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”


Kyle Yu 

Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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