The staffing market is undergoing a seismic shift. Companies leading the way are embracing the future of work in its fullest form: freelancing. The freelancing revolution is making workforces more flexible, resilient and generative, where external talent supports and nurtures the internal team.
However, some HR departments have been resistant to move with the times. This is due to some fears of the growing pains associated with a liquid talent strategy; procurement, for example, is a common anxiety. How agile can it really be if we have to manage endless procurement processes and contract prep?
Specialized freelancing marketplaces are the solution to these pain points. These online platforms provide a pre-certified, curated selection of professionals at an organization’s fingertips, with a single point of contact for contracts and invoicing. In this post, I’ll outline the key benefits of a high-level freelancing talent strategy.
Plug the tech talent gap. New technologies are ushering in new ways of working. As the demand for digitization intensifies, companies must re-skill employees or search for specialized talent. Unfortunately, this talent is far from abundant. According to a recent study from Korn Ferry, the technology and media sector will have a global shortfall of 4.3 million workers by 2030.
To secure the best talent in a competitive market, you need to move fast. Early starters — which include some of the world’s largest corporations — are able to cover their tech talent gap with remarkable agility with the support of talent platforms.
Speedy onboarding for on-demand talent. In the past, organizations were reluctant to take on freelancers because of the administrative work involved. Then there was onboarding; how could they be confident that the freelancer would fit into the existing company culture?
Proponents of the freelancing revolution know that a freelancer is rarely a one-hit wonder. Instead, leveraging on-demand talent is the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Once they’ve been onboarded, they can slot in quickly and seamlessly on a project-by-project basis.
The result? Talent when and where you need it, already armed with the knowledge of processes and protocols, for the best possible price.
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Top talent at a low price. Gartner reported that post-pandemic, 32% of organizations surveyed said they’re using more freelancers to cut costs. This is because on-demand talent enables companies to get more done with a more flexible budget. This is particularly useful for project-based work where niche expertise can be drafted in as needed, as opposed to offering the highly competitive salary such a profile would demand.
Facilitate skill-sharing. It’s important to emphasize that cost reductions by no means lead to a reduction in quality — specialist platforms ensure that experts have verified experience.
However, this isn’t to say that full-time employees will fall by the wayside in the future. External expertise can share knowledge with internal talent and bring out the best in each team member, enabling the organization to identify hidden skills and help each employee reach their full potential.
Be ready for whatever the future throws at you. It goes without saying that the pandemic was a turning point in working cultures. The abrupt move to remote work demonstrated that resilience and flexibility were the new imperative of an unpredictable business environment. Those that were ready for the shake-up thrived, and those that weren’t fell by the wayside.
Embracing a flexible talent strategy means you’re ready for anything. A good example is managing changing expectations in regard to employee experience. For example, the Harvard Business Review found that 40% of surveyed business leaders said that young people’s desire for more flexibility and autonomy would have a significant impact on the future of work.
The Freelancing Revolution Is the Future
Looking forward, a flexible approach to talent will be what sets organizations apart. Human resources departments will have to develop new skills, but thankfully, the freelancing revolution is already well underway. Online talent platforms are making it easier than ever for companies to access freelance expertise and keep pace with new trends in the labor market.