Independent contractors are a great way to be proactive when it comes to market fluctuations. More enterprises today are shifting to an agile workforce that is composed of a mix of full-time and independent talent. In fact, in a 2022 survey, companies reported that contingent labor made up 28% of their workforce. And two-thirds said that they expect their use of contingent labor to increase over the next 18 months.
Independent contractors are temporary workers that can help companies meet temporary workload needs, test out new lines of business, or access specialized skills. By tapping into this contingent labor pool, companies can boost productivity, get tasks done more quickly, and save money. Here are three ways independent contractors can help your organization rapidly adjust to market trends and stay competitive.
Independent Contractors Bring In-Demand Skills to the Table
First and foremost, independent contractors bring valuable expertise to the table. Think of independents as their own individual business entity. They are highly skilled in their field, and they have built businesses around these skills to bring to you.
Finding one-off experts in today’s hiring market can be challenging. If you need talent for a specific, project-based role—perhaps a graphic designer, engineer, or translator—independent contractors can be a great option. In 2022, more than 64 million people worked independently and many more plan to test the waters of independent work in the future. That’s a big talent pool to pull from.
Furthermore, it’s getting easier to find and hire independent talent. More than 40% of independents say they find work using a talent marketplace—online platforms that connects organizations with talent. With a marketplace, independent contractors can fill out a profile with their skills and work experience, and companies can post available opportunities. Hiring managers can directly reach out to candidates they are interested in, or the platform algorithm can help match talent with a role.
Check out MBO’s marketplace
The Contingent Workforce Gives Companies Flexibility in Testing New Markets
Independent contractors give companies the ability to reduce staffing costs by growing or shrinking their workforce according to market demands. This is a huge benefit in our modern world where it is expensive to hire, train, and manage full-time workers.
Independents are also a great opportunity to test out a new business idea or explore a new market. Hiring an independent contractor to explore the pros and cons of a new line of business doesn’t take away from the day-to-day work of your current employee base. Independents are also flexible when it comes to project contracts. They can work from many different geographic locations, and you can structure contracts around the specific deliverables you are looking for.
Many companies are also hiring teams of independent talent. This approach gives enterprises the experience of working with a bigger consulting firm, with the ability to build a highly specialized team of experts. Over one-quarter of independents say they teamed up with independent workers or microbusiness in the past 12 months and 30% say the plan to team up with other independent workers in the next year.
How to Build Collaborative Teams of Independent Professionals
Independent Talent Offer a Valuable Alternative to Traditional Consulting Firms
Why do enterprises hire consulting firms in the first place? There are many reasons including to evaluate an existing practice and modernize it, to assess an existing problem and offer solutions, or to bring in a subject-matter expert for a highly visible project. Think of independent contractors as small consulting firms. Independents can provide a valuable outside perspective and objectivity that can be hard to come by from an internal team alone.
Independent contractors also have a wealth of experience working with many different companies over the course of their careers. This knowledge can be helpful when seeking a new approach to a problem.
Workforce optimization is something all enterprises strive for. Including independent talent as part of your workforce can be a great way to keep your business agile, meet changing demands, and accelerate business outcomes.
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