Today, 41 million Americans work as consultants, freelancers, contractors, temporary, or on-call workers. This independent workforce is a growing and powerful economic force that is shaping the way organizations accomplish their goals. Incorporating independent professional talent as part of a company’s workforce is a practice that is becoming more common and accepted across a wide range of industries.
Highly-skilled independent talent can bring increased agility, supply chain control, and overall efficiency. Here are four ways the independent workforce can help grow your business in 2020.
1. Build a Flexible Workforce
By nature, independent talent is engaged to complete a specific task or project. They bring their specialized expertise to the table, and are responsible for completing the services outlined in their contract. This way of working gives organizations the ability to grow and contract their workforce as particular needs arise throughout the year.
For example, if a company wants to pursue a one-off project or needs assistance solving an important problem, they can bring in temporary, highly-skilled workers to avoid having to remove an employee away from their daily tasks or hire someone they don’t really need long-term.
2. Access In-Demand Skills
Independent talent are experts in their respective fields and are highly educated. In 2019, 40% of independents had 4-year college degrees or higher, compared with 34% of Americans. Need a coding expert to help launch a new app or a marketing professional to generate content for a product launch? Independent talent can be a great way to fill knowledge gaps in a workforce.
The ability to bring individual experts on board when and where they are need most is particularly valuable to organizations at a time where companies are having difficulty finding skilled talent.
3. Reduce Costs
There are many ways independent talent can help companies reduce costs, one of which is through direct sourcing. By sourcing independent talent internally, rather than relying on a third-party such as a consulting agency or staffing company to fill talent needs, organizations can save on costly markups that range from 20-40%.
Benefits packages today can be expensive, and outsourcing talent is often more cost-effective than hiring on another full-time employee. And, because independent contractors operate as their own business entity, they bring everything they need to a project. That means HR teams can spend less time on onboarding and training, and more time focused on their job at hand.
4. Prepare for the Future
Incorporating independent talent into a workforce strategy allows companies to be more agile. With the ability to engage skilled talent as needed, organizations become more competitive by taking on tactical projects and or pursuing new lines of business that might be outside of their current scope. More than half of executives say the external workforce enables them to improve the overall financial performance of their company and nearly 64% say their external workforce is important or very important in increasing organizational agility.
By developing a comprehensive program to find, engage, and manage contingent workers, organizations can build a go-to pool of trusted independent talent that they can re-engage when needs arise. Re-engaging talent who have already proven their expertise helps to build loyalty and create a fast, streamlined engagement experience.
To learn more about how the independent workforce can help your business grow in the coming year, reach out to our team of experts.