Why the Great Resignation is Really the Great Realization

By MBO Partners | January 5, 2023

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As a hiring manager, you know first-hand the pain of the Great Resignation. This “post-” pandemic economic trend of employees resigning in droves has hit every industry. In fact, a record-breaking 11 million jobs were vacant at the end of October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

But people aren’t leaving the workforce entirely. Instead, they’re ditching jobs they were never completely happy with in favor of gig work. They’ve gone to work for themselves as an independent. Independence gives your former payroll employees a chance to pursue a passion. It opens the door to more flexibility for them in work and life. 

This pivot in priorities has turned The Great Resignation into The Great Realization. People are taking control over how they work by going independent.

This year alone, 51.1 million people are working as independents, a 34% increase from 2020. And, it’s not a force of need, either. They’re choosing it.  Only 11% of independents say they’d rather have a permanent FT job over independence. So, what does that mean for you, hiring manager? 

What The Great Realization Means for Your Workforce Next Year

The vast majority of people who pursue independence—77%—say they’re very satisfied. And, as more top-tier talent choose gig work over traditional employment, you need to rethink how you’re hiring this year. 

Tons of companies have already started adding independents into their hiring plan. It lets them stay agile and competitive in today’s corporate landscape. If you haven’t already considered jumping into this talent pool, well, get ready. It’s time to jump into the deep end. 

Download Now: MBO Partners’ 11th annual State of Independence Report 

Why You Need Independents in This Year’s Hiring Plan

It costs an average of $10-20,000 to find and hire new, full-time talent. And that doesn’t even consider the toll it takes on you or your direct reports that are covering the vacant role. Add in the cost of onboarding and an eight-month ramp period to get fully productive and FTEs are just plain expensive. 

To further complicate the hiring game, the average employee tenure is at its lowest level since 1980—4.1 years. And for employees under 35, that number falls to 3.5 years. In fact, according to Bankrate, half of American workers will look for a new job within the year. The Great Realization means top performers simply don’t want to be stuck in a traditional, long-term employment role.

Incorporating independent talent into your hiring plan solves a lot of these problems. The contingent workforce offers on-demand, direct access to highly-skilled professionals. By working with a partner (like us) to directly source independent talent, you can reduce onboarding time and sourcing costs. And, you can boost staffing flexibility and build a reliable company network.

Read Next: New Data Adds Independents to Your Workforce Planning 

The Great Resignation Means You’re Going to Need New Ways to Engage Talent

Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or independent professionals, you need a new hiring plan. After all, people are still looking for work—just in new ways. To be successful in engaging workers with the skills you want, start by developing a strategy to account for The Great Realization and trend towards independence. Here are three things to consider when creating your hiring plan for the next year:

  1.     Meet independent workers on their own terms. The majority of independent professionals—89%—say they have some or a lot of choice in picking the clients they work with. So, that’s why it is important to create opportunities, processes, and procedures that align with their particular needs. Creating a positive work environment where independents are treated respectfully, offering fair and quick compensation, and providing opportunities to build new skills, will go far in making your company a top choice for skilled talent.
  2.     Create talent pools. A talent pool is a virtual bench of independent contractor talent that you have identified, vetted, and developed relationships with over time. Proactively identifying talent for your talent pool is a great way to source independents by skill, location, and role, allowing for quick deployment for current and upcoming projects.
  3.     Cut compliance risk. To mitigate the risk of misclassifying workers, ensure all independents you engage are properly classified, offer a variety of engagement options, and build a thorough onboarding program. Understanding how to reduce points of risk when engaging independent contractors will give your business a distinct competitive advantage in today’s project-based economy. Companies like MBO that have an established methodology for evaluating and engaging independent contractors can help to greatly minimize compliance issues.

For more information, check out MBO’s 11th Annual State of Independence Report

Read Next: New Data Adds Independents to Your Workforce Planning

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