How a Workforce Optimization Strategy Attracts Tomorrow’s Top Independent Professional Talent

By MBO Partners | July 28, 2022

people talking at desk in office


What would you do if your best employee left tomorrow? Perhaps they won the lottery or decided to change careers—the past few years have taught us that anything can happen. And the thing is, this is really happening every day in workforces across the country.  

High performers are leaving and moving on. If your organization doesn’t have a plan in place, you don’t have a strategy for future success.  

Independent contractors are the key to workforce optimization in the fast-paced world of the modern business model. Here’s how to develop a workforce strategy that prioritizes agility, cost-savings, and enterprise value. 

Understanding the Transition from Employee to Independent Contractor

By now, most enterprises are aware of the Great Resignation—a trend that started in 2021 when millions of Americans quit their jobs, leading to worker shortages and a volatile labor market. But where did all these workers go?  

A huge number of them decided to work for themselves as independent contractors. To date, there are 51 million independents. Our research has found that this population has a 38% year-over-year growth rate, and we expect that more than 50% of people will have experimented with working as an independent in the next five years.   

That’s why we like to call the Great Resignation the Great Realization. People are taking control over how they work. They’ve realized they weren’t happy with traditional employment and are instead choosing independence for greater control over their careers, increased flexibility, and greater job satisfaction. 

More of Gen Z and Millennials are making up the workforce, and these generations are switching jobs frequently. In order to attract new generations of talent, you must evolve your talent mindset and turn to the independent workforce. 

Discover the pros of workforce optimization: 6 Benefits of Workforce Optimization for Companies 

How to Evolve Your Talent Mindset

You may be wondering, what’s so great about independent contractors? What can they offer my company that I can’t find within my current employee base? Independents offer companies a wealth of benefits including staffing flexibility, access to in-demand skills, and a lower cost of employment.  

Businesses are rapidly shifting to project-based models of work. Independents just happen to be perfectly suited to this type of work. Independent professionals are experts in their specific industry. They offer employers the opportunity to secure specific expertise on an as-needed basis. This type of project sourcing is often more cost effective than hiring a full-time employee, whose services may not be needed after the project is finished.  

Skilled labor is also increasingly difficult to find. Seasoned professionals are leaving the workforce to build small businesses around their set of skills. By tapping into the independent workforce, companies can fill skill gaps in their workforce that may be hard to find in a traditional talent pool. Independents can be brought on board when and where they are needed most. This way, companies can fill out a project team, invest in a new market, or test out a new line of business.  

Learn how to find independent talent: 3 Ways to Make Direct Sourcing Part of Your Workforce Management Strategy 

Becoming an Employer of Choice

When workers pursue an independent career, choice is an important part of that decision. They want to choose the clients they work with and the projects they take on. And in a job market where there are many more jobs available than workers, independents tend to have the upper hand when it comes to picking their clients. 

In order to be competitive in attracting top talent, it is important for companies to differentiate themselves. They need to prioritize the needs of independents by creating an appealing engagement process and work environment.  

There are many ways companies can do this including developing an efficient onboarding process, using automated systems to limit paperwork, prioritizing clear and open communication, offering fast and fair payment terms, and providing opportunities to learn and build new skills. 

An employer—or Client of Choice—companies become independent talent’s first choice in client partnership. Building an engagement program that takes the needs of independents into account will enable fluid workforce transformation as well as ensure an optimistic future for your organization. 

Learn more: Transform the Way Your Business Engages Independent Talent 

For regular updates for business leaders, sign up for The Great Realization on LinkedIn.   

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