- Employers are looking to the high-end gig economy to boost performance and get projects done, according to the Business Talent Group's (BTG) 2019 Skills Index, which analyzed internal data from its Fortune 1000 clients.
- The most in-demand consulting skills for gig workers were project management; market landscape; program management office; strategic planning; growth strategy; change management; supply chain; market access and value strategy; technology/systems implementation; and product development/launch, BTG said. The top five fastest-growing skills were marketing communications, which increased in demand by 750% from 2018; manufacturing strategy, at 367%; post-merger integration, at 300%; cost reduction, at 250%; and business and process transformation, at 240%.
- The BTG data showed employers are leveraging freelance talent for a wider variety of roles. BTG points to SAP research that reveals 65% of executives find external workers important or very important to their ability to operate at full capacity and meet market demand.
More HR leaders have reportedly turned to contingent workers to fill openings faster and to execute short-term assignments. Organizational leaders point to cost savings as well as ease of management as benefits to hiring to freelancers, temps and consulting staff.
These workers make up around 20% of the current workforces at half of U.S. companies, according to a report compiled by North Highland, but 60% of businesses that use contingent staffers project this number will grow in the next five years. Small- to medium-sized businesses are hiring more independent contractors than employees, with transportation, trade and utilities the largest industry users of gig workers, according to Paychex data from earlier this year. The BTG index adds more layers to this, calling out the increased demand for high-skilled contingent workers to help organizations with their digital transformation and technology needs.
As HR departments continue to work with leaders across their C-suites, they might decide to turn to outsiders for specialized help in mergers, acquisitions or initiatives as work processes evolve with new technologies. Strategic consultants may be able to expand upon organizations' preparations for the future of work or provide them with an outsider's perspective.