Randstad Sourceright's 2017 Talent Trends Report says that more HR leaders are turning to a contingent workforce due to rampant skill shortages. They polled 400 HR leaders from more than 60 countries and found that, in the next year, more than two-thirds are planning to use more freelancers as a regular part of their workforce strategy.
Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, a popular platform for connecting freelancers with work opportunities, told SHRM, “Businesses are rethinking their approach to recruitment by turning to the 55 million Americans who are now freelancing.”
A lack of qualified and available talent is the driving force behind hiring more freelancers. The Randstad report shows 80% of HR leaders think their organizations will be affected by scarcity of talent this year.
For the growing number of Americans who have turned to freelance and contract work in the new gig economy, the Randstad survey is validation that this model is not going away. More and more talent is shifting to a contractor model for the freedom and flexibility it provides, and so they can either adjust to hiring in a more agile, project-based way, or continue to deal with staffing shortages.
Hiring freelancers is a cost-effective way to handle such shortages. Recruiters need to consider that they are hiring for knowledge and skills instead of placing warm bodies into job requisitions. A big part of this is overcoming false ideas about independent contractors. Those who work on contract work hard, and they are looking for rewarding, well-compensated experiences – just like any other employee.