- Project management is trending as the most in-demand skill businesses seek in independent workers, according to Business Talent Group's (BTG) third annual report on gig hiring trends. The 2020 High-End Independent Talent Report covered what BTG described as "the top industries and business functions utilizing highly skilled independent talent, the most in-demand project types and skill sets, and the unique needs that independent talent serve across various industries and business functions."
- Rounding out the top five in-demand gig skills after project management are market analysis, process optimization and transformation, advanced analytics and change management. The most in-demand projects and roles using independent talent include marketing and sales strategy, business processes, opportunity assessment, planning and interim executive roles.
- "Each year, more and more companies realize the flexibility and innovation afforded by the use of top independent talent — even going so far as to build dedicated and centralized enterprise programs that drive usage and best practices throughout the organization," BTG Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Jody Greenstone Miller said in a media release shared with HR Dive. "As we embark on a new decade, the leading companies of tomorrow will be those who are able to harness this new way of working to efficiently and effectively accomplish their top priorities."
The hiring of independent workers is showing no signs of letting up, as employers continue to struggle with talent shortages while trying to remain flexible as economic shifts partly mandate the growth of freelance work.
In fact, one emerging strategy is the conversion of employee positions into contingent roles that can be filled quickly and efficiently as needed, a 2019 Randstad Sourceright report identified. The report found that a quarter of employers planned to convert positions held by employees into roles for independent workers. A Deloitte study showed conflicting results, however, whereby private and midsize companies plan to hire fewer independent workers than they had in the past.
Whether employers plan to hire more or fewer interim workers, they must comply with federal, state and local laws concerning worker classification. One law that's creating controversy for freelancers and the employers who want to hire them is AB-5, a piece of California legislation that generally recognizes all workers as employees, unless employers can prove otherwise.