- Various predictions have the number of independent workers reaching 54 to 60 million Americans by 2020, but that "gig economy" growth optimism may be a bit premature, according to a recent online survey.
- Deloitte's survey of nearly 4,000 U.S. workers found that 67% respondents who have experienced the role of freelance/contingent worker would turn down that type of situation in the future.
- In addition, more than 60% of employed workers Deloitte polled believe they would risk losing their economic stability by switching to independent contract work, with 42% very concerned about losing good compensation and benefits. Finally, less than half (48%) who experienced the independent contractor role were "very satisfied" with their experience.
"In order to achieve business goals, organizations should look to attract all talent pools," said Mike Preston, chief talent officer, Deloitte LLP. "Organizations should start thinking about the culture they have in place and the experiences they can design for contingent workers."
Preston's comments drove home the idea that little or no connection to a company’s culture would be a potential deal-breaker for those thinking about the independent contractor life. In fact, 44% percent of those who have worked as an independent contractor (and half of the millennials who responded to the survey) found it difficult to understand and connect with a company’s internal culture when working in that role.
While the survey found a potential slowdown of the independent contractor trend, its growth will continue. The trick for HR leaders is to figure out how to engage and please both full-time and contingent workers. Unfortunately, for many HR departments today, the basic goal of even tracking a contingent workforce is often difficult.