Freelancer growth underlines case for business flexibility

Businesses of all sizes are likely to see freelancers and contingent workers playing an increasingly prominent role in their labour forces over the coming years, research has suggested.

Alexander Mann Solutions noted that there has been a “significant increase” in non-permanent hiring over the last ten years. A survey by the specialist staffing and human resources firm found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of senior HR professionals expect that this type of recruitment will continue to increase over the next two years.

The company also stressed that making the most efficient use of freelancers and the flexible workforce will become more important for employers that want to benefit from the skills of industry-leading professionals.

This focus on agility and adaptability in staffing – as well as in other areas of business – is expected to be driven by the millennial generation, which comprises people who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. This demographic attaches a lot of importance to having control over the most important aspects of their lives.

Laurie Padua, director of technology and operations consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, said: “When you consider that millennials are expected to account for a staggering 75 percent of the global workforce by 2030, it’s hardly surprising that HR managers expect non-permanent hiring to increase substantially over the next few years.

“The generation currently entering the workforce are renowned for the emphasis they place on flexibility, and there is little doubt amongst the HR community that their preferences will continue to shape changes in the nature of the workplace.”

Taking a flexible, innovative approach to business operations can deliver many benefits for modern-day organisations. When it comes to workspace, for example, short-term office hire can prove much more efficient and affordable than committing to a long-term lease.

As far as recruitment is concerned, there are many indications that independent workers and the self-employed will become increasingly important for UK businesses in the years to come.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, covering the three months to November 2016, the number of self-employed people in the UK rose by 133,000 from a year earlier to 4.77 million.

Lorence Nye, economic policy adviser at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, said the country was witnessing a “prolonged trend” of more and more people “taking the leap and becoming their own boss”.

He noted that this is equally beneficial for workers and employers, with roughly half of the UK’s self-employed workforce formed of skilled professionals who help to strengthen the country’s position as “one of the world’s most flexible, knowledge-based economies”.

“They’re on hand to help companies manage peaks and troughs in demand, especially in these uncertain times, and they’re able to innovate faster than any other type of business,” added Mr Nye.


Posted by Raj Yuvraj

Image courtesy of iStock/KatieMartynova


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