The disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has created as many opportunities as it has tragedies. While it’s unfortunate that many businesses did not survive the pandemic, it’s encouraging that others have demonstrated resilience.
Thankfully, signs of recovery are on the horizon. In the third quarter of 2020, as the pandemic still raged in the United States and many other countries, household spending fueled up to 3.3% growth in some areas.
As the lingering effects of the pandemic wane, you’ll want to take advantage of opportunities that have surfaced. One of the biggest opportunities is the increase in top-tier on-demand talent. There are currently 57 million active freelancers in the United States alone. Even more astounding, 53% of all Gen Z workers are independent contractors!
Companies of all sizes are stepping away from traditional staffing solutions - instead, many have elected to hire freelancers to fuel organizational growth without incurring the unnecessary expenses of recruitment agencies.
Why Are So Many Talented Professionals Available Today?
The resignation boom, AKA the “Great Resignation” began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to strangle companies in nearly every industry conceivable. Even as the “new normal” took hold, employees continued seeking new opportunities and time away from their careers - in September 2021, 4.4 million workers turned in their resignations and said goodbye to their jobs.
While some of these professionals took advantage of high salary offers and lucrative bonuses from competing employers, many others could not be swayed as easily. The highest losses were in the healthcare and tech sectors - year over year resignations increased by 3.6% and 4.5% in these industries, respectively.
With 2.9% of the workforce leaving their jobs each month in the United States, employers are struggling to attract the top-tier talent they need to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive business environment.
Those that know where to find top on-demand talent, though, are poised to thrive in the new business landscape.
Many former corporate business professionals, as well as those in many industries outside the corporate world, are achieving greater success, higher pay, and more personal fulfillment than they did as employees. They’re doing it by offering their knowledge, insights, and services as freelance professionals.
There are nearly as many reasons people switch to freelancing as there are freelance professionals. Many, though, decide to work independently for several common reasons:
- Control over their time - some freelancers do work at specified hours, but many more determine their own schedules. This allows them to work nonstandard hours to accommodate childcare, parental care, social commitments, and all of the other things that go along with being human.
- Control over their pay - when a professional finds a job through an employment agency, recruiter, or other resource, they only have limited negotiating power. As freelance professionals, they set their own hourly pay, which allows them to do their best work for the companies that hire them.
- Varied work - many freelance professionals tend to be creative people who quickly become bored by routine tasks. If they don’t feel like they are making a unique difference for the companies they work for, this sense of boredom compounds. Freelancing allows professionals to become immersed in their work, helping them produce exceptional results for their clients.
- Location independence - at the beginning of the pandemic, millions of workers were suddenly thrust into the unfamiliar situation of working from home full time - often while taking care of children and other household duties. Those who were already freelancers, though, understood the benefits of being able to work from anywhere.
- No need for business attire - of course, you might need to put on a tie or a clean top before you jump on a Zoom call with a potential client, but there’s hardly an expectation for freelancers to stay in formal business attire all day. When you hire a freelancer, they might work in their pyjamas, but they produce the results you’ve been looking for.
How Can You Take Advantage of This Wealth of On-Demand Talent?
The dramatic increase in freelance professionals doesn’t just benefit people who want to work from home and set their own hours. It also benefits companies that want to scale without incurring significant up-front payroll and benefits expenses.
Here are some tips to help you scale with the help of talented, dedicated on-demand professionals:
- Be clear about your expectations. Define what you want your freelancer to do, and what results you will use to evaluate the freelancer’s success. The clearer the project instructions, the higher the quality of your results.
- Treat freelancers as collaborative partners. Freelance professionals have often worked with a wide range of clients, and can typically offer a wider breadth of knowledge than an employee who has been in the same role for a decade or more. Give freelance professionals the ability to share their knowledge and offer solutions that you and our team might never have otherwise considered.
- Demonstrate your values in your communications with freelance professionals. Freelancers want to be a part of your success, and communicating your values helps them feel like a values team member, rather than a one-of commodity.
- Take advantage of platforms like Oomple. You can find dedicated, experienced professionals that are ready to take on your most challenging projects - and to rise above your competition in 2022 and beyond. Finding and hiring your ideal freelance professional doesn’t have to be confusing - sign up on Oomple and connect with vetted and skilled on-demand professionals today!