No matter what industry you are in, there is a tremendous amount of change happening that even how companies manage their talent strategy is shifting. Gone are the days of HR managing workforce planning on a spreadsheet. To remain competitive and relevant companies are changing how and who they hire and a lot of this is being driven by a younger generation of managers. As these younger managers are ascending to more senior roles, they are reshaping the future of work. There are two trends that have emerged.
First is working remotely. I'm sure this is not a surprise to anyone reading along. Baby Boomers have a history of wanting to keep their employees close. Mange them. Keep an eye on them. Millennials, who now make up more than half of the U.S. work force desire flexible and fluid work settings. Being tethered to a desk from 9-5 makes absolutely no sense to Millennials or Generation Z's. Additionally, they also believe that they are more productive working remotely. I personally believe this is true, but I have never worked in an office setting, so I am biased based on my professional experience. These two generations are naturally accustomed to working outside the traditional work norms. If you have a computer and a phone, you can work anywhere is the thought process. The truth is most companies are okay with contract employees/freelancers working remotely but, it's when someone is a salaried employee that there is a greater perception that not being physically present in the company's office equates to not working. This leads us to the next change that is impacting our work force in the US.
For companies to assure constant access to the right skills they are looking outside the organization and hiring the talents of freelancers. In the last five years, the freelance workforce in the United States has grown three times as much as the non-freelance workforce , and for good reason. Freelancers are nearly twice as likely as other workers to have taken skills training on their own, according to Freelancing in America. As a result, they often possess skills that aren’t readily available in-house or on the open market. This may be why Millennial and Gen-Z managers are 30% more likely than Baby Boomers to engage freelancers, according to Future Workforce Report. They are also more likely to freelance themselves. The younger generations are freelancing more than any other generation in the workforce, with 42% of Millennials and 45% of Gen-Zers freelancing today, and the majority are freelancing by choice. When asked whether they started freelancing more by choice or necessity, 65% of Gen-Zers and 61% of Millennials said they started by choice.
To be agile, organizations need to move quickly and find solutions that may be nonexistent in current, traditional workforce models. By utilizing freelancers, they are innovating in how they think and utilizing a broader range of talent, both in-house and external.
Would love to hear your thoughts!