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Making Moves: Understanding the Migration to the Gig Economy

by Michael Burdick, on Feb 7, 2019

 

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By the year 2027, the majority of the workforce will be freelancers. A new generation of workers are driving change across industries in terms of how organizations hire and find top talent.

What’s driving this change and what’s the best way to respond to it?

During our recent webcast, “Don't Be Left Behind: Ensure Your Finance Team Is Ready for the Future of Work,” the Paro team and a panel of experts discussed this migration toward the gig economy, how it’s impacting the workforce, and how finance teams can best prepare.

Explaining the Move Toward the Gig Economy

There are many reasons why professionals choose to become freelancers, which is as much a lifestyle choice as a career decision. First, a non-traditional role promises flexibility: creating the freedom to be your own boss, working where it suits you, and choosing your own projects. Rather than simply responding to the requirements of your role, freelancers can work on passion projects and be more selective about their work. According to our panel, the majority of freelancers will not take a full-time job, regardless of salary, because the qualitative benefits are such a deciding factor.

Technology has made the transition to a gig economy more feasible than ever. With increased connectivity and improved tools, being an entrepreneur has never been more accessible. Perhaps the most well-known example, Uber, has opened public perception to a new business model. Young professionals can look at this business model and the available tools and think, “I can do what I do best.” There isn’t a need to build a business from the ground up. Rather, entrepreneurs can choose to partner with established companies and leverage their skills in the gig economy marketplace.

Lastly, in recent years there has been a social adoption of the gig economy. Norms are changing around what it means to work and find work. And with the gig economy, new opportunities are emerging for professionals to create the career that makes the most sense for them.

Freelancing Across the Generations

The gig and freelance economy is most commonly associated with young professionals and millennials. These younger works are in many cases more comfortable leveraging the technological solutions necessary to create a freelance career, and they also tend to gravitate toward non-traditional work. As they enter the workforce with different expectations, freelance work gives them the freedom to pursue their ideal career and lifestyle.

However, millennials are not the only workers taking advantage of the gig economy. There is a huge opportunity for older workers pursuing non-traditional roles. For these more experienced professionals, who may be near retirement age but still want to engage, a freelance career can be the perfect fit. Likewise, companies that need to bridge the talent gap can find an untapped pool of resources in more experienced freelance workers. If these organizations choose to leverage the freelance economy on their own terms, it’s a win-win.

Freelancers and Finance

While often considered a more traditional field, finance professionals are quickly learning to embrace the gig economy. Boosted by technology and client demand, organizations are realizing the potential in engaging a freelance finance team. This solution allows firms to quickly add the skill-sets they need in response to project or client needs, without taking on the extra full-time headcount. For young finance professionals, it’s the perfect mix of the structure of a major organization and the freedom of being an entrepreneur. As organizations continue to shift toward project-based roles, there is endless opportunity for innovative hiring solutions.

What’s Next

Business needs can change overnight, and many companies are wanting labor on demand. There often isn’t the time or need to ramp up a full-time employee especially when business circumstances demand lean operations. So, how do you engage top talent without overextending your organization? Engage with the gig economy. This partnership between freelancers and the corporation brings value to the individual as well as value to the company in supporting corporate goals.

Want to learn more? Watch our latest webcast and panel discussion on YouTube!