A new workforce calls for strategic consulting partners
The traditional employer-employee relationship is under pressure, facing major changes. The future points to a new workforce, where more people seek the path of independence and where the framework of permanent employment is replaced by projects and task-oriented freelance work. Freelancers have come to stay and the underlying shift in preferences among the workforce, calls for a more systematic and strategic approach to procuring these “external resources”.
More people want a freelance life
“Gig economy” and “contingent workforce” are just some of the terms that are used to describe the current labor force movements. In short, the arrow points in one direction - freelance. Freelancers and independent consultants will constitute a bigger part of the workforce of the future.
First and foremost, we see a trend where many of the brightest and most specialized people – especially within IT – opt for a more independent lifestyle. Amongst other things, this is because people have become more aware and particular about what they want to do. More and more of us shy away from versatility in the daily tasks and would rather see tasks that are 100% focused on our profile, competences, and passion. Specialists are therefore looking for projects and tasks where these preferences and requirements can be fulfilled.
Looking a little further into the future, there will be a younger generation who has a different approach to having a job. Studies show that no less than 75% of the younger generation has an expectation of becoming independent. It also means that one can expect an even larger share of the workforce to offer its work on a freelance and project-oriented basis.
Companies hire more freelancers
In addition to the changing trends in the structure of the workforce as we know it, companies are also increasingly hiring external resources. There is a tendency internationally for the traditional employee-employer relationship to be replaced by a more dynamic composition of the workforce in companies, in this case, more specifically by freelancers.
At the international level, more independent freelancers are brought on, and companies themselves indicate that they expect to use more of this type of labor in the future. The trend is the same in Denmark. According to the IT industry, every fifth employee in the Danish IT companies is not permanently employed. At the same time, more than one in three companies report that they employ more loosely connected employees than before. And if you look at the trends, it is a development that will continue, and therefore something that will put bigger demands on companies going forward.
A development that must be handled strategically
The changing of the workforce and the growing need for IT freelancers and IT consultants means that a modern company is forced to keep up and follow the situation closely.
Studies show that less than 10% of companies today have fully developed processes capable of dealing with the influx of IT freelancers, part of this “alternative workforce”. In addition, IT freelancers are often only used as a tactical measure to fill empty seats, which may be a great idea – at least in the short term - but considering what the future brings, today's companies should take active measures and make strategic choices about how to handle this situation.
The circumstances make it necessary to have a proactive approach to acquiring the right external resources when the need arises. In the future companies will be forced to consider the acquisition of IT consultants, IT freelancers, and project workers an integral part of the overall recruitment strategy.
Acquire a strategic partner
Any company that relies on qualified and competent IT people, need to make strategic choices to stay ahead of the developments happening in the current and future workforce environment. The trends call for greater collaboration with strategic partners who specialize in connecting freelances resources with the needs of companies and their projects.
We believe, companies should form a strategic alliance with consulting partners who have in-depth knowledge of the particular organization – while being at the forefront of the newest developments in the IT industry - in order to leverage the network and expertise these partners bring for future projects, plans, and strategies, and enabling them to assist as the organization changes.
Such collaboration will allow the consultancy partner to work proactively with changing needs and thus be able to always match the right consultant with the company’s specific situation.