It comes as no surprise that independent contractors (also known as freelancers), have been benefiting greatly from the on-demand economy.
Now, more than ever, freelancers have more opportunities to find work through hundreds of on demand platforms, they have access to affordable health care and tax help, and can even get up and go to work in a shared co-working space much like salaried employees at a steady office job.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that by the year 2020, freelancers will make up nearly 16 percent of the U.S. workforce. Millennials, who make up the majority of this independent workforce, find this type of work situation attractive because of the work-life flexibility and opportunity to try their hand at many different career paths.
On demand workers offer greater flexibility
Where before it might have been unheard of to outsource projects to freelancers, now it is becoming the norm at some organizations. Companies have cracked the code and figured out that hiring independent contractors can be beneficial from a cost perspective, time perspective, as well as from a quality of work perspective.
According to company Wonolo, average time-to-fill a job in the on-demand space is minutes vs. days or weeks for many temp/contract staffing companies. On-demand staffing also costs 40 percent less than the cost of traditional temp staffing. Certain on-demand workers, namely the Baby Boomers who are retiring later and later, have years of experience under their belt, and are ready to tackle specific projects head on with a certain gusto that full-time employees lose over time.
Companies are hiring on-demand workers to take on projects ranging from graphic design to market research to content creation and everything in between. It is attractive to hire a freelancer over a full-time employee because now companies can respond to changing market or organizational needs quickly without having to deal with the frustrating, wish-washy, back and forth between departments every time a project direction changes or is cancelled.
Working with freelancers also offers up advantages to working in-house, such as flexibility and scalability. Plus, it is much faster to turn to a freelancer for last-minute projects as they are usually more than willing to take on projects on a whim (after all, their income depends on it).
It's getting easier to make a connection
Hiring managers looking to turn to the on-demand workforce don’t have to look very far. Well-known platforms such as Wonolo, Gigwalk, Fiverr, and Contently are successfully connecting hiring managers with on-demand workers from all over the world. A business can either search these platforms for workers who fit their project needs, or they can post a job as well and have the workers come to them.
The freelancers on the other end of this transaction benefit because it means more opportunities to exercise their craft, job stability, and freedom to work on their own schedule and be their own boss. Hiring managers beware -- as the on-demand economy continues to grow, and as more and more platforms arise making it easier for employers to be connected to freelance workers, it’s very possible that these on-demand platforms could one day replace the hiring managers themselves.
Editor's Note: Checkster offers a variety of tools -- like the Reference Checkup or the 360 Checkup -- that streamline and automate the process to evaluate and hire either full-time employees or on-demand workers.