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HCMWorks Insights

Independent Contractors Are Here To Stay – Get Used To Them

Posted by Julia Fournier on 26 Aug 2016

With the sharing economy now becoming firmly established, a new employment structure has emerged, with on-demand, independent contractors representing a large and growing workforce. This independent contractor workforce is now a trend that’s here to stay.

In a recent study of the independent workforce, we learned that independent contractors work anywhere from a few hours per week to 60-hour weeks, and earn incomes ranging from the low five figures into the mid six figures. They are represented by all ages, professions, educational levels, and geographies, in a wide array of industries.

The independent contractor workforce is part of an important pool of flexible talent who can be engaged going forward, self-identifying under various different names such as, independent contractors, freelancers, contingent workers, consultants, self-employed, solopreneurs, side-giggers, on-demand workers, and on-call workers.

In the next decade, we will see the arrival of a 50/50 workforce, where 50% of private sector workers will have spent time as independent workers. With all of these trends showing growth for hiring independent contractors, business owners and hiring managers need to recognize that the amount of independent contractors entering your industry could revolutionize your hiring process in the coming years.

Independent Contractors Tend To Be Quality Workers

Independent contractors effectively manage their own time and are good at meeting deadlines. They can sustain relationships in which they never meet colleagues and clients in person. They can work on a variety of unrelated projects without confusion or burnout, and they are bullish about selling themselves, promoting their successful projects and getting access to the people, resources and training they need.

Businesses are becoming more comfortable hiring them, as in many cases the very best and talented people are independent contractors. (A recent report by SuccessFactors showed that 83 percent of executives said they are increasingly using consultant, intermittent employees, or contingent workers in new ways.)

Independent contractors are satisfied workers. They’ve spent time building a specialized skill and education set and they’re so good at it that they can afford to work for themselves, and may even have figured that out while being full-time employee elsewhere. In fact, the majority of independent contractors plan on staying independent in the future.

With a growing number of people looking for greater work-life balance, as well as autonomy and career control, businesses are more frequently looking at independent contractors to fill roles. While full-time employees might ask for these benefits as part of their full-time job at your company, independent contractors come with these benefits already included.

If you determine an independent contractor could be a good fit for your open position, you could be gaining a new team member with an amazing skill set and dedication to your project, and that’s why independent contractors are here to stay, and you need to start using them.

How Many Independent Contractors Are Working For You?

However, as the employment market changes towards hiring more independent contractors, and you start to use them more in your business, don't loose control of your hiring and contractor management processes, where risk mitigation and cost reduction are important.

It's a simple enough question - How many independent contractors are working for you? If you don't have good visibility into the size and composition of your total workforce, and the number of independent contractors you have working for you, then you may need to adopt a better management process, or you could be vulnerable to future issues.

You're not alone, we've worked with many companies over the years, who came to us not knowing how many independent contractors they have working for them - our job was to help locate them, and then set up an ongoing management process.

If that's your situation, then hiring a Contingent Workforce Management service provider, such as HCMWorks, can be your answer.  We can provide the expertise, the technology, and the processes you need to help you increase cross-company independent contractor visibility, reduce your costs, mitigate against misclassification and co-employment risks, and increase the efficiency and timeliness of your independent contractor recruitment process.

In conclusion, as the hiring trend for contingent workers grows, we can help your organization find top talent through the use of independent contractors, consultants, freelancers and other non-permanent workers, and help you manage them more effectively, so you can truly leverage the power of this workforce. 

Steamline & Simplify Your Independent Contractor Program

About HCMWorks

We are a contingent workforce service provider helping organizations gain better access to talent through the use of independent contractors, consultants, temporary workers, freelancers and other non-payrolled employees. We provide the expertise, the technology, and processes to help you reduce your workforce costs, mitigate against misclassification and co-employment risks, and increase the efficiency and timeliness of your contingent recruitment process. Read more about what our clients say about us here.

Tags: Workforce Management, Independent Contractors, Managed Services Programs

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