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As Millennials and GenZers make their mark on the workplace, their generations’ freelance-friendly attitudes are likely to reshape the future of work, a new survey has found.
By 2028, nontraditional talent—such as freelancers, temporary workers and agency workers—will make up 24% more of departmental headcount than they do today, in a large part because of younger generations’ positive attitudes toward hiring these types of workers, according to Upwork’s annual Future of Work Survey, released today.
“This is good news for freelancers,” says Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel. “There will be a lot more demand for your skills.
Among the survey’s findings:
- Younger managers (primarily made up of Millennials and older GenZers) are 30% more likely to hire freelancers to fill in skills gaps in their organizations than Baby Boomers.
- Younger managers are also more than twice as likely as Baby Boomers to have increased their use of freelancers in the past few years and are projected to increase their reliance in 2019. The reasons the younger managers cited for doing so are increasing productivity, accessing specialized skills and driving cost efficiencies.
“This generation is already convinced,” says Kasriel. “Historically, this generation was much more on the freelance side. Now they’re on the hiring manager’s side. That is definitely good news for people who freelance.”
- Younger managers are more than twice as likely as Baby Boomers to engage freelancers for ongoing strategic partnerships across multiple projects, versus one-time, one-off projects.
- 69% of younger managers have team members who work remotely.
While the youngest managers are driving greater use of freelance talent the most, they are not alone in embracing this sector of the talent pool in today’s employment market.
“A lot fewer people are using the antiquated model of work where everyone needs to have a single employer and work onsite,” says Kasriel. “Instead of having a hiring manager ask, ‘Why on earth would you be doing this?’ you’ll have someone saying, ‘Of course you will be.’”
The survey also looked at re-skilling, a necessity for many people in today’s fast-changing economy. It found that younger managers are three times as likely as Baby Boomers to believe individuals are responsible for their own re-skilling. Among Baby Boomers, 90% believe the employer should be responsible.
More than 1,000 U.S.-based hiring managers were surveyed by the independent research firm Inavero for the survey, with 48% at director-level or higher. The oldest millenials are now 38 years old, Kasriel notes.
Upwork went public in 2018. In its fourth quarter earnings call on March 1, Kasriel reported that the firm exceeded its expectations for both revenue and EBITDA.
Technology has driven some of the growth. As Kasriel mentioned, the Upwork’s Help Me Hire tool—which enables users to invite other hiring managers at their company to join the platform with one click —has sparked more than 10,000 hiring manager signups within existing accounts so far.
In December, Upwork announced a partnership with Microsoft to make it easier for companies to use flexible teams. Microsoft 365’s freelance toolkit, which will be offered to Upwork’s enterprise clients, offers built-in product integrations with Power BI, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Flow.
No doubt the easier it gets for big companies to hire freelancers, technically speaking, the more likely they will be to do so.
March 5, 2019 at 06:50PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs