A recent study shows that a third of workers would consider leaving permanent contracts to go freelance. The survey of 1,008 adults by ReportLinker shows that more than one in 10 employees have joined the gig economy and that of the third who want to go freelance, half of those aim to do this within the next three years.
The pace of change is speeding up and more permanent employees are considering making the move into freelance or contract work.
So what’s driving them? For those already freelance, the number one reason is being your own boss, followed by flexible working hours and being better compensated for the work. These are also the main drivers for traditional workers looking to go freelance. Other drivers for this group include having a better work-life balance, having more of a sense of freedom and having more interesting challenges.
Interestingly, a quarter of people who are mid-career (workers between 35 and 54 years old) say they are considering leaving their traditional workplace for a freelance career.
This means that increasingly highly skilled workers — and that includes elearning professionals — will become available to organisations. The question then becomes: how can organisations recruit the best freelancers?
In his article for Entrepreneur, Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany, suggests four tips for hiring the best freelancers. Just like hiring permanent staff, Lavoie says organisations must have processes to hire and onboard freelancers effectively and to collect data that shows how effective they are in their roles. His four tips are:
1 Measure quality of hire and onboarding
Just as you would with permanent staff, measure quality of hire data for freelancers. This will help assess the effectiveness of new contractors and help improve the onboarding process.
2 Use predictive analytics
Collect data on top performing freelancers and then compare it with the competencies and effectiveness of permanent staff who have been in those roles. This will help identify the competencies needed from new contractors.
3 Carry out exit interviews
The only way organisations can improve the freelance experience is to collect data on it. Make sure you do this before your contractors leave for the last time.
4 Build a talent pipeline
Just as organisations create talent pools of fantastic potential permanent hires, so they must now look to do the same for freelance staff. This will help reduce onboarding time and improve the quality of the work.
This is especially important for learning teams looking to respond more quickly to changing business requirements. Speed of hire matters because good freelance elearning professionals will have other work in the pipeline and other organisations will be looking to snap them up.
To really capitalise on the gig economy, organisations need to start to build processes that will help them quickly tap into the very best talent available. Slow onboarding and ill thought through projects will turn the best away.
Written by Martin Couzins