- A ‘tectonic’ shift is boosting freelance work. What should HR know?
In a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. business leaders, ResumeBuilder.com found that nearly 60% of those polled have laid off employees in the last three months, and more than half plan to conduct layoffs in the first half of 2023. Of those that have had recent layoffs, nearly 40% plan to hire contract workers to replace the talent that was let go. And more than half have asked some full-time employees to transition to contract work.
The pull toward freelance and contract workers is among the approaches in the latest HR trend: “quiet hiring,” or the strategy by which “organizations acquire new skills and capabilities without acquiring new full-time people,” according to Gartner.
“This approach can help keep payroll costs low, assist with retention and cultivate home-grown skills,” Emily Rose McRae, senior director in the Gartner HR practice, recently told HRE. “Fighting for new full-time external talent will be a much less attractive option for many organizations in 2023, and we expect many organizations will turn to ‘quiet hiring’ as an alternative solution to skills gaps.”
Source: HR executive
2. Freelancers Now Make Up 35% Of U.S. Workforce
A large-scale survey of the freelance economy shows that the number of freelance workers is growing quickly, with the number of U.S. freelancers hitting 55 million this year, up from 53 million in 2014 and 53.7 million last year.
Freelancers now make up 35% of U.S. workers and collectively earned $1 trillion in the past year, according to the “Freelancing in America: 2016” survey released this morning by the Freelancers Union, based in New York City, headquartered in Silicon Valley. The Freelancers Union represents 300,000 members.
“Freelancers are one-third of the workforce,” says Freelancers Union Founder and Executive Director Sara Horowitz. “There has been a period when people went from unionized, well paying jobs with benefits. They are expressing a lot of their pain points in this election. Episodic income is a huge pain point.”
But the perils of unsteady income have not stalled the growth of freelancing–a trend driven in part by employers’ desire to turn workers’ pay from a fixed to a flexible cost. Many workers embrace freelancing because they like the benefits, such as flexible hours.
Many freelancers like the lifestyle. The average full-time freelancer in the survey works 36 hours a week, less than the standard 40-hour workweek–and most say they have the right amount of work. “People want a ‘freelance 360-degree’ life where they can decide what they want to do and how much they want to work,” says Horowitz. “They want four hours a week back for themselves.”
Technology, such as the proliferating number of freelance platforms and apps like Uber, is also improving access to freelance gigs. Among respondents, 73% said technology has made finding freelance work easier. Sixty-six percent said the amount of freelance work they had found online increased since last year.
Freelancers are also earning more, the survey found. Among respondents, 46% raised rates in the past year. Among those who quit a traditional job to freelance, more than half are earning more than they did getting a steady paycheck. And, perhaps reflecting their improved financial situations, 53% of freelancers believe that having a diverse portfolio of clients is more economically secure than having one employer.
3. All bosses ‘secretly’ want workers back in the office—but they’ll have to wait years, major business group leader says
As the return to office debate rages on, many bosses have made it clear that they want their staff back at work in person.
According to Tony Danker, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry—the U.K.’s biggest business group, which represents 190,000 companies—most workers will eventually have no choice but to work from their company’s headquarters.
“You ask most bosses, everybody secretly wants everyone to come back into the office,” he told the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast.
However, he conceded that it was unlikely companies across the globe would suddenly be demanding their workers return to full-time office work, and speculated that the debate around working patterns would continue for some time.
“I just don’t think that’s going to happen overnight,” he said. “I think we are all coping with this…but we’re going to be talking about this for a few years.”
Of the private sector employers who allowed their staff to work from home when COVID-19 broke out, around 60% said they expected to keep remote work options in place as restrictions were eased, according to 2022 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A slew of big-name corporate leaders, including the CEOs of Disney, Apple, JPMorgan and Alphabet, have demanded workers spend at least part of the working week in the office now that COVID restrictions have eased.
4. Recruiting great CMS developers starts with stimulating remote work environment
Individuals most experienced at creating and maintaining high-quality business applications are especially valuable. Attracting great developers and engineers starts with fostering a great remote culture. C-suite executives know in a remote work environment it’s important not to overlook a critical area of business efficiency: fostering a great culture and streamlining cross-functional collaboration in a remote work ecosystem.
In addition to a competitive salary, what are some ways that recruiters can attract and retain high-performing people in uncertain times?
Create a stimulating work environment – Developers are problem solvers. Assign them projects that are enticing, learn what areas they are passionate about and hone in on their strengths.
Offer them great tech to use – By using the best cross-collaboration software available such as smart communication tools and intuitive CMS platforms, developers have the opportunity to collaborate in an informed, thoughtful way. A recent survey revealed that poor website user experience costs UK sites $1.7B dollars in lost sales every year.
Avoid micromanagement – According to Harvard Business School, research shows that micromanagement is among one of the top three reasons employees resign. It suffocates creativity, breeds resentment, causes unnecessary stress and demoralizes your team.
Communicate your goals clearly – Good managers will know who is performing as they focus on the result. Gallup research shows that C-suite executives who learn to effectively delegate work and expectations generate 33% higher revenue.
Prioritize remote team member health and well-being – According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 81% of individuals say when seeking future job opportunities, they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health when they seek future job opportunities.
Even in uncertain economic times, the need for high-performing development and engineering talent remains a top priority for C-suite executives. By consistently focusing on culture and technology, recruiters can attract and retain top talent. When looking to capture the attention of talent in high-demand, offering candidates a stimulating work environment is key.
5. Report: Remote work causing offices to empty, but walkable cities still in high demand
A new report from Smart Growth American and Places Platform, “Foot Traffic Ahead 2023,” found a higher demand for real estate in walkable urban spaces than in car-dependent suburban alternatives.
This implies that, while cities are evolving as offices clear out, their appeal hasn’t changed.
“As the market continues to choose walkable urbanism, it is critical for policymakers to protect existing affordability, promote new affordable housing, and remove barriers to increasing the supply of housing overall. All people deserve access to the quality-of-life and economic benefits that walkable urbanism can provide,” said Calvin Gladney, president and CEO of Smart Growth America about the report, which ranks the top 35 American metros by urban walkability. The findings show “that people want to live in walkable urban places, but there’s often not enough housing where folks need it, making it unaffordable and inaccessible to low- and moderate-income people, and to many communities of color.”
On average, researchers identified 1.2% of the largest 35 metropolitan areas as walkable. Meanwhile, it houses 6.8% of the U.S. total population and drives 19.1% of the nation’s GDP.
“This is notable as it is illegal to build walkable urban densities and mixed-use development on much of the 98.8% of land that is car-dependent due to restrictive zoning policies in most metropolitan areas,” the report continues. “Tools to address high prices and short supply include zoning reform to increase walkable urban land supply and expansion and investment in affordable housing.”
Source: Urgent Communication