In our most recent report, Mavenlink and ResearchNow joined forces to survey over 300 executives across a diverse range of industries to understand how on-demand workers are changing the way we do business. The research confirms that businesses in every sector are adapting to the reality of a gig economy.
This blog introduces the first trend surrounding the growth of the gig economy - more and more independent workers, freelancers, and conracters are being used to beat out the competition. On-demand workers are no longer an option. They are in high demand and most organizations are starting to leverage them to find success. You must adapt, or risk getting left behind.
On-Demand Workers: Critical to Success
We are in an exciting—and volatile—business environment. A startup can emerge tomorrow that can transform an industry and take down businesses that have led a market for decades. More than ever, it is critical for businesses to be able to respond rapidly and innovate quickly. Our research reinforces that 61% of business leaders state that agility is critical to success.
It’s clear that executives in every industry need to adopt new systems and processes, and it turns out that many view their workforce structure as a roadblock. Not long ago, businesses valued owning resources above all else. They hired and managed large workforces, assembled their own operational and recruiting capabilities, and built and maintained all of their own technology resources. Ownership created the perception of greater control. This model has run its course. Today’s speed, complexity, growing competition, and the global nature of business have rendered this approach inadequate and ripe for innovation.
On-Demand Workers: Agile Answer to Growth
Our research reveals that executives are increasingly viewing contractors and sub-providers as the agile answer to growth for their business. 79% of business leaders state that leveraging contractors is a competitive advantage, and as a result, plan to increase their use of contractors in next 12 months. Less than 6% state that their use of contractors will decline in the coming months.
77% also state that it's easier to get approval to hire a contractor than a full-time employee. The primary benefit of contractors—for both individuals and firms—is that they increase business agility.
The ability to “scale at will” has a lot of upsides. An on-demand workforce allows a business to tap the right skills and resources at the right moment, without the larger investments of time and cost associated with recruiting, training, and managing resources internally. Organizations can therefore stay lean and focus on their core business functions while leveraging highly specialized experts that help drive their businesses forward. It’s the model that maximizes flexibility and speed, while optimizing costs.
What is clear is the future of the workforce is much more liquid, and this profound shift will transform every organization and every industry, whether or not leaders have grasped the concept yet. In the future, it will be the organizations that are most successful at leveraging these talent networks that will emerge as the winners.