ICs: a critical link in the talent supply chain
We know that project work and the use of contractors to deliver it is on the rise. In fact, SIA (Staffing Industry Analysts) projects a 33% increase in the use of SOW-based contractors over the next two years.
But what’s driving this increase?
As organizations look for ways to address and respond to market pressures, their need for agile, responsive workers with specific skills has dramatically increased. We now know that, for organizations both large and small, the following two things are happening in tandem:
1. Change management is constant: The focus on innovation, data analytics and technology in virtually every industry means all organizations must manage more change, more often. Many businesses are now managing capital, credit and customer flows across more jurisdictions and geographical borders as they attempt to respond to shifts in consumer demand.
2. Worker psychographics are shifting to value flexibility: As access to goods and services has changed, so too has access to work. As more highly skilled and valuable work has become available remotely, more highly skilled workers have begun operating as freelancers. This has created a kind of ‘positive feedback loop’ where freelance work has become easier to obtain, which in turn has attracted more people into it. At the same time, the security and benefits of working inside companies as permanent employees has declined, accelerating the trend towards flexible work.
Whichever way we look at this picture, organizations’ access to the right skills and talent to adapt and capitalize on large-scale, broad-reaching and ongoing change will be pivotal to success. And, independent contractors—now a serious and growing force in the labor market—will be key to successful organizations’ adaptation strategies.
In fact, independent contractors can (and should) be used wisely as part of a talent supply chain strategy that delivers high quality and timely skills in a cost effective way. With sound risk management and worker classification processes in place, the advantages of this worker category far outweigh the downsides.