Think back 5 years ago. What was your idea of climbing the corporate ladder? I highly doubt the notion of contracting your way to the top, was the first to enter your mind. Yet today, in 2016, contracting offers go-getting individuals an opportunity to path their own career in the direction they want…to the top!
Freelancing is no longer simply a means to earn a pay cheque whilst in between jobs. It’s now a chosen way to make a career. According to a study conducted by independent research firm Edelman Berland, 57% of the 1,000 Australian freelancers they surveyed, choose to get into freelancing over permanent employment. This choice was primarily driven by the freedom and flexibility contracting offers.
The Edelman Berland research also found that ‘58% of freelancers say they would not quit freelancing and take a traditional job with an employer – no matter how much it paid.’
So what’s drawing more than 4 million Aussies into the contingent workforce? In addition to freedom and flexibility, benefits include more opportunities and diversity in the work and the working environments they are exposed to. This variety allows contractors to build upon their skills which ultimately leads to more opportunities for career progression and larger pay cheques.
The change in attitude to contingent workers is not all one-sided. More and more organisations are recognising how important their contingent workforce is to their business.
The Global Human Capital Trends 2016 study conducted by Deloitte, included responses from over 7,000 executives from 130 countries. The study found that 51% of the executives surveyed plan to hire more contingent workers over the next three to five years.
The shift in attitude towards contractors isn’t isolated to the increase in which organisations are engaging them; but more importantly has also affected the type of work being entrusted to them. In the past, contractors were delegated more tactical assignments rather than strategic. Today organisations are looking to contractors to fill highly skilled positions and perform strategic delivery roles, essential to their business.
Independent contractors and their wealth of knowledge, creativity and experience have a lot to offer. And with contractors now climbing the corporate ladder, employers are accepting the fact that this group of workers need to be viewed as part of their company culture and therefore kept as engaged and well managed as their employees.
The traditional corporate career is on the way out. The new labour market of independent contractors is in and climbing.