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There is nothing permanent except change.Heraclitus

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Adapting in the age of on-demand talent

Adapting in the age of on-demand talent

Nowadays, as self-employment experiences a new surge, companies must adjust to this new situation. How can you attract, develop and retain staff members you no longer “own”?

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The self-employed status is gaining ground. The number of freelancers in the European Union has doubled between 2000 and 2014 according to the British Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). In the United States, approximately one third of the labor force already work under this status. This evolution is prompting companies to abandon their talent “ownership” logic to experiment with an “on-demand talent” model. Indeed, this mode of work organization presents several advantages: flexibility, gains in productivity, easier access to cutting-edge expertise, fertilization through the addition of new competencies and methods, etc. Therefore, an increasing number of organizations entrust freelancers with assignments, even with some that are highly advanced or close to their core business. According to a study conducted in France by the Malt platform and the OuiShare collective in 2017, more than 60% of the CAC40 companies employ freelancers on a regular basis.

From the workforce perspective, the independent status was long associated with professionals such as private practice doctors or lawyers, business owners or artisans and shopkeepers. Sometimes equated to precariousness, it was often chosen for lack of a better option. However, a new generation of staff considers things differently: to retain the freedom of choosing its work pace and assignments, it is ready to give up the advantages linked to salaried employment. And, for an increasing number of jobs, highly qualified professionals are now self-employed: creative personnel, IT developers and project managers, consultants, etc.

Yet, if this mode of organization can benefit both companies and workers, it also generates a number of managerial issues. What is the value proposition to attract these specific talents? How can you retain the highest performing ones? To which extent should you get involved in their development? How can you integrate them in the company and get them to share, at least partially, its culture? How do you get them to coexist with the permanent staff? These are critical points to set up fruitful and sustainable partnerships between the company and its satellite talents.


In this synopsis:
- When to rely on freelancers?
- Decompartmentalize work organization to take advantage of independent talents
- Encourage fruitful collaboration between permanent staff and independents

Synopsis n.280a


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