With all the negative press over recent months around sub-contracting, self-employment, and the subsequent potential for staff exploitation, (think the recent Uber fiasco as a prime example) it’s easy to see a rather negative viewpoint being portrayed of this type of approach to working. Dubious practices aside, however, self-employment is on the rise and about 5 million people – 15% of the workforce – are now classed as self-employed.
Of course on the on the flip side of this so called ‘gig-economy’, lies the ever developing ‘knowledge economy’. A far cry from the exploitation of low-skilled workers, talented individuals in the digital, technology and knowledge sectors are utilising the freedom of self-employment to maximise their career potential. What’s more, it’s an approach to resourcing that big business is also readily adopting and benefitting from.
With the advent of digital technology comes, in certain ways, a liberation from the traditional working life. This is particularly true for Gen-Xers’ and millennials, for whom the traditional 9-5 job for life model holds little sway. Instead, they favour a focus on the portfolio career. By developing a range of niche skillsets they can apply themselves to highly specialised job roles which can be moulded to fit their lifestyle choices. Want to work 9 months a year and travel for 3? It’s doable. Want to have a more modernised approach to shared parenting and have the dad at home for 6 months? They can make it work.
Aside from the obvious lifestyle benefits, comes the intellectual ones. Working on a project –based capacity rewards an entrepreneurial nature, and the competitiveness of the sector drives individuals to be continually improving their skills and knowledge in order to stay at the top of their field.
This approach to working has advantages on both sides of the table. For the contractor, there is the flexibility to work on the projects that they are most interested in, with regular new challenges to help them stay at the top of their game. For the company, there is access to the very best talent pool with focused skills that can be swiftly deployed when and where they need them.
Indeed with Digital Transformation happening at an ever quickening pace, utilising project based workers is often the most time and cost effective method when it comes to implementing effective change. Business can access highly focused and skilled specialists who can hit the ground running, deploying their knowledge to help facilitate change quickly without the additional costs of on-boarding, salaries, taxes and benefits. Workforces can be expanded and contracted as best suits the need to the project, in a mutually beneficial way for both contractor and company.
Understanding and successfully utilising this kind of working structure sits at the heart of what Reed Professional Services do. As facilitators of project based work packages in the technology and digital sectors, we are able to deploy whole teams of specialist contractors as best suits the needs of our partners. Our experience in leading this process removes risk, whilst our access and ability to resource skilled technical contractor’s mean the whole process can run smoothly and efficiently, being scaled as needed through the project lifespan. It’s a combination which offers benefits to both sides of the table, and which makes RPS leaders in this field.