Harvard Business Review's Your Company Needs Independent Workers covers the growing need by corporations to be seen as a "client of choice" by highly skilled independent workers. Key qutoe:
Companies have long strived to become employers of choice for full-time regular employees — the surge in employer rankings and websites like Glassdoor.com and Vault.com demonstrate the importance of doing that. But with non-employees increasingly bringing much-needed talent, companies need to broaden their definition of what it means to be a “great place to work.”
The article is authored by myself and Gene Zanio, CEO of MBO Partners, and is based on research conducted as part of the 2015 MBO Partners State of Independence study.
The goal of this area of research was twofold. First, we wanted to better understand how much discretion professional services providers to businesses have over who they work with.
The second study goal was to understand what makes a hiring organization attractive to highly skilled independent workers.
We were a bit surprised by how much discretion skilled independents have over who they work with.
As the article chart below shows, 83% say they say have a lot of choice (48%) or some choice (35%) over who they work with.
These results show the common view that independent workers have to take any work offered them is simply wrong, at least for skilled professionals who sell their services to businesses.
We were less surprised by what independent workers want from their clients. They want their work valued, control over their time and to be seen as part of the team. These echo the reasons independent workers give for preferring independent work over a traditional job.
Contingent talent is clearly becoming more important to both large and small businesses. See the HBR article for information and links to several studies showing the growing use of contingent labor by big companies; see our article from yesterday on the growing use of contract talent by small businesses.
It's increasingly clear that attracting, retaining, and managing highly skilled independent workers is becoming required for business success.