The Growth of the Gig Economy

August 16, 2021
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Freelancing is on the rise.

The steady rise of the gig economy and the rapidly expanding freelance talent base continues to offer cost-effective, impactful talent solutions for businesses of all sizes. There is more expertise out in the market and small business formations are on a dramatic monthly rise as more talent explores entrepreneurship vs returning (at least full-time) to corporate life.

To drive this point home, professional services applications from independent workers have soared (freelancers, independent contractors, etc.) with January applications rising by 51% over January 2020. The trend continued with May applications hitting the second highest submitted of all-time high. By 2027, it is expected that much of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers. 

“We’ve seen both the freelance talent pool, as well as the “professionalization” of the freelance and contractor world, steadily grow throughout the last few years” said Valerie Freeman, CEO and Founder of Imprimis Freelancers, a division of a full-service professional staffing firm that provides both flexible and permanent staffing solutions to hiring organizations.

“We’ve also seen an evolution in the freelance space as more career professionals tap into the gig economy. This has resulted in a shift from ‘informal revenue generation’ to individuals who believe that their work is valuable stand-alone, as a business entity. It’s a turn toward an entrepreneurial mindset.”

As the skills and expertise within the freelance space grow, business owners have the unique opportunity to tap into that workforce and fill open roles with quality, specialized talent.

Capitalizing on The Gig Economy

Now the question becomes, “how can I utilize the gig economy to get the maximum impact for my business?” To capitalize on the gig economy, the first step is for businesses to differentiate between essential and non-essential team members. Which roles have a direct impact on your organization, and which are supporting roles? Then, they can dedicate committed financial resources to their core team while outsourcing everything else to freelance talent they can trust. Doing that ensures ultimate flexibility and guarantees the majority of resources go toward the people who deliver the business’s primary value. 

“For example, most companies’ primary value is not social media,” said Freeman. “So, find a social media partner – a freelance professional. Then, the services you ask of them and the budget you give them can go up or down depending on whether you’re not getting the sales you want and you need to try different tactics or you’re getting so many sales that you need to move into maintenance mode and ramp up customer service instead of marketing.”

What This Means for Businesses

“The gig economy is a key solution to businesses thriving whether the economy is roaring or in recession, because hiring skilled freelance talent enables businesses to scale up or down with minimal capital commitment,” said Freeman. “And that scalability enables a business to change its mind. Whether things aren’t going well or are going as expected, they can adjust their workforce, operations, or overhead as needed.”

That kind of scalability and flexibility will translate into competitive success.

“No matter what your business does, you can compete bigger by hiring quality freelancers because you can look, act, and be bigger when you have access to flexible talent,” explained Freeman. “The key is finding the talent that you trust to deliver the way you want to deliver. So, the question becomes do you have the expertise to build that team? In general, that’s not the best use of a business owner’s time. That’s when Imprimis can help.”

Connect with Julie Stephens today to learn more about the process and get connected with the resources you need!