2017 Future Workforce Report: Half of HR Managers Now Use Freelancers

Today’s dynamic economic and political climate has created a unique set of challenges for HR professionals across the country. Job vacancies remain open for longer as traditional hiring strategies fall short in an increasingly global and competitive talent market.

This shifting business landscape has inspired HR managers to think outside the box, propelling them into a leading role in building the workforce of the future. Recently, Upwork released more data from its Future Workforce Report that highlights the ways HR teams across the United States are driving innovation and change by championing a more flexible workforce. You can read an detailed overview of the HR results here.

The report indicates that many HR leaders are “powering businesses [..] to grow into new markets” by leveraging freelancers, contractors and other contingent workers to “increase capacity and fill critical skill gaps.”

Key findings include:

  • 72% of HR managers now use some combination of temporary, freelance, agency and/or remote workers.
  • 73% of HR managers report an increase in productivity due to hiring freelancers.
  • 84% of hiring managers would have been forced to delay, cancel or extend project workloads if unable to hire a freelancer.
  • 77% of HR managers agree that companies that don’t adjust their hiring strategies are at a competitive disadvantage.

Tapping into the freelance labor market allows HR leaders to scale staffing up and down quickly based on business needs, as well as hire niche experts for specific projects. This streamlined hiring model reduces overhead and allows companies to operate at peak efficiency.

” … HR is under increasing pressure from business leaders to constantly realign talent strategies with evolving business objectives,” said Upwork VP of HR and Talent Innovation, Zoe Harte. “Now is the time for HR to use its seat at the table to be a driver of innovation and change.”

In addition to reaping the direct benefits of working with freelancers, HR managers who take advantage of these future workforce trends help position the company as progressive and flexible, thus attracting top-tier talent. Now more than ever, HR professionals can influence not only business strategy and organizational infrastructure, but also the economy at large.

Interested in learning more about the advantages of a more flexible workforce? Download our “Agile Talent in the Digital Age” white paper to see how your organization can use contingent talent to scale its most important initiatives.

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