Statistics show that 30% of all HR experts operate in the freelance economy. And, this percentage will grow to 35% in 5 years. This statistic is important to HR professionals because one of the outcomes of digitalization is a stronger freelance economy.
By reducing cost, effort, and increasing speed, digitalization delivers higher efficiency for routine, repetitive, administrative and even some complex time consuming jobs.Also, technology has a way of taking over to strip tasks down to the core, where then, for an expert to make an impact means having specialized skills. It is fair to say therefore, that digitalization has changed not just how we work, but also what we work on, and, consequently what constitutes desirable skills. The focus of expertise, specialized skills and experience, is on tasks related to core strategy and problem solving at the very human relationship level.
All of HCM may be logically divided into 20 components, many of which require specialized knowledge to be impactful. The fallout of increased digitalization in HR is,that while some expertise and certain skills are necessary to partner a business effectively, specialized knowledge is required in spurts. This challenges not just the need for full time employees (FTE), but also poses the question of whether it is in fact possible to run the HR function with professional HR managers who are jack and master of all trades rolled into one.
Without the justification of enough work for a FTE, it will rest on Freelance Experts (FLE) to fill in the gaps cost effectively. This is then the logical outcome especially fora function like HR given that HR is a direct cost whose perceptible contribution to revenue is not as obvious as may be desired.
More importantly, this statistic is important because the best skills are out there in the open market, available to hire as and when required for only as long as is needed without the obligations that follow full time employment. The freedom of cost agility, with the ability to safely balance the need and want conundrum, is probably the best reason to pay attention to the growing freelance economy.
Deepa Chandrasekhar is an entrepreneur and a Principal Consultant with iCube
Consortium Pte. Ltd.
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