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2015: The year of the Freelancer?

Published: 2 years, 3 months ago

I have deliberately chosen and much prefer to use the title “freelancer”; it doesn’t have the same stigma unfairly attached to the title “temp”. We find that all the professional freelancers we partner with are professional, resilient, adaptable and focussed on delivery. No more the poor relation to a permanent full time worker.

 

So what will 2015 be like? Will Australia follow global trends and present a ‘coming of age’ for the technical procurement freelancer? Here’s some thoughts.

 

The increasing growth of the freelance economy. With 53 million professionals freelancing in the US in 2014, there has been a significant rise in sole proprietary consultancies offering niche expertise within Australia. From global P2P to sourcing fibre optics, specialist mining services and creative B2B services, there is an increasing marketplace for the subject matter expert. The I.P and supplier “intel” these experts bring to the table can give projects the momentum and rigor to achieve the best commercial outcome.

 

Increased geographical mobility. A significant message from this year that will be more prevalent in 2015 is the ability of the specialist to move interstate or offshore without reservation. Our discussions within the freelancer talent pool indicate a clear message to Employers; “have the skills, will travel!!” We are now looking at a national talent pool for expert skills. Whether the project is in Dhakar, Singapore or regional Australia, there will be a relevant candidate that will relish that project opportunity.

 

Freelancing no longer the domain of the senior statesmen. We have seen an increase in candidates with 3-6 years’ experience selecting to freelance. This trend follows research done by FreelancerUnion.org that suggested 79% of millennials would quit their fulltime job to freelance. Virtual offices, increased ability to communicate online and the rapid rise of cloud based technology offers up different working choices to the next generation of procurement expert. We already represent several IT system “savvy” analysts, consultants and sourcing managers that run their own consultancies as a preferred work-life decision.

 

The impact of social media as a candidate attraction vehicle. The traditional methods of sourcing best fit talent (database, advertising) will take a considerable step back as new methods of sourcing via social media channels takes a deeper dive into our daily awareness of what’s happening and where. The rise of Industry specific online networking forums will open up opportunities to connect with expertise more rapidly and with “at your fingertips” information. The best freelancers ensure they are tapped into the information highway, networking with their peers to establish a highly visible and credible online proposition. 

 

There’s little doubt based on global trends that the market for immediate expertise on a project by project basis will continue to rise. The choices available to the professional freelancer make for an interesting new year ahead for all of us.  There’s a well-used saying that “only the strongest will survive”, perhaps in 2015 it may morph into only “the most agile, well connected will flourish”. 

 

To find out more about the trends in 2015 or regarding contracting in general, plese contact David Bennett on 03 9650 6665 or at david.bennett@thesource.com.au