VIDEO

Alternative Workforce

Deloitte Human Capital Trends Webinar met John Smolenaers en Daniëlle Pannekoek

​The alternative workforce can be a long-term solution to tight talent markets—but only if treated strategically. For many years, people viewed contract, freelance, and gig employment as “alternative work,” options considered supplementary to full-time jobs. Today, this segment of the workforce has gone mainstream, and it needs to be managed strategically. Given growing skills shortages and the low birth rate in many countries, leveraging and managing “alternative” workforces will become essential to business growth in the years ahead.

ORIGINALLY conceived of as contract work, “alternative” work today includes work performed by outsourced teams, contractors, freelancers, gig workers (paid for tasks), and the crowd (outsourced networks). The world is seeing rapid growth in the number of people working under such arrangements. By 2020, for instance, the number of self-employed workers in the United States is projected to triple to 42 million people.

Freelancers are the fastest-growing labor group in the European Union, with their number doubling between 2000 and 2014; growth in freelancing has been faster than overall employment growth in the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands. And many people are alternative workers part-time: Deloitte’s latest millennial study found that 64 percent of full-time workers want to do “side hustles” to make extra money.

For organizations that want to grow and access critical skills, managing alternative forms of employment has become critical. Many countries are seeing declining birth rates, reducing the size of the labor pool. Forty-five percent of surveyed employers worldwide say they are having trouble filling open positions, the largest such percentage since 2006. Among companies with more than 250 employees, the percentage struggling to find qualified candidates rises to 67 percent.

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