The workforce is in a continual shift as markets change, companies grow and refocus, and external factors shape how, when and even where we work. Because of these considerations, and countless others, companies need to be agile in their approach to the composition of their workforce. Hybrid workforces build on this idea, by creating teams that are a mixture of full-time, long-term employees and short-term contract and freelance workers.
Many companies have laid off or furloughed full-time employees due to economic uncertainty and are now in the position to need to scale back up. The question remains of whether to re-fill those positions with full-time W-2 employees, or create a more hybrid mix of full-time and 1099 contractors. Contractors have the benefit of giving you the flexibility to grow with verified, high skilled talent at the right pace and the right price for your business.
We’ve all been affected by the “gig economy” one way or another. This might be through the way we travel (Uber or Lyft), buy our groceries (Instacart) or hire any number of other services. Or, for an increasing number of workers in the United States and around the world, the gig economy may contribute to some or all of their income.
Like a toolbox, having a diverse workforce brings a greater wealth of ideas, approaches and problem-solving capabilities. In my career, I've worked as a consultant to help companies of all sizes — from Fortune 100 corporations to small nonprofits — optimize their employee experience to drive organizational growth.
Freelancers comprise over one-third of the workforce in the United States, and their numbers will continue to grow, reaching a projected 50.9% by 2027, according to the recent Freelancing in America Survey (slide 18). This means that some of the most talented in-house workers will likely make the jump to being contractors, and attracting them to work on your projects and teams will become increasingly important.
Almost any business can benefit from the extra help of freelancers and contractors. Not only do these flexible employees require less overhead (they typically get paid hourly or per project and then are finished once the task is complete), but oftentimes they can be located anywhere in the world, which makes finding the right match easier simply because there’s more talent to choose from.