Talent shortage: could freelancers be the solution?

Johanna Derennes

Consulting

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Since the health crisis, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to recruit. The numerous lockdowns have forced us to rethink our way of life, many employees have become more demanding, and some have even quit to join a company that is more in line with their values.

 

Why is there such a shortage of qualified profiles in many sectors?

Can freelancers be a good alternative for companies?

 

The talent shortage: a reality

 

Since the Covid-19 crisis, France has been facing a growing labor shortage. According to NICOLAS GUYONNET/Hans Lucas via AFP for the figaro there were 355,400 job vacancies in France in the second quarter of 2022, 69% more than in the fourth quarter of 2019, before the health crisis.

 

The relationship to work has changed

Although some employees have remained in work, the general anxiety caused by this health crisis and the lockdown have been an unprecedented opportunity for many French people to take the time to question their lives, especially their professional lives. According to the Ifop study for the Jean-Jaurès Foundation published in July 2022, only 24% of French people now consider work to be a "very important" activity in their lives, compared to 60% in 1990.

 

The importance of extra-professional activities

So, attitudes have changed... First, employees are more demanding with their company in terms of salary, benefits, and flexibility in the workplace.

We also notice that since the lockdowns, employees have become accustomed to doing activities before or after work. They want their days to be more than just work, and they no longer want to be presentees. This is what is known as "quiet quitting": doing the bare minimum at work, refusing overtime and any tasks that are not part of their mission.

 

The quest for meaning

Finally, employees now want their jobs to be in line with their values and are asking themselves three major questions:

- Does my job make sense to me?

- Is my job a source of fulfillment?

- Am I in line with my company's values?

Companies therefore have a real need to rethink the way they recruit and retain their teams, but also, in the shorter term, to find quick solutions to deal with this new environment.

 

Could freelancers be the solution for companies?

 

Companies have to face, more and more, this movement by adapting to the evolution of the labor market. If they are still unable to recruit, hiring freelancers can be an alternative. According to a study conducted in 2021 by Cooptalis, a company specializing in human resources, 57% of French companies use freelance professionals for their particular expertise because they can't find a permanent contract, especially in digital projects.

But why use freelancers?

 

Expertise, adaptability and responsibility, the 3 assets of the independent worker

First of all, a freelancer is already an expert in his field; he is therefore more quickly operational. Depending on the seniority of the profile, a synthetic explanation of the project and the context will allow him to take the reins very quickly. This will save you a lot of time on your projects.

Another advantage, specific to certain sectors of activity such as digital, is that they do not need to be on site in France to work for you. Yes, a freelancer can work from anywhere in the world, a real asset for recruiters in need of candidates, especially for projects with an international dimension.

Also, freelancers are by essence autonomous and used to different environments with a great capacity to adapt.

Finally, as the only guarantors of their reputation, they are all the more invested and provide quality work, a real passport for their future activities.

 

But how do you find the right expert at the right time?

 

The world of freelancing, especially in project management and IT transformation, is not spared by the talent shortage. They are more and more sought after by companies who are often ready to pay a high price to get the best candidates. Finding the right independent consultant, adapted to your needs and available in time for your project, becomes a real headache!

 

Pitfalls to avoid when looking for the right partner

Very often, large companies outsource the search for freelance profiles. There are many platforms that put consultants and companies in touch with each other, but you must be careful to choose the right partner.

First of all, you have to make sure that the platform puts in contact consultants specialized in the field you are looking for.

Then, you have to be careful with intermediaries who waste your time by sending you dozens of resumes, supposedly in adequacy with your need. Very often, no selection has been made, or just a quick keyword search, and the profiles are not qualified. Sometimes, the CVs are even "slightly adapted" and you realize during the interview that the consultant has never heard of the famous tool you are working on, even though it was part of your prerequisites!

Finally, beware also of firms that, behind a nice label, send you juniors at full price who make their debut on your projects!

 

Don't delay in making a decision

As you can see, when you find the right freelance profile available immediately for your project, you have to know how to draw quickly! So spend enough time before your search to :

1 - Identify your needs,

2 - Determine a schedule of operations,

3 - Validate the budget with your hierarchy.

 

This way you will gain in relevance and efficiency in your recruitments!

 

To go further: 

- The 3 advantages of a good project management partner 

- How to select the right people to carry out transformation projects ?

 

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