1 Oct 2020, 14:00 — 4 min read
Statistics show that 30% of all Human Resource (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 digitalisation is a stronger freelance economy.
Digitalisation has changed not just how we work, but also what we work on, and, consequently what constitutes desirable skills. The focus of expertise, specialised skills and experience, is on tasks related to a core strategy and problem-solving at the very human relationship level.
By reducing cost, effort, and increasing speed, digitalisation 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 specialised skills. It is fair to say, therefore, that digitalisation has changed not just how we work, but also what we work on, and, consequently what constitutes desirable skills. The focus of expertise, specialised skills and experience, is on tasks related to a core strategy and problem-solving at the very human relationship level.
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All of Human Capital Management (HCM) can be logically divided into 20 components, many of which require specialised knowledge to be impactful. The fallout of increased digitalisation in HR is, that while some expertise and certain skills are necessary to partner a business effectively, specialised knowledge is required in spurts. This not only challenges 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 full-time employee, it will rest on Freelance Experts (FLE) to fill in the gaps cost-effectively. This is then the logical outcome especially for a 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 essential 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.
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