A large portion of the U.S. economy relies on independent contractors or freelancers. The reliance on these is growing every day. By 2020, about 43% of the U.S. workforce will include freelancers. So, independent contractors are not going away anytime soon. They play a major role in today’s “gig economy.”
The gig economy is a labor market created by the emergence of short-term and flexible freelance contracts as compared to offering workers full-time or permanent jobs within the company. Would hiring independent contractors positively impact your company? A well-versed employment law attorney can help you decide if you should jump aboard this trend in employment.
The Growth Behind the Trend in Hiring Freelancers
A shift in the American work model is the main reason behind the growing gig economy. In past years, young adults were taught to study diligently, finish college, find a job with a company, and stay until retirement. These days, there is an abundance of graduates, but not enough jobs to sustain all of them in the mainstream market. Young millennials and even older, seasoned professionals are making freelance and contract gigs their main source of income. The concept seems to be working well for both contractors and companies in need of their services.
Who Benefits from the Booming Gig Economy
The tech industry has been embracing the booming gig economy for a while, and now other industries are losing their fears and jumping in to garner the benefits and rewards of the gig economy.
Several traditional companies are warming up the idea and outsourcing their sales, marketing, graphic design, social media, public relations, human resources, and other departments to freelance workers.
They are not only getting quality work from experienced freelancers, but they also are saving money by not having to pay taxes or offer benefits to independent contractors, who are responsible for their benefits and tax obligations.
The Advantages of Hiring Independent Contractors
Companies are seeing the advantages of hiring freelancers and independent contractors in that they can boost innovation and result in more productivity and success for the company. Freelancers can often be more reliable and productive than some in-house staffers.
You can find specialists with specific skills or training to do tasks that your staff may not have the expertise or time to fulfill in the office. Plus, after the project is over, there is no long-term committed in the relationship. You can use the freelancer again in the future when similar projects become available. An employment law attorney can help you create and implement an employment contract that satisfies the needs of your company and the independent contractor, too.
The Future of the Gig Economy
The new trend in hiring freelancers, along with the gig economy, seems like a stable fixture in today’s workforce. This trend will continue to help companies meet specific goals and projects that the company may not be able to meet otherwise. The roles of freelancers will continue to create ways to maximize productivity while having a significant impact on the return on investment for the company.
As companies start to see the continued growth of the gig economy and how it is influencing the way people work, they need to be aware of any legal risks that can sabotage this working relationship.
Therefore, always seek the advice and legal counsel of an employment law attorney before hiring an independent contractor to work for you. When everything is legally sound and productive, it can be a wonderful and long-term relationship between the two parties for years to come.