The Wall Street Journal recently published an article describing the experience of Independent Contractors as that of “second-class office workers." It painted a dark, and, in my opinion, very one-sided picture of the current state and future of contingent work. While not discounting the perspectives described by the nine contract workers profiled in the article, there is an alternative model that brings together the expertise of “free agent” individuals and the needs of businesses in a way that creates value, engagement, and satisfaction for both parties.
Nearly 41 million adults are full time, part time, or occasional Independent Contractors. This number is projected to reach nearly 48 million, or 41%, of the workforce by 2022 (MBO Partners). Opportunities for contingent work assignments continue to grow, as companies deal with talent gaps created by Baby Boomer retirement and Millennial turnover, and their need for increased speed to market, flexibility, and agility. However, the growing use of Managed Service Providers (MSP), Human Cloud platforms, Contractor agencies and other temporary firms leads to wage deflation, a disconnected workforce, and does have the potential to brand contractors as outsiders, depending on the culture of the organization. Even for the over 70% of independent workers who proactively choose contingent work as their primary or supplemental source of income, this can be disenfranchising and disheartening.
I believe there is an alternative to this dystopian view of a second-class officer worker. It is that of an Expert who is part of a vibrant community of likeminded and skilled Experts and is supported by an organization that connects him or her to Clients with compelling work opportunities. The Experts are W2 employees of this organization and have access to health and retirement benefits, training, mentoring, support, and even office space. They have access to a human resources team that is focused on creating a valuable experience for them, along with helping them build their personal brand and sell their skills into Clients. The organization provides many back-office functions, freeing them to focus on what they do best and enjoy most, without worrying about negotiating contracts, securing business insurance, invoicing, or collections. This is the vision and model of YourEncore, Inc.
In my conversations with executives from companies of all sizes and in all geographies, I’ve learned they are looking for the model I describe above. It is imperative to their success and as well as the success of our economy. At YourEncore, we do not accept the view painted in Ms. Weber’s article. We are a community of Experts and as community we care about each other. We stand up for the freelancer and do our best to provide access to fair compensation and benefits. We strive to treat each Expert as an individual. We recognize that the workforce is changing very dramatically and very rapidly. It is very scary for many. We are standing up to offer a better choice and a brighter future.
About Mike Lewis: Mike is Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for YourEncore. He is passionate about connecting Life Science and Consumer Goods Clients with YourEncore Experts, bringing them the rich experience and technical know-how they need to address their business challenges via flexible resourcing and consulting engagements. He is an innovative sales and marketing leader who has successfully introduced new selling and marketing models that have transformed companies in the process. He is a thought leader in social selling and account based marketing and has leveraged both to grow company revenues and reputation.