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WHITE PAPERS: Agents of Change: Freelance Contractors are Reshaping the Workforce |Kelly Services Research

Independent Contractors – A Critical Link in the Talent Supply Chain
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Independent contractors can (and should) be used wisely as part of a talent supply chain strategy that delivers high quality and timely skills in a cost effective way.

With sound risk management and worker classification processes in place, the advantages of this worker category far outweigh the downsides.

This white paper is sharing more insights about the rise of Independent Contractors and their link to the Talent Supply Chain.

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Freelance Contractors – an enduring feature of the New Economy

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Today’s workers are poised for change, less loyal to the idea of working for one employer for life, and more intent on being free agents in their own careers. In today’s “gig economy,” workers are choosing freelance projects and temporary assignments that interest them— always dreaming of the next opportunity.

The notion of a “job for life” now seems quaint. In many professional occupations, the traditional nine-to-five workday is superseded by more flexi arrangements. And free agency is increasingly embraced as a way of life across the age spectrum: among older workers looking to defer or redefine retirement, and younger workers looking to chart their own course.

For employers, this new era brings change and opportunity. Traditional talent acquisition models are being challenged, fueled by competitive pressures and technological advances. Companies only looking to recruit direct, full-time staff are missing out on some of the best talent in the market. By contrast, those with agile talent supply chain management strategies, allowing them to recruit across all labor types and scale their operations on demand, are gaining a competitive advantage.

In this white paper, we explore the results of the Kelly Services® 2015 Free Agent survey, based on responses from more than 5,200 workers across the U.S., Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. New insights are offered into free agency’s strengthening foothold in the workforce. We explain why free agents represent a new paradigm that is here to stay—and how savvy employers can embrace them.

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Free Agents Upbeat About Their Prospects in the Post-Recession Economy

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The free agent workforce has become an enduring feature of the New Economy, with workers opting for a mix of freelance and contract assignments to permanent employment. Smart, independent, seeking a better work–life balance, are building their own career castles.

The freelance contractor share of the workforce initially expanded by necessity as the unemployment rate hit double digits and more workers were driven into free agency out of necessity. However, the Kelly Services® 2015 Free Agent Survey shows that the preference for independence has firmed even as the economy recovers, fueled by technology, demographics, and evolving expectations of work.

Why are free agents newly buzzing with confidence?
And how can employers harness this vital source of talent?

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Upwardly Mobile: A Profile of the Free Agent Workforce

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Employers seeking top talent for their organizations can no longer afford to confine their search to traditional workers.

Technology and the growth of online communities offering a steady pipeline of projects make going solo more viable than ever before.

So who, exactly, are these free agents?
And how can employers better attract this important source of talent?

The Kelly Services® 2015 Free Agent Survey reveals that workers of all ages are embracing workforce independence, and that as a group, are more highly-educated and a greater percentage possess professional/technical skill-sets. These workers are typically confident in their value and enjoy plenty of options. They like to choose who they work for, rather than the other way around.

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About Kelly Services - Global:  Kelly specializes in providing world-leading staffing solutions. Backed by an international network of more than 2,600 offices in 39 countries, including 21 European countries,  is serving clients around the world by delivering a wide range of services, including recruiting, human resources management and placement for job-seekers. All offices, with more than 555,000 employees, apply the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).

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