The October 2, 2011, issue of Human Resource Executive includes an Outlook 2012 section with projected trends in human capital and staffing challenges. Teresa Carroll, Senior VP and Global Practice Lead for Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group, stated that “62% of global executives report that they expect to see a growing proportion of free agents in their workforces over the next 10 years (five times as many as those who expect to see a growing proportion of traditional full-time staff). Forty-four percent of U.S. workers currently fit the free-agent category, with only 11 percent due to economic necessity. Even after employment conditions stabilize, it is expected that roughly one-third of the U.S. workforce–and 20% to 30% of the global workforce–will be free agents.
“These free agents tend to be highly skilled and well educated–with more than one-third holding master’s degrees or higher. Compared to traditional employees, more free agents have technical or professional skill sets–reflected in the fact that the fastest global growth in free agency is now in knowledge-worker roles, where skill shortages are most acute.” Interestingly, Carroll notes that the “average American free agent is 50 years old and satisfied with his or her work/life balance, annual earnings, and opportunities to acquire new skills. Seventy-five percent of them choose the free-agent work style because they value the freedom and flexibility it provides. These free agents will play a critical role in the talent supply chain of the future.”
Does this trend cause you to consider your own value (and portfolio of skills) in a slightly more portable way?
– Jan Melnik, M.A., MRW, CCM, CPRW, President, Absolute Advantage
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