Forecasts: 2017 the Year Corporations Embrace the Gig Economy

Based on the 2017 trends forecasts we’ve been reading, corporations are going to actively expand their use of contingent labor in 2017. Here are a few of the many trend forecasts that include corporations increasing their use of gig workers and contingent talent:

Fast Company’s Top Five HR Trends for 2017:

TEAMS EVOLVE TO ACCOMMODATE CONTINGENT WORKERS: A study by Field Glass revealed that in 2015 the average company’s workforce consisted of 54% traditional, full-time employees, 20% contingent workers (freelancers, interns, and contractors), and 26% that existed in a gray area somewhere between the two (including remote and part-time workers). The researchers predicted that by 2017, the share of “nontraditional” workers would grow to 25% contingent, 34% gray area, and 41% traditional workers.

Forbes’ 10 HR Trends For 2017:

The workforce of the future won’t be all full time employees. Rather, it will be blended, or composed of full time employees as well as consultants, contractors, freelancers, part time employees, and other contingent workers, collectively known as Gig Economy Workers … Forward-looking HR leaders should take action now to plan for a blended workforce and address issues such as; how do you on-board and integrate gig workers or what types of training can gig workers have access to?

Also from Forbes is Top Challenges Facing HR Directors Of Global Firms In 2017:

“Another trend that is impacting organizations is the increasing emergence of the Gig economy … “There are two key drivers for the rise of what is now being called ‘the gig economy’. From the workers’ perspective, there is a demand for diversity and flexibility in their roles and the ability to showcase their unique skill sets. For organizations, there’s a shift in strategy from ‘I need to hire a person’ to ‘I need to complete a task …””

Human Capital’s Top five talent management predictions for 2017:

2017 will see the redefinition of work become more pronounced. The rise of the millennial generation is spurring a shift towards flexible work arrangements, whilst retiring baby boomers and Mums returning to work increasingly opt for freelancing and contingent (part-time) work opportunities. The gig economy, in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements, crowdsourcing, and the rise of the on-demand economy — synonymous with Uber and Airbnb — are also increasingly changing the landscape of business …

The Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Five Trend’s in Talent:

The gig economy is here to stay. Employees can no longer be easily parsed into full-time and part-time, exempt and non-exempt. HR professionals will need to grapple with how to orient and socialize gig workers, while staying in compliance with evolving laws and regulations.

JDSupra’s (a legal site) Top Five New Year’s Predictions For The Gig Economy has, well, 5 gig predictions. But the key one related to corporate use of gig workers is:

Corporate Freelance Tidal Wave: Call it the eventual “Uber-ization” of corporate America. I agree that we’ll see some massive movement in 2017.

Korn Ferry’s 2017 Talent Trend Predictions:

Rise of the Gig Economy, or “Me Inc.Some reports estimate that by 2020 as much as 40 percent of the American workforce will be contingent workers, or independent contractors. There are two key drivers for the rise of what is now being called “the gig economy.” From the workers’ perspective, there is a demand for diversity and flexibility in their roles and the ability to showcase their unique skill sets. For some organizations, there’s a shift in strategy from ‘I need to hire a person’ to ‘I need to complete a task.’

And, of course, our own 2017 Top 10 Small Business Trends:

Corporations Embrace Freelancers: This year will see an inflection point in terms of major corporations embracing freelance talent. After studying and testing the use of freelancers (called “agile talent” and “contingent labor” by corporations) for several years, 2017 will see the corporate use of agile talent increase and become mainstream. This will, of course, increase the demand for independent workers.

We could keep going, but you get the point. A lot of folks think 2017 is going to the year when corporations embrace the gig economy.

BTW, if you don’t know the guy in the picture, he’s Karnac the Magnificent.