Contingent Labor Strategy for CISOs

The job description of a Chief Information Security Officer doesn’t typically include “building a contingent labor strategy.” That responsibility usually lands elsewhere within the C-suite. And yet, if you’re a CISO without thoughts on independent contractors and how they should fit into your company, you’re overlooking an important opportunity to help shore up both your organization’s security and productivity.

How Can Deploying a Contingent Labor Strategy Help CISOs Meet Their Goals?

The demands of executive leadership don’t leave a great deal of time for the minutiae of prospecting, hiring and onboarding, but finding and retaining great talent should be a priority across the C-suite It’s time to focus on strategic planning to ensure the proper execution of talent acquisition, especially when it comes to contingent labor.

Contingent labor offers a pipeline to critical and sometimes difficult-to-find skills and specialized knowledge on an as-needed basis. With a virtual bench of talent, a CISO can be proactive in sourcing, implementing and scaling emerging technologies. That translates to the freedom to focus on delivery and meeting objectives by bringing in the appropriate talent when you need it in order to ensure projects get done well and on time.

Best Practices for a CISO in Approaching Contingent Labor

Because the design and implementation of a contingent labor strategy usually originate elsewhere, a CISO should begin thinking about their side of the process from a collaborative standpoint. It’s helpful to take into account the needs and approach of HR and other business units, but a CISO should also be sure to bring their own needs to the table during the larger conversation.

Start by identifying your organization’s security priorities and determining where you need to augment your existing staff with contingent workers. Consider factors such as the types of projects you undertake, the types of skills and experience required and the timeline duration of the projects. Additionally, risk assessment is a critical component for any CISO, and the use of independent contractors introduces unique security risks that should be weighed and addressed as part of any contingent labor strategy.

The PeopleCaddie Advantage

Contractors offer flexibility and cost savings that are too valuable for any organization to ignore, but neither can a company be indifferent to the special security concerns they pose. CISO’s are responsible for cybersecurity and information risk, so picking the right hiring partner can help mitigate much of that risk for an organization at the first step of the process.

PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud services help connect companies with contractors who bring specialized skills and expertise to bear on projects and initiatives at a moment’s notice. Critically, PeopleCaddie carefully vets every prospect before any engagement with a client, providing access to valuable talent without exposing that company to additional security risk. Contact a PeopleCaddie representative today to begin building your contingent labor strategy and connecting with the talent needed to not only boost your organization’s productivity but also protect its business interests.

Are you a CISO interested in learning more about how contingent labor can level up your department? Contact PeopleCaddie today.

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Is the Digital Nomad Lifestyle Right for You?

As the last of the Baby Boomers begin to retire from the U.S. workforce, a longstanding approach to employment within American culture is being retired with them. The shift from a live-to-work to a work-to-live mindset , accelerated by the pandemic and a large-scale adaptation to remote work, is in full swing. The average worker, who once prioritized salary, retirement benefits, upward mobility and job security, is now being driven by flexibility, purpose, work culture and life experiences. Many of today’s workers are even taking things a step further, setting up operations far from both the office and home, and using remote work as an opportunity to see and experience the world. Often described as digital nomads, these employees have discovered the formula for mixing business and pleasure – and they are a rapidly growing section of the labor force.

A recent study found that 16.9 million American workers currently consider themselves to be digital nomads, an increase of 131 percent since 2019.

Thinking about joining their ranks? Know this first: There are plenty of perks that come with the digital nomad lifestyle, but it isn’t for everyone. And even those for whom it’s a good fit should learn about any downsides to combining globetrotting with gainful employment. Here are some thoughts to consider before taking the plunge into digital nomadism:

It takes planning. Lots of planning. Depending on wherever you may roam, you’ll need a visa, translation services, vaccinations and more. And for each change of address, those plans become exponentially more challenging. If you’re truly mobile (think van life or an RV), brace yourself for the inevitable: Somewhere along your travels, you’ll run out of water or clean clothes, and your wifi connection will let you down. It happens. But thoughtful preparation can mitigate most issues that may detract from the joys of life as a digital nomad.

There are no borders. This is what you signed up for, yeah? The open road, no-holds-barred wanderlust and absolutely no cubicles. The ability to indulge nearly any travel whim is one of the key features of the digital nomad lifestyle, but remember: indulging every travel whim can derail your work productivity. You still have a job to do, and every detour creates a new set of circumstances – and, potentially, unintended consequences. Again, have a plan. Work ahead when you can. Build buffers into your schedule to allow for the occasional bounding down the rabbit hole.

It’s not a working vacation. As alluded to above, you’ll need to maintain a certain level of focus while on the road. That can be difficult for the art lover who has found a cheap Airbnb in the heart of Rome or the history buff in a cute rented cottage just outside Dublin. You may have decided to no longer live to work, but you do still have to make time for work to live the digital nomad life.

Contract work is the key. Most companies have certain expectations for where and when their staff employees show up to work. Even if yours offers a certain amount of flexibility, chances are you have project deadlines, client meetings and other workday rhythms that aren’t all that conducive to life on the road. In that case, contract work may be the perfect alternative. By seeking out contracts with durations that match your preferred lengths of stay in any locale, you can plan in stages and handle your big moves between gigs.

PeopleCaddie posts thousands of contract roles for contractors to select from on our proprietary platform, many of them featuring flexible schedules and responsibilities that align with the digital nomad lifestyle. Who says you have to put off travel until retirement or jam a tour of Europe into a two-week vacation? With contract work and a professional network partner like PeopleCaddie, you can have the best of all worlds.

Interested in becoming a digital nomad? PeopleCaddie can help. Check out how our talent cloud can help you secure contract labor.

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Abolishing Noncompetes May Stimulate Contractor Market

In January, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposal that, if successful, would represent a seismic shift in the way business is conducted across a variety of sectors: abolishing noncompetes. The practice of contractually protecting specific corporate interests, which has existed in some form for hundreds of years, is likely to come under more scrutiny over the next few weeks and months than ever before.

What could all that wrangling mean for employees (specifically contractors), and how might it affect employers – particularly their bottom lines? We’ll know more after the FTC closes the public comment period March 10, but any subsequent decision will likely be met with opposition from employers and business groups. The final word on the subject may yet be a long way off, but here’s a quick primer on how a ban on noncompete clauses could be expected to affect employers and employees – and possibly even stimulate the market for independent contractors.

Business as Usual for Employers?

There are legitimate reasons businesses can point to for pushing back on a the potential of abolishing noncompetes. The hiring clauses help insulate companies from the widespread sharing of trade secrets and proprietary information that could unfairly benefit competing organizations. The argument for noncompetes, which often prevent employees from working for or consulting with a company’s competitors for a prescribed length of time, can be compared to the spirit behind the pharmaceutical industry’s intellectual property protections: “The patent system,” according to PhRMA, “strikes a balance between promoting innovation and affordability for patients who rely on new treatments, improvements and cures.”

Noncompetes help safeguard the profit motivation, ensuring that businesses aren’t investing in new technologies, initiatives and employee growth simply to see their hard-earned gains passed on to business rivals. Companies that make sound decisions and smart investments, reasonable minds would surely agree, deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.

However, the FTC argues that noncompetes actually hinder innovation and notes that employers “have other ways to protect trade secrets and other valuable investments that are significantly less harmful to workers and consumers.” At least one labor law opinion asserts that restrictive covenants can and should be written more narrowly: “The restrictions themselves should be no broader than necessary to protect those legitimate interests, and they must be reasonable in terms of duration, geography and scope of activities prohibited.”

And after all, employee movement flows both ways. Over time, shared knowledge feeds corporate innovation that tends to be a tide that lifts all ships. Abolishing noncompetes ultimately could boost rather than curb business.

More Freedom for Employees and Contractors

Employees understandably disagree with the current deployment of noncompete clauses. No small amount of anecdotal and empirical evidence indicates that noncompetes suppress wages and professional development, handcuff employee mobility and make it difficult for workers to render services to multiple companies over a relatively short period of time – an especially problematic sticking point for contractors. The FTC estimates that a ban on current noncompete practices “could increase wages by nearly $300 billion per year and expand career opportunities for about 30 million Americans.”

Even those on the employer side agree that a noncompetes ban would prompt organizations to become more creative in retaining talent, leading to juicier compensation for permanent employees while ensuring less restrictive movement between assignments for contract employees.

Whether noncompetes stay or go isn’t an issue that’s likely to be resolved soon. But in the meantime, a more focused, transparent approach to noncompetes could help both sides find a common ground that would benefit all parties.

Looking for more guidance on the contract market? Check out PeopleCaddie’s blog.

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Talent Leaving California: How Industries Can Capitalize

If an observer following the headlines coming out of Silicon Valley in recent months didn’t know any better, they would have to assume the bottom is currently dropping out of the technology industry. An estimated 70,000 jobs were shed by Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other tech giants in 2022, and some predict that the sector isn’t finished making significant cuts. All of this means talent is leaving California. 

Yet a deeper analysis of the space reveals a less-discussed resilience (overall employment is down only about 5,000 jobs) and one gargantuan elephant in the room: a sweeping redistribution of tech talent that appears to be happening before our eyes. The recent migration of tech talent to Austin-area companies and startups is one example of this phenomenon, but lately, a new trend has emerged: traditional, publicly traded corporations best known for their work outside the technology space are suddenly showing interest in top tech talent – and receiving it in return. This competition is also a contributing factor as to why tech talent is leaving California. 

A Case Study: Detroit Automakers

Top American automakers, quite literally, have been nuts-and-bolts operations for decades. But recent advances in vehicle software, automation, and electric power – as well as the growing expectations of auto consumers – have forced Detroit to rethink traditional hiring practices. According to the Detroit Free Press, for example, General Motors confirmed that it has thawed an existing hiring freeze in order to make a run at the tech talent made available by the recent layoffs in the space.

“Two years ago, a software developer or engineer in Silicon Valley was not taking GM’s call,” Dan Ives, managing director and senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, told the Free Press. “Today, they are actively looking to work at GM. GM has fully bet on their electric vehicle future and under the hood they are a very mature company that is essentially an entrepreneurial startup-like in spirit.”

GM is hardly the exception to the rule. Not only are familiar automakers such as Ford, Nissan and Volvo vying to become the leader in EV and tech-forward automobiles, but newer entries like Tesla, Rivian, Nikola and Lucid are driving the demand for engineers, programmers and other tech talent in today’s version of the space race. And that’s just in the automaking space. Ives says that for every 10 workers cut loose by tech organizations, one or two will move on to “transformational industries,” including but certainly not limited to electric automakers.

The Next Move for Tech-Thirsty Hirers

As our world becomes increasingly computerized, digitized, electrified and automated, entire industries are being overhauled to make way for more productive, efficient and affordable technology solutions. Those developments will unfold within the tech sector, of course, but they’ll also extend far beyond. More businesses than ever now require tech talent to compete – and their corresponding HR departments and hiring staff often lack experience in identifying, vetting and bringing aboard those workers.

Simply put, these organizations may not fully understand their labor needs on the tech side. Companies unaccustomed to building out or incorporating tech initiatives into their core business run the risk of over- or under-hiring, particularly if they don’t have a firm grasp on their new hires’ capabilities and limitations. In cases like these, contingent labor is frequently a company’s best option.

Contingent labor offers a publicly traded company the freedom and flexibility to make adjustments to a workforce as needed, materially reducing its financial risk and allowing for quick responses to changes in the economy, market or organization. A third-party talent cloud such as PeopleCaddie can help your business identify and connect with top-quality technology contractors – and even assist you in creating a contingent labor strategy that meets your needs – no matter your familiarity or comfort in hiring tech talent.

PeopleCaddie can help your organization address its need for tech talent. Here is how our talent cloud can work for you.

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Contingent Labor and Hospitality: A Guide to 2023

The hospitality industry has long marched to the beat of a seasonal drum. Urged on by events, pilgrimages and weather patterns, travelers have typically vacationed – and worked – around the world in only semi-predictable patterns. And in the aftermath of the pandemic, the ebb and flow of tourism-driven business has been as mercurial as ever, which should prompt decision-makers to consider how contingent labor and hospitality jibe. 

What we do know is that global travel is coming back. U.S. travel in 2022 had nearly matched 2019 levels by May, and hotels had already outperformed 2019 numbers by midyear. And while some of 2022’s bounce-back can be attributed to revenge travel, Economist Intelligence projects that global tourism arrivals will increase by 30 percent in 2023.

Making up a significant portion of that surge will be the travel of digital nomads. Already an upwardly trending lifestyle pre-COVID, the practice of travelers combining tourism with remote work – which increased almost three-fold, to 15.5 million, from 2019 to 2021 –  has become big business for the hospitality space. In fact, some of those workers will wind up being critically important to helping hotels and other service businesses meet their workflows in the coming months. Here’s how the hospitality sector can benefit from contingent labor in 2023:

A seasonal workforce.

Travel and tourism demand may be up, but it is anything but steady. Predictability in the hospitality industry is relative even during the most stable of times, but Covid surges, a volatile economy and shifting societal tides are making it more difficult than ever for companies whose business hinges on travel and tourism to appropriately staff up at any given moment.

Contingent labor allows hospitality businesses to quickly add contractors for short-term projects, seasonal work, and unanticipated demand without overcommitting long-term payroll and benefits to positions that may not be needed tomorrow. A pipeline to talent that can be turned on and shut off as needed may be the difference between insolvency and profitability in the sporadic hospitality space.

Mix and match.

Hospitality businesses seeking contingent labor would do well to work with a third-party partner like PeopleCaddie to help fulfill their contractor needs. A talent cloud teeming with qualified contract workers, PeopleCaddie offers its clients access to a network of vetted talent – and can accommodate a hospitality sector that tends to break down labor by verticals.

PeopleCaddie provides white glove service that helps connect your business – which may include multiple locations and complex staffing needs – with skilled contingent professionals such as accountants, auditors, developers, cybersecurity specialists, CMS experts, and more. Contractors with whom you’ve already worked, or would like to work, can even be added to our network to help you secure the exact talent you have in mind. We’ll even take care of all the admin work surrounding that engagement. Which brings us to…

Fewer admin responsibilities.

Because PeopleCaddie handles payroll and related administration, the best contractors are attracted to our network by bi-weekly paychecks and access to insurance and other benefits (a rarity for contingent labor).

Your business is then bolstered not only by a dynamic pipeline of top talent, but also by the time and energy it saves. As the circumstances around W-2 and 1099 classifications become more muddled, you can count on PeopleCaddie’s team of experts to comb over the fine print – and free you up to focus your efforts on taking care of your guests. No more getting bogged down by administrative tasks made more complicated by the seasonality of your business. PeopleCaddie has you covered.

Reach out to a PeopleCaddie representative today to learn how we can help you meet all your workforce needs and optimize your business operations.

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Misconceptions About Contract Work

There are false perceptions that persist all around us. Not every salad is “healthy.” Millennials aren’t teenagers. (They’re all 27 or older, grandpa.) And in Monopoly, sadly, the racing car token doesn’t guarantee you victory. The same is true of contract work: Many people don’t understand the modern gig economy, and it may be costing them a crack at valuable work experience, career advancement and a more desirable lifestyle. Here are four misconceptions about contract work that could be holding you back from what may be a better brand of work:

Blue collar, white collar, all collars.

Driving Uber and Doordash is honest work, but the gig economy expands well beyond rideshare and delivery jobs. Independent contracting comes in all shapes, sizes, industries, salaries and levels of expertise and experience. From IT to accounting to engineering, these high-end, specialized gig positions often pay well and offer the sort of lifestyle flexibility that typically is difficult to find in a “permanent” staff role. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the contractor community isn’t for you based on misconceptions about the work itself. You could miss out on multiple opportunities of a lifetime.

Everyone is participating.

Misconceptions about contract work begin with a failure of imagination that has kept some workers from even considering it as an option. The perception that the gig economy is meant only for the semi-retired who are supplementing their income, or for workers who aren’t able to land traditional employment, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Contingent labor is part of the gig economy, and people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of education and expertise are opting in. And for good reason: Compensation for some gigs is equivalent to an annual salary well into the six figures, and the corporate world’s recent embrace of contract workers has opened up numerous new opportunities across industries.

Finding gigs is often easier than you think.

Although the gig economy literally has no barriers to entry, many staff workers assume the perks of independent contracting are either out of reach or require a grind that would be too grueling – or risky – to keep up. After all, finding new gigs can feel like a full-time job all its own, right?

It doesn’t have to be. A staff employee can always dip a toe in the gig economy without giving up their full-time role to gauge whether contracting is right for them – or just to build up a solid freelancing foundation. Once you’re ready to take the plunge, word of mouth often spreads and your work speaks for itself. Take it a step further, though, by signing on with a staffing agency – or a talent cloud like PeopleCaddie. Third-party intermediaries help you connect to eager employers looking for people just like you.

You don’t have to wait.

There’s no threshold of experience that freezes out a certain demographic of workers from the gig economy. A significant portion of independent contractors are younger pros who have gravitated to contingent labor as a lifestyle choice – and there is no shortage of employers willing to put them to work and pay them fairly.

A foundation of past work will always help a candidate in their search for the next job, but the reality is that companies hire people of all ages and experience levels for gig work. There’s no 10 Commandments of Contracting that requires a worker to “pay their dues” before trying their hand at contracting. The flexible schedule, reduced stress and handsome pay that often comes with professional gig work may be within your grasp right now.

Interested in learning more about contract work? Check out how PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud.

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What Permanent Employees Can Learn from Contract Staff

Stable “permanent” employment has long been the ultimate goal for employees across industries. The promise of security, insurance benefits, a pension, vacation days and sick time had been an enticing draw for anyone seeking gainful employment and hoping to raise a family, build a nest egg or simply pursue individual happiness. For as long as anyone can remember, a traditional, full-time, permanent job was a worker’s golden ticket.

But times change. Today, a staff position is only as “permanent” as an employee’s next paycheck, and the traditional perks of full-time employment have gradually been compromised – or, in some cases, eliminated altogether. Meanwhile, more companies are hiring contingent labor for skilled (and often lucrative) work, creating opportunities for more professionals to earn higher wages and build more schedule flexibility into an individual lifestyle. Permanent employees are no longer viewed as having unlocked the key to professional success. In fact, they would do well to pick up a trick or three from their brethren on the other side.                 

Here’s what permanent employees can learn from independent contractors and other temporary employees:

Reflect and Own Your Experience

Because terms of their employment tend to be finite and relatively short, independent contractors typically update their resumes more often than their permanent counterparts do. But the reality is, every worker should regularly take time out to make sure all their employer-facing materials are current.

Not only are you more likely to capture the nuances of your work contributions and avoid forgetting important details by frequently updating your full dossier, you’ll never be caught scrambling to pull everything together at a moment’s notice. You never know when your dream job will suddenly become available – or when your current role may be zeroed out.

In addition to resumes, employees should routinely update all job employment and profile platforms (LinkedIn, for example), portfolios and similar summaries of work. Updating employers, titles and dates should be the bare minimum. Be sure to include new projects, duties and accomplishments that draw attention in a quick eyeball scan or keyword search – any one of them could be a foot in the door to a new opportunity, or simply demonstrate specialized or soft skills that give you a leg up over the competition.

Build Your Network While You Work

“It’s who you know” remains a key tenet of job seekers and career climbers. Mentors, former bosses, ex-colleagues and even past reports make excellent resources for contractors seeking their next gigs, and it should be no different for permanent employees.

Keeping in touch ensures that opportunities don’t slip through the cracks and throws grist into the social mill that makes networking something more than just an icky, wholly transactional affair. Check-in with your people from time to time. Let them know how you’re doing and when you’re looking. Be sure to ask how you might help them, too. If you help a former coworker land a gig, guess who’s going to flag you when a great job pops on their radar? At the very least, when an employer follows up on your references, you’ll want to be certain the people on the other end of the phone are primed to go to bat for you rather than struggling to recall your name.

Be Open to Possibilities and Opportunities to Grow

Even workers who don’t consider themselves go-getters or corporate climbers are stuck with a reality that needs facing: employment is a zero-sum game, and those who aren’t moving forward are falling behind.

And this doesn’t only hold true for temporary employees. It’s true that contractors need to constantly reinvent themselves and take aim at new skills and certifications to open the pool of opportunities as wide as possible. But as quickly as technology and business move today, even permanent employees run the risk of falling behind the curve or becoming obsolete in a position they may have been hired into not all that long ago.

Career development opportunities, formal or otherwise, should be consistently sought out and pursued. Avoid settling in your comfort zone or becoming too one-dimensional. The goal for every working professional today should be to grow your skill set and become more nimble, allowing you to perform more tasks and onboard faster – all of which will attract more employers and give you the tools to wow them once you’re hired.

Want more tips on how to optimism your professional profile? Check out the PeopleCaddie blog.

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Benefits of Contingent Labor for Non-Seasonal Business

Every business has needs that exist beyond the scope of its own services and expertise. A technology startup is on the hook for an end-of-year audit. A bank needs to perform a review of its residential mortgage underwriting decisions.

Often, though, the talent that’s most qualified and best equipped to handle important projects and initiatives within an organization can only be found outside the organization. In these cases, a company may consider creating a new department and hiring a full-time team to staff it. But what if the project has a finite timeline or ongoing demands that don’t merit a permanent workforce and long-term commitment? A third-party vendor could do the trick, but a company cedes a certain amount of control in those situations – and the bill can get outrageously expensive.

But there is another option to consider: the benefits of contingent labor. Some organizations and hiring specialists may consider contract workers only for recurring, cyclical business demands, but that could be a missed opportunity. Contingent labor can be extremely useful and cost-effective for non-seasonal businesses and non-seasonal needs. Here’s how:

Consultants or Contractors?

In recent years, the line between consulting work and highly skilled contingent labor has been blurred – and that’s a credit to the volume and quality of contract workers now available to companies everywhere. But while a consultant may be the right fit in some instances, not every situation calls for an expensive C-suite-level retainer. Organizations frequently need specialized talent to fulfill short-term goals without busting payroll. That’s where contract workers can help.

In the realm of professional services, for example, the ideal hire may often be a candidate with McKinsey & Company-type expertise. But those workers tend to command a premium salary, and a certain percentage of them aren’t willing to accept anything other than full-time employment – which would put them out of reach for certain companies and/or positions. But an organization still has access to that caliber of talent – and at a far more affordable rate – through contract labor.

Flexibility and Filling the Gaps

In addition to helping non-seasonal businesses meet a necessary level of talent, contingent labor helps organizations optimize staffing logistics. Contract workers can be hired and onboarded quickly, allowing companies to nimbly scale their labor force to match fluctuating workflows. Rather than being tied to the overhead and long-term commitment of permanent employees, contingent laborers offer the flexibility to almost instantly and efficiently modulate a workforce to meet business needs as they arise.

Contractors also meet fractional needs – short shifts or work weeks or projects with brief, well-defined timelines. In any situation in which a resource is needed on a limited basis or for a finite period of time – especially when that resource is expensive, highly specialized expertise – contingent labor routinely offers the solution. Whether or not your business’ needs are seasonal, PeopleCaddie can connect you with the expert talent that best fits your role and time frame.

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Remote Work Opportunities Decreasing

The pandemic has left us with no shortage of heartache – from health complications to lost business and more. One of the few gifts of such a dark period, however, has been the normalization of remote work opportunities.

With the days of the COVID lockdown dragging into weeks, followed by months of restrictions aimed at protecting the public and bringing the virus under control, business leaders quickly realized that remote work was a better option than no work at all. Even for companies that were set up with proper ventilation and the space to social distance, liability was a concern. And many employees had already made the decision that they wouldn’t even consider a return to the office until the pandemic had clearly blown over. Just like that, the Golden Age of Remote Work was upon us.

Or is it? Lately, as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates, companies have begun to tighten their belts and hiring has slowed, the tides are shifting again. The migration of employees from business HQ to the home office has begun to reverse, and remote work’s golden age is starting to resemble a short blip on the radar rather than a lasting movement. This abrupt about-face even has a name already: The Great Mismatch.

What Is the Great Mismatch?

It was only a few short months ago that we were discussing the unprecedented perks of workers’ newfound leverage, including signing bonuses, huge pay increases and flexible work schedules. As a bright macroeconomic climate has turned cloudy, the pendulum has begun to swing back toward employers. Companies that aren’t laying off are often pulling back or freezing hiring, and many are expecting the employees that remain to toss aside their pajama bottoms, close their Zoom window and make their way back to the office.

This has created something of a schism: Workers who have settled into a remote work lifestyle, and possibly even made related arrangements to accommodate the care of young children or elderly family members, are now finding telecommuting job opportunities fewer and farther between. Most employers agree that the needs of project collaborations and certain creative workflows are best met with employees on site, and thus prefer a traditional, pre-pandemic in-office work model.

How PeopleCaddie Can Help

The expectation is that the present economic uncertainty will persist well into 2023, and perhaps beyond, with the overall unemployment rate expected to rise north of 5 percent – still a relatively small figure, but nothing like the current 50-year lows. If this proves to be the case, it’s likely that employers will continue to limit the number of remote opportunities – particularly for new employees.

Yet while the number of remote-based open job orders that are published online has dwindled, it’s still possible to find work-from-home opportunities – particularly contract work – in most industries. One way to connect with top employers, discover the best gigs and be notified of openings right away is by joining PeopleCaddie’s contractor network.

When you build a PeopleCaddie profile, you join a network of over 100,000 contractors and, if you choose, become searchable by our client partners who regularly use our database to find new talent. When you land a contract through PeopleCaddie, you’re quickly onboarded, begin receiving a regular paycheck and access to benefits and, at the conclusion of your contract, receive a review from your employer that can help you build a first-class reputation and draw the attention of other companies in our network that are eager to hire.

Learn how to build your PeopleCaddie profile here, and start connecting with hiring managers and some of the best remote contract roles available.

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Does Geography Matter for Independent Contractors?

Over the past few years, the pandemic, a series of huge market swings, and an exodus of employees from the labor pool have forced us to reconsider what we thought we knew about hiring and employment – and specifically contingent labor. Although independent contracting, or gig work, had once been considered an inferior career route, it has become a preferred choice for an increasingly vast number of Americans, as well as global citizens.

The contingent labor market has allowed more people to find lucrative and career-advancing work in their field of expertise, while offering companies the flexibility to access specialized, in-demand talent without having to overcommit to long-term employment relationships. Often, those terms also allowed the contractor to work from almost anywhere, which served to further expand the talent pool for employers and the job market for employees.

It’s worth asking, then, whether the contingent labor market has reached peak globalization – a point at which location is no longer relevant and organizations have no reason to value a contractor in Indonesia any differently than they do another with the same skill set based in Indiana. When it comes to independent contractors, does geography matter anymore?

Location Is No Longer an Afterthought

Even just a year ago, the hiring market was so dry that few organizations – whether in tech, finance, engineering or elsewhere – could afford to let useful talent slip through their fingers based on a triviality like location. With all the remote tools at the disposal of business and the maturity of the global cloud infrastructure, no HR professional worth their salt would turn away a qualified employee that would complete most of her daily work behind a computer on a technicality like geography.

But it seems the tides, yet again, are shifting and employers and contracts alike are asking themselves” does geography matter? At PeopleCaddie, we’re seeing that the majority of our contractor listings are remote-based – but the percentage of on-site gigs is increasing. And even if a job is listed as a remote position, employers typically favor local candidates. This may be, in part, because of a prospect’s knowledge of local bylaws (example: a CPA or auditor). More PeopleCaddie contractors are also being converted to permanent hires in short order, suggesting that companies are using contingent labor as a sort of litmus test for vetting a candidate, taking measure of their work and deciding whether they make for a strong long-term fit.

Contractors: Know the Landscape

The reality is that a majority of employers will always prefer to have all their workers under one roof (or strategically positioned under several). It’s simple: On-site work is more convenient and collaborative, and provides more control to employers. But no two positions, companies or industries are the same. And the most recent shakeup in the remote-versus-office dynamic – and one of the most dramatic in history – was driven not by business forces but a worldwide health emergency and virtually unprecedented employee pushback. This isn’t the end of the geographical debate; it will only change shape over time.

That said, a contractor’s ability to understand and adjust to these contexts, both on a macro and micro level, is a valuable asset. Be sure to research the companies that engage you. Ask questions about their contingent labor strategy (how long is the average gig term? What percentage of contractors are converted to perm employees?) in your interview. Ask yourself: Am I willing to move, or risk losing an offer, if the company expects me to work in the office? There are no “right” answers to the latter question. But asking it should help focus your job search and save you time in the long run.

Looking for more tips on navigating the contractor market? Check out the PeopleCaddie blog.

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