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Return to Work Programs: What You Need to Know

As recently as five years ago, a significant gap in a job candidate’s resume would have been a dealbreaker for many hiring companies. But after the pandemic pushed hundreds of thousands of workers into caregiver roles and early retirements, numerous organizations have experienced difficulty staffing up in the corporate growth cycle that has followed. Particularly in specialized sectors of industry (technology, for example), an extended hiatus from the working world is no longer the red flag it once was. In fact, some companies are even actively courting these candidates with return-to-work programs.

Returnships and return-to-work programs are designed to provide support, training and mentorship to employees seeking to reboot their careers after an extended absence from the workforce. These programs typically provide participants with short-term, paid assignments or internships that allow them to refresh their skills, gain new knowledge and get up to speed on the latest trends and technologies in their field.

For the sponsoring organizations, return-to-work programs can be a supplementary pipeline to access skilled, experienced professionals who may only require a bit of seasoning before being ready to bring their abilities to bear. The number of return-to-work initiatives has more than doubled since 2016, with employers from Amazon and Pepsi to Deloitte and Morgan Stanley launching programs, and other companies endeavoring to grow and augment their own. If you’re a worker who has been out of rotation for even just a year, here’s how to approach your own return to work.

How to Approach Return-to-Work Programs

Tell a compelling story. Writing a snappy cover letter and preparing to dazzle recruiters in interviews are good rules of thumb for any job seekers, but they’re mission-critical for candidates who have been on the shelf for long periods. Reluctant retirees and overtaxed parents affected by COVID’s fallout are likely to encounter sympathetic ears during their job search, but they should still be prepared to rationalize their absence from the workforce. Others should be ready with a locked-and-loaded narrative. “I just needed the break” won’t get a candidate very far with a hiring manager. But “I used my downtime to explore my interest in entrepreneurship,” then following up with a few details, shows drive and an evolving skill set.

Investigate situation-specific programs. Plenty of returnship and return-to-work programs serve the general employee population, but it’s worth doing some digging to learn about any initiatives that align with your individual circumstances. Working mothers have traditionally faced a mountain of challenges over the years, but the alternative – taking extended time away from the workforce to raise children – can be just as daunting. Thankfully, those candidates can turn to programs like The Mom Project, which helps connect mothers with companies eager to work with them and provides upskill opportunities to improve moms’ chances to land preferred positions.

Consider all your options. If you’re a returner who has had no luck landing a job on the open market, return-to-work programs can help. But don’t limit yourself. Be sure to examine any independent contracting opportunities that can help you hop back on the career ladder – or find a foothold in a new area. Many businesses want a contractor with recent experience and the ability to hit the ground running, which means a returner coming off a long work absence may not be the ideal fit. But with unemployment still near record lows and specialized talent in especially high demand, you may be surprised to find some work suitors willing to think (and hire) outside the box.

For more labor market insights, check out the PeopleCaddie blog.

sgruenReturn to Work Programs: What You Need to Know

Part-Time Executives: Everything You Need to Know

One of the more significant effects of the pandemic on the business world was the mass rethinking of work-life balance that followed. For some, that meant carving out more free time, travel opportunities or work-from-home flexibility. For others, it meant answering a simple but hugely significant question: Should I continue working at all? Most of the attention around the topic has landed on rank-and-file workers, but they weren’t alone in pondering these thoughts. Many executives who had already spent years (and in some cases decades) serving in C-suite positions also sought change. On the surface, that might have seemed implausible: Companies typically have high expectations of the time and focus their leaders invest in their duties. But as employee empowerment has grown in recent years, business has begun adapting and developing new opportunities based on the shifting tides. In the same way that other workers have recently discovered more flexibility and fulfillment in contract work, many C-suiters are finding a new, gratifying professional path as part-time executives and through consulting engagements.

Why Part-Time Executives Are on the Rise

As front-line workers have used their leverage to push for – and earn – more consideration from employers in recent years, C-suiters have gotten in on the act, too. More executives are negotiating nontraditional arrangements with employers, especially as companies are discovering the advantages of bringing on “fractional” leadership.

“This is a solution to a problem that a lot of small- to medium-sized, rapidly growing companies have, which is they need certain sets of skills in order to grow effectively,” Jesper Sørensen, an organizational behavior professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, recently told the Wall Street Journal. “But oftentimes they don’t have enough scale to get the kind of experience and expertise that they really want.”

So will the C-suite of tomorrow resemble the contingent workforce of today? To a certain extent, yes. Fractional executives can bring extensive experience and valued thought leadership to businesses that otherwise might not be able to afford a full-time exec with similar expertise. And because fractional executives essentially operate as contractors, they reap benefits by working on their own terms, sometimes for more than one client at a time, while continuing to build their executive resume in positions such as chief financial officer or chief marketing officer.

The downside for an executive working on a part-time or contingent basis? Although wages can still be lucrative, companies are paying only for an exec’s time – likely something in the range of the going rate, but at a percentage of a typical full-time C-suite salary. Additionally, compensation for fractional leaders (like so many contractors) likely doesn’t include health benefits. Bonuses, pensions, stock options and other components of the traditional executive compensation package may also be harder to come by for leaders in a fractional arrangement.

The PeopleCaddie Advantage

Executives who might be interested in increased flexibility in both their lifestyle and professional opportunities might be reluctant to give up their benefits, and may also view part-time employment as a downgrade of sorts. But PeopleCaddie helps turn both of these potential disadvantages into plusses for aspiring fractional leaders.

A talent cloud that strives to find superb mutual fits between contractors and employers, PeopleCaddie uses a proprietary platform to put executives in front of top companies – many that are open, and even eager, to explore fractional relationships with C-suite leaders. PeopleCaddie also offers its contractors health insurance benefits, which would provide a semi-retired exec both schedule flexibility and peace of mind while allowing another C-suiter to earn like a full-time exec but engage multiple companies and expand their opportunities. Nothing “fractional” about that.

If you’re an executive looking to remain in the workforce under more flexible circumstances, PeopleCaddie can help. Contact us today to add yourself to our talent cloud.

sgruenPart-Time Executives: Everything You Need to Know

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.

sgruenContingent Labor Strategy for CISOs

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.

sgruenAbolishing Noncompetes May Stimulate Contractor Market

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.

sgruenContingent Labor and Hospitality: A Guide to 2023

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.

sgruenRemote Work Opportunities Decreasing

Gen Z Contractors: Evolving the Next Generation

The wild fluctuations of the U.S. job market in the past few years have left many companies grasping for straws in the hiring department. Striving to meet business needs while avoiding exposure to too much risk in the event demand suddenly goes silent has been a constant push and pull for organizations across industry. And although no single solution can address every uncertainty, there are strategies that help companies build a more nimble, resilient workforce, particularly be using Gen Z contractors. 

Contractors Provide Flexibility to Accounting Firms

It wouldn’t be hyperbole to describe the situation facing the accounting field right now as a labor crisis. According to Bloomberg Tax, the number of accounting graduates in 2018 dropped nearly 7 percent from a 2012 peak, while the number of employed accountants and auditors in 2021 plummeted 17 percent from its 2019 peak. A number of factors have contributed to the losses, including the current trend of U.S. public accounting firms hiring fewer CPAs and more technology-based graduates.

The point is that the sector is facing a labor shortage, forcing many accounting firms to rethink hiring best practices and the fundamental makeup of their workforce. But accounting wasn’t alone in losing a significant chunk of its numbers to the Great Resignation, many more organizations outside the field have been confronted with the same issue.

Contractors can help. By employing more contingent labor, companies can reduce operational expenses and still match seasonal cycles and necessary project work with appropriate staffing levels. Contractors are an agile expense – 100 percent variable cost – that allows a business to avoid over-committing to full-time staff, in case the economic winds change yet again. PeopleCaddie plugs you into a network of qualified, vetted professional contractors, making hiring quick and easy, and helping you capture more revenue. We even handle payroll and benefits (including assuming the cost of insurance), relieving you of the tasks and making work at your company more attractive to the best contract workers.

Where Gen Z Contractors Fit In

We’ve established that the best way to create greater leeway in your workforce is by leaning into contingent labor. But why is Gen Z significant here? Several reasons, actually. Members of Gen Z in the workforce tend to be:

  • Less expensive
  • More pliable
  • Savvier around tech (remember the trend in accounting hiring?)

Perhaps most importantly, Gen Z contractors can help a company keep costs down for necessary entry-level work while helping to build tomorrow’s experienced workforce – including its future supervisors, managers and C-suite leaders. Rather than separating contractors from the rest of the labor force, an organization would benefit from treating them no differently than W-2 employees.

Let’s return to the accounting space: Whether it’s a public accounting firm, an auditing group or a bank, an organization that employs contractors can benefit from affordable labor in the present while offering professional development opportunities to those workers in anticipation of the future. With a path to promotion or full-time employment (for those who prefer it), contractors will have the incentive to stay with a company and work toward higher skill levels – and the company will have a pipeline to emerging talent with proprietary training.

The future of work is flexible. PeopleCaddie helps companies leverage our vast contingent labor network to optimize their business growth, while also helping contractors map out sure footing and step lively on their upward professional path – no matter their preferred destination.

If you want to know more about designing your contingent labor strategy like top accounting firms, download our latest ebook.

sgruenGen Z Contractors: Evolving the Next Generation

Navigating Quiet Hiring

Inflation is up and the economy is dragging. An ongoing talent shortage has left many companies grasping for straws, with too few quality prospects in the candidate pool and little leeway to cover new payroll commitments. Let’s face it: Employers are up against it. But they’re hardly out of options. One trend experts expect to see flourish in 2023 is the practice of quiet hiring – when companies acquire new skills without hiring permanent full-time employees.

Although this can describe retraining and moving existing employees to new positions, quiet hiring also includes bringing aboard independent contractors to fill short-term, temporary roles. If you aren’t already taking advantage of contingent labor to meet these needs, consider a few reasons why you should.

Advantages of Quiet Hiring Contractors

Corporate skills acquisition doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. If a company isn’t in a position to hire more permanent employees to meet business demand – or simply finds other options more prudent – it doesn’t have to choose exclusively between reassigning current employees or hiring part-time or temporary contractors. Why not both?

In any case, an organization should have a well-considered and consistently reviewed strategy that evaluates labor as a whole, but also develop an action plan for each segment of a workforce to optimize all available assets. Permanent hires and employee reassignment should never be ruled out altogether, but here’s why independent contractors are often a company’s best bet:

  1. Payroll flexibility and overall cost savings. Contractors are intended to be hired on a temporary basis, for a finite (and often short) term of employment. This allows companies to access specialized labor for completing seasonal tasks or ad hoc projects without committing to long-term salary or the typical overhead (unemployment insurance, pensions, etc.) associated with permanent employees. Contingent labor represents an affordable, always-available talent stream that organizations can turn on and off as needed.
  2. Answering an immediate need. Retraining employees takes time that companies often can’t afford to waste. Independent contractors are often hired for tasks specific to their skill set, which makes for out-of-the-box readiness. Even permanent employees tend to be slower to onboard than contractors, who are conditioned over time to hit the ground running at any new gig.
  3. Expanding the talent pool. The labor shortage is only part of the difficulty for companies seeking to acquire new skills. The growing popularity of contracting means more talent may be gravitating away from permanent work. Any organization that doesn’t remain open to hiring independent contractors limits its access to specialized expertise. Leave no stone unturned in your talent search.

Best Practices for Hiring Contractors

When developing your independent contractor strategy, start by identifying any task-specific demands that are beyond the expertise of your current permanent staff. This could be, say, a digital transformation or tax audit for a company that specializes in neither services. Often, staffing for these fixed-term, specialized projects calls for contractor help.

Next, weigh the short- and mid-term needs of your organization or department, and consider what portion of that workflow can and should be fulfilled by your permanent labor force. Are there seasonal or cyclical – but somewhat regular – fluctuations in your company’s production demands? Or perhaps the ebb and flow of business is beyond predictability. An in-house network that can be tapped to access trusted seasonal or on-retainer contingent laborers can help. A hiring manager may even set up recurring annual or periodic terms to lock in the best contractors.

But for unanticipated business demands, many companies greatly benefit from working with a third-party talent cloud. PeopleCaddie can not only connect your organization with high-quality contractors who have the specialized expertise you seek, but also handle the administrative duties tied to those workers and help you build and maintain a viable independent contractor strategy that flexes with your business.

Get started and reach out to a PeopleCaddie representative to discuss your contingent labor needs today.

sgruenNavigating Quiet Hiring

How to Be Successful as a Contractor in 2023

Far too often, independent contractors take an opportunistic approach to their job choices. Of course contingent workers should be ready to strike when the iron’s hot – including now, while the job economy still favors workers and while companies are increasingly leaning into contract labor. But the tendency to take a short-term, myopic career view can hinder contractor success, now and in the future.

Rather than limiting themselves only to whichever attractive job opportunities happen to arise at any moment along their personal timeline, contractors should be thinking about their career progression and actively plotting out a road map – even if it’s just a rough sketch – to their preferred destination. That may (and likely will) change over time. But without an initial sense of direction to help guide their decisions, contractors allow fate and circumstance to dictate where – and often how far – their career takes them.

Instead of this rutterless approach, as the calendar flips to 2023 and many industries turn to assessing their resources and projected outlays for the coming year, now is the time for independent contractors to take stock of their current path and career goals. The best place to start: with a partner who will have your best interests in mind and the tools to help you fulfill them.

How to Be Successful as a Contractor

Selecting an Agency Partner

Most contractors know that staffing agencies can help them find work. But how do you go about evaluating which agency is the best partner for you and your independent contracting career? A good staffing agency has the ability to connect you with plenty of new opportunities with preferred companies. A great agency partner will help you outline a career path and curate high-quality gigs and employers that help you stay on your track and maintain pace toward your goals.

PeopleCaddie provides independent contractors with a broad selection of excellent opportunities while also working with them to construct a career plan that helps them decide which of those opportunities are most professionally beneficial at any given time. Historically, contractors haven’t had the same career training and advancement opportunities as permanent employees. But for those with the same ambitions and interest in optimizing their career progression, PeopleCaddie can help position you to take the appropriate steps throughout your contractor journey.

Contractor Success Requires A Strategic Process

Contingent labor workers are often stereotyped as mercenaries, guns for hire who are willing to take on whatever work comes their way at the right price. But today’s contractor has a more sophisticated sense of their career, recognizing that a more strategic approach will yield not only the highest quality opportunities but those that allow them to build their skills and take periodic upward steps toward more lucrative and personally-fulfilling work.

By partnering with PeopleCaddie, contractors gain access to hiring and career professionals with the experience, expertise, and network resources to help them plot their next moves and land the gigs that propel them forward on their preferred career arc. Independent contractors can save their time and energy, avoiding the traditional laborious job search process and leaving PeopleCaddie to target opportunities that fit with their long-term goals.

Download the PeopleCaddie app now to begin outlining your career path and position yourself to make 2023 your most productive year yet.

sgruenHow to Be Successful as a Contractor in 2023

Gig Economy Forecast: A Look Towards 2023 and Beyond

To properly forecast the gig economy, we need to first look at the current state of the U.S. economy. In a word, it’s volatile.

Inflation levels are at some of the highest rates we’ve seen in four decades. After raising interest rates by three-quarters of a point for the third time this year in September, the Federal Reserve boosted the overall borrowing target range to its highest level since 2008. Some experts predict at least one more rate hike before year’s end, and others warn that the economy will “crumble” if the Fed doesn’t stop raising rates. One analysis forecasts that the cost of certain goods and services won’t drop even under rising rates.

For all the market’s volatility, we know this: Business borrowing costs are tied to the Fed rate, which means companies should be expected to remain cautious about overextending themselves and likely will target cutting costs over growth in the near future. Rounds of layoffs have come on the heels of the post-pandemic hiring spree, and more are likely to be on the way.

It’s impossible to know how any given business will react to these developments, but given what we know about how companies have handled lean or unpredictable economic times in the recent past, we can reasonably forecast the gig economy ahead of the coming year.

Why Contract Labor Now?

The pace of hiring is slowing. Rising inflation and borrowing costs have squeezed many organizations in the short term – but business doesn’t simply stop when the economy turns crummy. Companies with sufficient runway understand that this moment may be an opportunity to pull ahead of struggling competitors. Others just hoping to hang on may find that they cut payroll too deeply. But taking on new staff would be a costly, and potentially risky, commitment.

Instead, expect many of them to turn to contract workers. With contingent labor already making up 30 percent of large organizations’ workforce, it’s likely that we’ll see that figure continue to grow as businesses seek more of the flexibility independent contractors offer.

Strength in Contract Workers

Not only are more workers than ever recognizing the benefits of contract work, but recent layoffs are also prompting many more to consider it for the first time. During a period when organizations are seeking ways to carry out business as usual without being forced to commit to W-2 employees, the contingent labor talent pool may be rising to an all-time high. That should make every company – even those attempting to streamline – stand up and take notice.

At Google, for instance, CEO Sundar Pichai has said he wants to make the company 20 percent more efficient – including potentially shedding labor after the tech giant overexpanded its headcount and became “slower.” Although Pichai spoke of downsizing labor, companies like Google still need to balance agility with sheer power – a workforce capable of handling big initiatives.

As SAP notes, “Organizations that face a shortage of local talent may end up outsourcing jobs internationally or contracting parts of their processes to a third party. If they lack in-house skills, they might also hire contract workers or turn to managed services to supplement their workforce. Organizations are also turning to contingent labor to right-size the number of employees on the payroll and give them the ability to flex. Using contingent workers or SOW-based contracts offers businesses the flexibility to act nimbly when business requirements change.”

And those requirements will change. Inflation is up and the economy is down, but they won’t remain that way indefinitely. Organizations that have properly prepared a strategic workforce plan – one that includes a significant helping of contingent labor – will be best positioned to take advantage when business opportunities eventually (and inevitably) arise.

For more insight into the evolving gig economy, check out PeopleCaddie’s blog.

sgruenGig Economy Forecast: A Look Towards 2023 and Beyond