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Family 411: Freelancers
DAYTON -- One third of Americans -- or 17 million people -- currently are freelancers, contractors and consultants, according to Forbes. These are workers who sell their services to employers without a long-term commitment, and their numbers will keep growing as Baby Boomers retire in waves in the next few years. Employment and retirement experts say it will change the face of America's work force.
Career expert Julie Bauke says, By 2020 we expect that half or more of the workforce will be freelancers. She says there are two big reasons the demand for freelancers is on a big upward trend.
Number one: The Affordable Care Act. Bauke predicts, I think when you look at what employers are saying about their hiring in 2014, they are looking over their shoulder at what Obamacare will do to them. Employers can save money by hiring freelancers or consultants because they don't have to pay benefits.
The number two reason freelance jobs will jump? Baby Boomers.
ADP Retirement Research Institute says 18 percent of the work force could retire within in five years. That will open jobs for a younger generation, having trouble finding work, but it'll also sap the workforce of wisdom. So Boomers will be in demand for businesses who need experts in their fields or people who can perform specialized tasks.
After 34 years in the public sector, Baby Boomer Rhonda Reagh became a freelancer in executive coaching and organizational development. As soon as she retired she started getting phone calls, and she says, What I see happening is this nexus of talent and energy that feels unprecedented in some ways.
Reagh is training up and coming leaders, and says this merging of the generations presents a unique opportunity for employers.
It gives you a chance to re-think organizationally what you want things to look like and how to use the personnel you already have, says Reagh. She and Bauke predict a challenging new era for businesses, but Reagh says companies can experience the same enrichment her transition's brought her and the people she mentors.
Business experts add that companies need to consider new strategies for recruiting and training to replace those retiring boomers, but they also have to find ways to secure the loyalty of younger generations who are on their way up the ladder.
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