Agents of Change: Independent Workers are Reshaping the Workforce

Agents of Change: Independent Workers are Reshaping the Workforce


 Today’s workers are poised for change, less loyal to the idea of working for one employer for life, and more intent on being free agents in their own careers. In today’s “gig economy,” workers are choosing freelance projects and temporary assignments that interest them— always dreaming of the next opportunity. 

The notion of a “job for life” now seems quaint. In many professional occupations, the traditional nine-to-five workday is superseded by looser arrangements. And free agency is increasingly embraced as a way of life across the age spectrum: among older workers looking to defer or redefine retirement, and younger workers looking to chart their own course.

For employers, this new era brings change and opportunity. Traditional talent acquisition models are being challenged, fuelled by competitive pressures and technological advances. Companies only looking to recruit direct, full-time staff are missing out on some of the best talent in the market. By contrast, those with agile talent supply chain management strategies, allowing them to recruit across all labour types and scale their operations on demand, are gaining a competitive advantage.

In this white paper, we explore the results of the Kelly Services® 2015 Free Agent survey, based on responses from more than 5,200 workers across the Asia-Pacific, U.S. and Europe region. New insights are offered into free agency’s strengthening foothold in the workforce. We explain why free agents represent a new paradigm that is here to stay—and how savvy employers can embrace them.



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Agents of Change