Freelance boom social sector. Person working at laptop with phone in hand.

The freelance boom in the social sector

the rise of the outsource economy

Freelancing is nothing new. But we are currently seeing a freelance boom, particularly in the social sector.

Over recent years, the demand for freelancers and contractors has increased significantly and, as businesses around the world seek to adapt and adjust their strategy in order to recover from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of outsourcing is becoming even more vital, particularly for small and medium-sized organisations. There is an on-going freelance boom across all industries, including the social sector.

The statistics speak for themselves. There are currently over 2 million freelancers in the UK, with the majority (1.77 million) working on a freelance basis as their main occupation.   Freelancers currently contribute approximately £125 billion to the UK economy.

Why are more people becoming freelancers?

It’s easy to see why an increasing number of people are becoming freelancers or contractors.

Not only does working this way provide a better work life balance, increased flexibility, and the opportunity to work predominantly or exclusively remotely, but advances in technology have made the process of becoming self-employed significantly easier. From readily-available and affordable accounting and marketing software, through to social media for networking and freelancing marketplace platforms, operating as a freelancer has never been so easy and so accessible.

In times of economic uncertainty, with many jobs at risk and redundancies at an all-time high, even more people are turning to freelancing as a way to progress their career. Where there are no jobs, individuals are creating their own. And many report finding an increased sense of job satisfaction when they take the plunge and set up on their own terms.

But, for so many people to successfully work as freelancers and contractors, there has to be a demand for their services. So why are businesses so keen to hire freelancers and contractors?

What is behind the freelance boom in the social sector?

For a number of years now, organisations have recognised the many benefits of outsourcing roles and work on a project basis, rather than recruiting for full time, permanent, in house positions.

As well as removing the time, money, and resources required to recruit and train in-house teams, outsourcing enables businesses to access experts in a particular field for the duration of the project, and access a much wider talent pool due to the removal of geographical barriers. In turn, this ability to recruit the right people for the right roles ensures organisations are able to finish their projects accurately with optimum results.

It’s easy to see why the popularity of outsourcing has been steadily increasing over recent years.

And then along came Covid-19.

how has Covid-19 impacted the freelance boom?

The global pandemic and the resulting lockdowns around the world have totally transformed the way many of us work, forcing businesses to embrace digital and remote working. This has naturally sped up the digital revolution, leaving many small and medium-sized businesses requiring skills they had never previously considered essential. In these uncertain times, taking on new, full time team members isn’t an option for many organisations – outsourcing tasks or projects allows them to access the specialist skills they need without the long-term financial commitment.

With more people than ever before embracing the benefits of going freelance, and organisations increasingly looking to outsource roles within their business, the rise of the outsourced economy is set to continue for many years to come.

And, with freelancing and outsourcing on the rise, an increasing number of tools and technologies are emerging to help support both organisations and individuals with the outsourced recruitment process.

Projee is a platform designed to help improve the outsourcing landscape and make it easier for charities, social enterprises, and third sector organisations to find the talent they need, while helping skilled, specialist freelancers and contractors be matched with the perfect job. Allowing social enterprises and charities to recruit the resources they need on a project basis, Projee opens up a huge pool of talent and makes it easier to find the right people to deliver their project.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you embrace the rise of the outsourced economy.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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