The independent professionals available to enterprises today are highly skilled experts who can fill project roles on-demand. By understanding the behaviors and values of independents, organizations become more attractive to top talent and are better able to retain the workers they want for future opportunities. Below, we review five factors that matter most to independent professionals and how your business can structure policies, procedures, and engagement practices to align with those needs.
1. Control Over Schedule
Choice is a big factor in choosing to work independently and, as such, 68% of independent professionals say they value the ability to control their schedule. Legally, independent contractors are able to choose how, where, and when they work. Organizations that respect these choices and give independents the freedom and flexibility to control their schedules tend to be more attractive places to work than those that don’t.
2. Better Work/Life Balance
Similar to the benefits of work control and choice, many people pursue self-employment with the hope that it will give them better work/life balance. What does this mean for the enterprises that engage independent workers? Respecting set work hours and personal boundaries, prioritizing communication, and listening to and acting on feedback are small factors that will go far in creating a positive environment for independents—especially those who work remotely .
3. Creating a Career Out of a Passion or Interest
Independent professionals often build their businesses out of a particular passion or interest. They have invested a lot of time and effort into building their business and although they enjoy the freedom a self-employed career provides, the last thing they want is to be treated like part-time help. By treating independents like an integral part of the team and letting them know how their strategic contributions are valued, enterprise managers can boost satisfaction.
4. Opportunities to Learn and Build Skills
Yes, independent professionals bring their expertise to your company, but it is also important that they update their skills along the way. Eighty-nine percent of independents say learning new skills is either very important or important to their careers. While many independents pursue professional development on their own, they also look for opportunities to learn and grow when working with clients. Encouraging independents to take on work that will help them grow professionally and push the boundaries of their project assignments is a great way to build relationships and help them pursue their professional goals.
5. Quick and Fair Compensation
While compensation is not at the top of the list when it comes to reasons why independents choose their clients, the mechanics of compensation can be a factor when deciding whether or not to return to an organization. Today, transferring funds and receiving casual payments is easier than ever and independents are increasingly expecting this ease to extend to work payments as well. Quick payment terms are valued as well as bill rates in line with market standards.
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