Insights & Ideas

3 things your company can do to succeed in the changing workforce

reason to join salo

The “gig” or “talent” economy keeps growing. Here’s how you can take advantage of it.

Business pundits have been talking about the “rise of the gig economy” for years, but 2019 was the year that proved that contingent workers (e.g., freelancers, contractors, and consultants) are here to stay. And, it’s not just Uber drivers and techies anymore—we’re talking about contingent workers in every job function, at every level, in every industry.

The most recent statistics and projections around the gig economy show steady growth in contingent, more flexible work:

  • In 2019, 57 million Americans were contingent workers, making up 35% of the US workforce.
  • 45% of freelancers provide skilled services, such as programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting.
  • Some sources now project that by 2027, 86.5 million Americans will be freelancers—making up 50.9% of the total U.S. workforce
  • Last year the world’s gig economy exceeded $200 billion in gross volume, and it’s expected to grow to approximately $455 billion by 2023
  • Younger generations are more likely to freelance—31% of Gen X would choose freelancing compared to 53% of Gen Z

Three ways to prepare for an increasingly contingent workforce

Over the next decade, the rise of agile, gig work is projected to have a large-scale impact on the structure, employees, and success of organizations of all kinds. To survive and succeed, organizations will need to:

1. Plan to reduce the corporate footprint

In the future, organizations will have a smaller-than-ever pool of core full-time employees with contingent workers doing the rest of the work. Additionally, many of the full-time employees will be working remotely. As a result, organizations will need to reduce brick-and-mortar spaces and invest in technology to accommodate remote workers. (The upside is the reduction of costs to own and maintain real estate.)

2. Focus on talent access vs. talent acquisition

In a recent survey, 64% of respondents reported that “professionals who are the top in their industry are increasingly choosing to work independently.” Why? Because they make more money, get better projects, and have flexibility. In, fact, 51% of freelancers say no amount of money would entice them to take a traditional job.

As the contingent workforce grows, it will be increasingly difficult for companies to find traditional full-time employees. Competition will be high and many of the best minds will be freelancing. So, to even get access to the most skilled employees, organizations will need to:

  • Update HR roles and procedures to accommodate contingent and remote workers
    Consider new benefits models
  • Prioritize collaboration skills and collaborative processes
  • Create more nimble, adaptable workforce planning strategies and hiring processes

3. Increase the speed of business

Today’s biggest companies aren’t getting work done fast enough. 50% of the S&P 500 will be replaced during the next 10 years. Smaller and more nimble companies are now able to beat the bigger guys by focusing on speed. Unfortunately, the best people to do the work are not always inside the company. Contingent consultants can help bridge the gap and increase the speed of innovation.

We’re entering a period of massive change where the workers are in control—not the organization. Companies that are more flexible and embrace the contingent workforce will be better poised to succeed in the coming decade.

If you’re interested in becoming an HR, finance, or accounting consultant—or you’d like to hire one—connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d be happy to help you learn more about it.



Jon Cermak

Talent Connections Manager

Korn Ferry logo

Salo is now part of Korn Ferry

Salo connects senior finance, accounting, and HR professionals with organizations that need their expertise. Joining Korn Ferry’s Interim Executive & Professional practice enables us to continue our twofold, people-focused approach: connecting people with meaningful careers where they can make a positive impact and offering innovative and customized business solutions for clients looking to tackle big challenges. Together with Korn Ferry, we are committed to putting people first, to build a world that works better together.

Learn more at

Explore meaningful careers

Salo specializes in connecting finance, accounting, and HR experts with meaningful work. We know that being empowered to pursue work that matters means endless career possibilities. Therefore, we find roles tailored to your interests and goals, whether you want to advance your career, mentor and lead teams, innovate and collaborate with new partners, or work with clients of all sizes across industries. Find out how we can be your career partners.

Looking for a meaningful career? Learn more here.

Solve business needs

Combining Korn Ferry’s global reach with Salo’s customized client approach means we’re able to deliver world-class service to organizations of all sizes and in all industries. Because our people have functional backgrounds in finance, accounting, and HR, we have a holistic understanding of your business needs and challenges. Our pool of executive and professional talent is uniquely motivated to do the best work they can. No matter your business talent need, we are your trusted partner.

Looking for interim talent? Learn more here.