Souring Economy Gives a lift Tech freelancer

News Summary:

  • an online marketplace for freelancers, rose 54.7% year-over-year in the third quarter. This is the largest increase among the more than 2,000 skills tracked on the platform, Freelancer.com announced this week.

  • Facing financial headwinds, companies are filling their gaps in detail technology teams with freelance software developers, programmers and other higher-skilled technicians while scaling back efforts to hire full-time employees, recruiters and business analysts say.

Demand for freelance programmers rose 45.5%, followed by backfinish developers, which increased 37.7%, the company said.

But beyond efforts to cut prices, employers are responding to a growing talent pool of IT freelancers with niche skills in areas such as artificial intelligence that can be used for specific, short-term enterprise technology roles.

Last month, however, job postings by U.S. employers for full-time IT professionals fell 12% from August to about 300,000, according to IT trade association CompTIA.

“They are looking for very specialized skills that they wouldn’t hire specifically for a particular project,” said Balaji Bondili, managing director at accounting firm Deloitte. Deloitte is a sponsor of CIO Journal.

Bondili mentioned that Deloitte is much more reliant on IT freelancers than it was before or during the pandemic. Like most companies, Bondili said, the firm uses freelancers who have a variety of skills, such as AI and analytics.

Many of these employees increasingly prefer to tackle challenging digital initiatives and then move on, rather than be tied to a single employer, Bondili said. To remain competitive, Bondili said, “companies need access to these specialized freelancers.”

“The pandemic and, more recently, the turmoil in the economy have fueled demand for greater work flexibility among both employers and employees,” Herbert said. More and more IT professionals are now opting for freelance work “as a preferred work model rather than a last resort,” Herbert said. Sebastián Siseles, vice president at Freelancer.com, mentioned that freelancing also allows IT job seekers – especially younger workers – to reduce the risk of becoming dependent on a single employer. By adapting to remote work during the pandemic, employers “opened the window” to hire many more freelancers, Siseles said.