Are tech freelancers supposed to replace employees?
With the global pandemic, recruitment standards have evolved within companies. The use of telework for many employees has forced companies to manage hybrid teams with members working remotely. In addition, the number of business creations – and especially sole proprietorships – has broken all records for two years now.
IT consultants: more and more freelancers compared to employees
In 2021, INSEE noted a 21% increase in business creation, including a 21.8% increase in micro-enterprises. The number of available freelancers is increasing in the job market, especially in the IT sector (for information technology in English).
Tech freelancers are undeniably increasingly in demand by companies. But can we talk of gradually replacing the tech employee with the tech freelancer?
Remote work is gradually being accepted by companies
This gradual acceptance of remote work has accelerated with the forced use of telework due to Covid-19. For many business leaders, the choice is no longer allowed to them in using the most stringent health measures. Ultimately, this experience had the merit of eliminating some prejudices about working from home.
For business leaders, they see that employees are – for most of them – as productive at home as inside the company. For the employees, they got a more realistic idea of telework with its advantages, but also its obstacles.
This telework revolution, which has been used extensively in recent months, has completely changed the value of remote work within companies. By analogy, the development of teleworking among employees has also allowed for better recognition of the services provided remotely by freelancers.
Finally, telework as well as the purchase of services from freelancers is gradually becoming part of companies, particularly for positions in the digital sector.
Employee or freelancer: which status do young talents favor?
If previously the Grail was signing a CDI at the end of one’s studies, today young talents take their time to draw their professional life project. Therefore, CDI no longer appears as an obvious choice.
Among freelancers, most are active graduates who want to carry out professional activity without being constrained by an employment contract. The long-awaited CDI has therefore led the wing in recent years and no longer necessarily represents the legal status envied by the most qualified.
This trend is particularly visible among tech freelancers who quickly gained interest in favor of an activity as an independent worker.
In fact, the demand for services in the technology sector has only increased in recent years. The main attraction of CDI as a stable job for a long time is therefore losing interest in these new digital professions that do not experience a crisis.
Today’s new working graduates cling to the freedom to work when they want, where they want and with which company. For many, this freedom is priceless. In fact, many tech freelancers openly admit that they prefer to be self-employed despite many requests from employers to offer them a permanent contract.
The lack of qualified employees forces companies to recruit freelancers
A study conducted in 2021 by a freelance platform caused an uproar about companies’ difficulties in recruiting qualified employees. More than 500 HRDs, CEOs, and executives were asked between the beginning of July and mid-September 2021. 57% of these respondents answered that they had recruited a freelancer after struggling to recruit employees for in the same job.
Since the end of the containment measures, many employers who wish to resume full-time activity have made the same observation: many positions are no longer finding takers.
For many working people, imprisonment has caused real questioning, both in private and professional life. Lack of recognition, lack of flexibility, bad working conditions: some workers decide to reorient themselves professionally. For some, it is a question of changing sectors of activity. For others, the desire to create their own business and be their own boss arises.
Many sectors of activity are affected by this lack of wage labor, particularly the digital sector.
Ultimately, it is mainly large companies that are now hiring qualified employees in the IT sector. Indeed, these large groups are able to offer attractive salaries with negotiable working conditions to attract and retain certain profiles of graduates within their workforce (web developers, mobile developers, cybercrime experts, etc.) .
Medium and small enterprises (SMEs and VSEs) find it more difficult to recruit tech employees. The main reasons for this are:
- working conditions and pay that are generally less attractive than those offered by large groups;
- often indefinite employment contracts (CDD, temporary assignment, etc.) that attract some candidates from SMEs and VSEs with a temporary need to hire a qualified IT professional.
In the end, most companies that recruited a freelancer due to a lack of candidates for a salaried position quickly repeated the experience without it being a default choice. Companies are putting more and more trust in tech freelancers and prefer purchasing services over signing a fixed-term contract or a temporary contract.
Leaving your CDI to become a freelancer: a reality for the French?
The fear of ending a permanent contract to start a full-time freelance activity was still anchored in our society a few years ago. Today, the trend is radically reversed. More and more employees are expressing a desire to leave their salaried job to start as a self-employed worker. Far from having big projects and dreaming of one day becoming the CEO of a multinational, these workers mainly dream of a better quality of life by establishing their own working conditions.
A survey conducted by the recruitment firm Cooptalis speaks to this point. This survey was conducted in 2020 among 526 HRDs and CEOs of French companies of all sizes. Some 58% of companies surveyed said they have received requests from their employees to work as freelancers.
According to this same study, 44% of companies increase their workforce of freelancers in 2021. For small companies with activity in the IT sector, freelancers can represent up to 30% of their workforce. Therefore, companies are gradually adapting to this change in status, favoring the services of freelancers for temporary assignments that require specific expertise.
Freelance platforms make it easier for freelancers to work within companies
To meet a real need to fix the connection between business and freelance, many freelance platforms have appeared in recent years. The latter proposes to highlight some profiles of self-employed workers on their site. Freelancers can have visibility on one or more platforms. Companies can consult several freelance profiles, communicate with them, receive quotes, securely pay their service providers, etc.
Note that not all freelance platforms offer the same services. Some are content to facilitate communication between service providers and companies. Others offer more extensive support, signing a service contract, a secure quote and invoicing service, etc.
In order to quickly find a competent and available service provider, companies can rely on certain platforms that specialize in a certain sector of activity. Unsurprisingly, digital professions are among the most represented professional activities among freelancers (web developers, graphic designers, data analysts, etc.).
Companies looking for a freelance tech service provider can turn to the FreelanceRepublik platform. The tech freelancers presented by this platform are carefully selected, both in terms of their skills and their experience in their field of expertise. FreelanceRepublik is also responsible for securing the service with a legal contract, an estimate service and an invoicing service that meets the applicable legal standards.
By securing purchases of services by freelance platforms, independent consultants become permanently integrated into the companies’ workforce. Far from taking the place of employees, freelancers represent for many companies the ideal solution for temporary positions that require advanced expertise.