What does the future hold for freelancers? As we enter 2022, here are four trends all freelancers should keep in mind. Whether you're just starting out or have been working independently for a while, here’s what you need to know to stake your claim in the thriving freelance economy.


1. The Freelance Economy Will Be Bigger Than Ever

Freelance work in Australia has grown at a 73% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the past five years, from $0.7B in 2015 to $6.3B in 2019. 


Business leaders will be allocating more talent spend on highly skilled freelance professionals this year as volatile market conditions push them towards flexible and rapidly accessible talent. 


Only 28% of business leaders strongly agree they can rapidly adjust their workforces in response to changes in the market, and only 23% strongly agree that they can easily access contingent workers. 


These problems provide an incredible opportunity for highly skilled freelancers to join talent networks like Expert360 who are positioned to rapidly connect companies and freelance talent. 



2. Companies Are Now Ready to Fully Commit to On-Demand Talent

COVID accelerated an already strong trend toward on-demand talent models. Companies are now realising that a significant percentage of the best talent are choosing to freelance, and want to access these talent pools. 


The below graph highlights this new change. In 2015, only 0.5% of enterprise buyers were considering online gig platforms. In 2020, that number has soared to 47%. [Starting Industry analysts, Workforce Solutions Buyers survey, 2020]


Remote work also looks to continue its historic run after the effects of COVID. 42% of CEO’s expect to hire talent that works predominantly remotely, seizing the opportunity to expand their reach into a wider pool of talent. [KPMG CEO Outlook, Aug 2021]



3. The Supply of Talent Does Not Meet Demand

Freelance professionals in Australia and New Zealand are in short supply across many of the most in-demand industries such as Software Engineering, Data Science, and Management Consulting.


There are over 3,000 jobs open with the Big 4 in ANZ on LinkedIn, and over 8,000 jobs open for the top 10 technology and digital roles. 

This talent shortage is also a global problem:

“By 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, or roughly equivalent to the population of Germany. Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.”
- Korn Ferry, 2021.


What does this mean for you? Higher rates and more choice. Combine this with The Great Resignation, and the result is a volatile talent market that you will be able to take advantage of through 2022. 





4. Positioning and Community Are Crucial to Success as a Freelancer in 2022

There are now over one billion freelancers globally. Standing out as a highly skilled & experienced freelancer is starting to become more difficult - which is why being part of a community and positioning yourself as an expert are so important to find and win work. 


While going it alone still works, joining a talent network like Expert360 elevates you into an elite community of freelancers that are trusted by companies around Australia, New Zealand, and around the world. 


Around 1 in 10 people are accepted into our network, so making it through our application process means that you are truly in an elite group of people. 


Once you’re in, you get access to the likes of our exclusive Expert Events with incredible guest speakers, networking opportunities, transparent access to all projects available in the network, and the confidence that comes with having all of the admin side of freelancing taken care of for you. 




Summary

The freelance economy is booming and on-demand talent will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. If you are considering entering into the workforce as a freelancer, now is an ideal time to do so. Companies are now ready to fully commit to on-demand talent, and the supply of talent does not meet demand - resulting in higher rates and the ability to choose the work you love doing.


Freelancers need more than just a position title and experience at this point in time - the need for freelancers to be an active member in a community of like-minded professionals has never been more critical than it is now.


Whether you're just getting started as a freelance professional or already established in your field, join Expert360 and be part of our elite community that gives you the tools, information, connections and confidence to do the best work of your life. Learn more and apply to join here.