The Community Summit marked a monumental milestone for the Expert360 community and for those who were in attendance, it was a showcase of our vision and future direction. The evening incorporated a prestigious panel of speakers and commentators on the Future of Work as well as a walkthrough of Expert360’s brand new features and capability by Bridget Loudon, CEO & Co-Founder of Expert360.
The below is a rough rendition of the opening of Anil Sabharwal’s keynote speech last Thursday at our inaugural Community Summit. He told the story to demonstrate that leadership often isn’t aligned with the business mission.
“When I was at university one of my lecturers asked everyone to close their eyes and point North. As you can imagine there were 5,000 students pointing in all different directions”.
“He then asked us to close our eyes again and said ‘Now, if you’re confident you know where north is point again, if you’re not keep your hands by your sides’. When we opened our eyes there were about 500 students who had raised their hands, once again pointing in all different directions.”
“He continued; ‘this is what leadership often looks like”.
“The workforce of the future will have a different set of characteristics and expectations” - Mark Dougan, Director of Frost & Sullivan.
More to Mark’s point, with the decentralisation of the workforce, it’s harder than ever for organisations to manage corporate culture. Take into account that the number of freelancers actively looking for work will increase strongly. Over the next decade, as much as 50 per cent of the workforce could be contingent and things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.
Compounding this issue is the generational changing of the guard; boomers are retiring and millennials and Gen Z will dominate the workforce. This is a workforce that is used to working how they want, when they want, and for who they want - all of which could change any given week. Rather than focusing on their careers as separate entities, they take a holistic approach work. For example, we often hear our Expert community say that freelancing is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle.
What does this mean?
We need to be prepared to dip into contingent talent at ease and at scale. We need technology solutions to streamline the sourcing, managing and payment of freelance talent. The workforce of future has grown up with Google, not encyclopedias, Ubers, not cabs and Tripadvisor not travel agents - and they’ve come to expect the same experience when it comes to all facets of their lives.
We’ve seen this firsthand at Expert360 and it’s why I’m incredibly excited to announce a major evolution of our business; Expert360 Enterprise Platform. This is a complete game-changer for organisations. Not only does the Freelance Management System enable business to give the best talent in the country an unparalleled candidate experience, but it also helps manage project spend, performance management, legal, and pay all in the one software.
Knowing who is on the books, when, who they’re working with, and what they bring to the table is crucial in managing organisational culture as well as overall business performance. Businesses who don’t have the right solutions in place will quickly find themselves losing their best non-permanent talent to competitors.
We also need to do better to protect the freelancer lifestyle. It does come with a range of perks - from choosing the most interesting projects, having more time off, and working with different people. There are also some challenges, for example, it’s not uncommon for a freelancer to forget to put money aside for superannuation, to have to fork out extra money for insurance or be denied a loan due to ‘lumpy’ income.
As a result, we’ve partnered with some of the country’s most progressive financial institutions to improve the financial well being of our Experts - Meet the Expert360 Community. We are proud to have brought together some of the biggest innovators, business leaders and industry experts driving the freelance economy. It’s an incredibly exciting time for our business and I’d like to thank all our Experts, clients, and advisors on what we’ve achieved together.
The future of work is now.