by Dr Jon Younger
Putting together a current and global picture of the freelance revolution isn’t easy. It needs to be assembled. So, when a copy of a recent Harvard study on the future of work landed in my in box from Dorel Iosif, a fellow activist of the freelance revolution, and CEO of Lavaux Global, an Australian consultancy, it seemed prudent to combine several recent reports and studies in a single piece that my readers could find helpful.
So, with thanks to Dorel for the inspiration, I will in future pull together some of the interesting data streams I receive from colleagues and share them as a freelance research cornucopia.
Here’s the first:
Funding is a rising tide that lifts more boats.
Crunchbase recently reported that startups and Unicorns closed out 2020 in a stronger position than the year started with global venture funding up 4% year over year to around $300 billion. While investors backed fewer companies, average deal size rose significantly, lifting the totals.
Freelancers will play a key role in solving the global tech talent gap. Talent Alpha, a Poland based freelance platform, recently completed a freelance study and op-ed focused on global tech talent supply and demand.
According to this analysis, by 2030, major economies will need very sizable additions in technical expertise, a problem that can be filled by redefining the challenge. Why are we limited by geographic boundaries? Think collaboratively and creatively by imagining a flexible, blended, digital talent solution – a freelance enabled talent cloud that operates globally and provides the talent needed remotely:
Canada will need an additional 200,000 tech professionals,
The US shortage will be approximately one million tech professionals,
The Latin America shortage is also one million tech professionals,
Europe will need to close a gap of 700,000,
China will require almost 3 million,
Australia will have to find 200,000 tech experts.
And, India will have a surplus of 1.3 million technical expert, giving it a unique opportunity through tech and remote work to expand its economy and influence, providing a global resource.
The pandemic has accelerated the need for tech freelance expertise. 85% of the companies surveyed in recent McKinsey study have accelerated digitization of key channels – supply chain, customer, employee – and 67% have accelerated automation and AI. In other words, the tech talent gaps forecasted above are likely to be experienced far sooner and more sharply without material acceleration of tech expertise and greater global access to global tech talent. 20% say they will increase their dependence on freelancers overall, and an additional 60% say their dependence is consistent with last year. Interestingly, 70% say they are more interested in on-site than remote freelancers.