Research and study of the 80,000 consultants by gig work platform Flexing It, shared exclusively with ET, revealed that the ‘great resignation’ contributed to an increased demand for gig professionals and an increased supply of high-quality talent keen to explore new and flexible work arrangements. In the last few months, the spate of layoffs and uncertainty around jobs is prompting employees across sectors to opt for gig roles.
The numbers reveal that highly skilled talent is now increasingly looking at freelancing as a smarter long-term option or as an alternative career strategy in an uncertain job market.
Younger consultants are joining gig work in large numbers. Registrations of consultants with 0-5 years of experience have grown by 60%-70% over the past two years. The median experience level of registrations was 11 years in FY21 and that has reduced to eight years in FY23, the data shows.
At least two 20-something professionals ET spoke to said they took the freelance route after they were laid off from their respective jobs in the past six months. “With the advent of AI, things are looking even more uncertain for technology sector. It seemed to make more sense to work on freelance projects than look for another job,” said the former technology sector employee.
“The recent layoffs further led to the realisation amongst professionals that in their 30-year career, they may need to freelance at some stage, and hence building their portfolio and network is a useful career tool,” said Chandrika Pasricha, CEO and founder, Flexing It.
Top skills in demand in the professional gig economy in FY23 emerged as strategy, marketing, IT/technology followed by human resources and finance that collectively accounted for 70% of projects. The need for future-ready skills and agility to enable organisations to meet disruptions in the new normal are the top two factors driving demand-side growth. Specialised skills like ESG, performance marketing and D2C expertise have emerged as the key ask, as organisations tap into the freelance talent market to access skills not available internally, the study revealed.