Business Talent Group (BTG)—the leading marketplace for top independent consultants, interim executives, subject matter experts, and project managers—today released its fourth annual High-End Independent Talent Report, an analysis based on BTG’s proprietary data of how Fortune 1000 companies rely on independent workers to fill critical skill, expertise, and leadership gaps amid increasing economic optimism.
“Business leaders are battle-tested and more empowered than ever before to engage the flexible resourcing they need for their most important work,” said BTG Co-CEO and Co-Founder Jody Greenstone Miller. “All manner of companies now recognize the critical role that independent talent will play in the months and years to come. In this environment, platforms such as Business Talent Group will be a key piece of human capital infrastructure to help organizations instill much-needed workforce agility and rapidly respond to the business challenges and opportunities they face today.”
The COVID-19 pandemic ignited a paradigm shift in attitudes toward remote work, while simultaneously opening a world of possibilities for resourcing critical projects. No longer limited to talent in their immediate vicinity, or those willing to travel, business leaders can tap a richer, more diverse pool of independent, on-demand talent and find the absolute best person for the job, no matter where in the world they are located.
KEY FINDINGS OF THE REPORT INCLUDE:
1. C-suite takes note: The use of independent talent has increased at the more senior levels of an enterprise with nearly 69% of all requests from VPs and above, including 30% of independent talent needs from C-level executives—an increase of 67% YOY. Senior executives not only see the value of high-end on-demand talent for their organization’s needs but also for their own key initiatives.
2. Interim leadership at all levels: Comprising 8% of all project requests, interim leadership enables companies to fill gaps while optimizing the skills, working style, and priorities for roles both in the near-term and for eventual permanent hires. The use of interim leaders has taken an increasingly prominent role up and down the org chart, as shown by a 70% increase YOY in interim engagements below the C-suite.
3. Re-focus on growth: With 57% of projects falling into the broad bucket of strategy, the BTG data shows that early optimism for 2021 actually began in July 2020 as leaders focused in particular on growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate and business unit strategy.
4. Organizational optimization: Experts in workforce planning are helping to optimize organizations for the next new normal and enable the safe return to offices, while talent with technology and systems implementation skills are accelerating digital transformation efforts and supporting the widespread shift to remote work. Altogether, 35% of projects are focused on organization, operations, and transformation needs.
5. Remote Work Revolution: Before COVID-19, only 17% of executives were interested in remote-only work arrangements for independent talent. By May 2020, nearly all project requests had gone remote. As a cumulative effect of the Remote Work Revolution, remote-only project requests increased 335% YOY across all industries and business functions.