In the past couple of months, the demand for hiring freelancers has burgeoned like never before. The uncertainty in the present world makes businesses value the flexibility to fulfill a variety of needs. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work culture is ascending towards independence and versatility. The pace at which the job culture is evolving, many professionals are choosing to explore different work genres. According to a recent report, India witnessed an increase of 46 percent in new freelancers from Q1 to Q2 2020. The report also ranked India — the second-fastest-growing freelance market in the world with an estimated 15 million freelancers.
The emergence of startup culture
India is home to 21 unicorns and the number of startups joining the club is growing at a fast pace. Interestingly, the country is recognised as the second-largest startup ecosystem globally. There are many factors attributing to the growth of the ecosystem including cost-effectiveness in the availability of resources and outsourcing.
Since startups run on a tight budget, the founders look for ways to cut down the expenses and find value for money services. Similarly, when it comes to the creative designing and development stage, startups usually look for better opportunities than hiring an agency or setting up an in-house team. In this scenario, founders have found the most cost-friendly yet smart solution of searching freelancers online. The availability of new-age digital freelance marketplaces not only succeeds in offering an affordable solution to startup founders but also provides them access to extensive exposure of freelance professionals who have already worked with multiple clienteles.
Furthermore, the ongoing pandemic inspired people with creative business ideas to come forward and fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. To accelerate their business operations, many home-grown and local businesses are seen leveraging the accessibility of freelance marketplaces. Apart from cost-effectiveness, these businesses get access to top-tier talent that plays an equivalent role in realizing the growth potential of the business.
Modern-day work culture
The pandemic-induced lockdown and stay-at-home orders have enforced organizations to adopt remote working models. Additionally, with market slowdown, organizations also look for ways to cut down their expenses. Thus, gig platforms have widely been used by such organizations that are comfortable with the ease of getting the work done virtually. In addition, the culture of remote working has accelerated the trend of transitioning from the traditional way of working to outsourcing services.
The widespread adoption of modern-day work culture is one of the biggest factors driving the growth of freelance marketplace models. The feasibility of finding the right talent to perform the task helps organizations to ditch the traditional ways of finding an employee or a professional for the job. Since many organizations are getting comfortable with freelance work management, the emergence of gig platforms is going to drive the careers of many in the freelance space.
Integration of technology in freelance models
The adoption of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, and many more have reduced the distance between the seeker and doer. This also applies to the freelance market. There are many freelance marketplaces available in today’s digital age.
However, only a few are experimenting with new-age technologies to build a scalable gig platform. This shifts the mindset of the clients from the DIY (Do it yourself) approach to DIFM (Do it for me) by finding an expert within a few minutes of the search to perform the task.
Further, the players capitalizing on the advancement and integration of technology, connect the clients and freelancers in real-time. Additionally, tech-enabled platforms also showcase the estimated cost and time required to perform a task that helps the client make an informed decision before offering the job.
On the other hand, technological integration in freelance marketplace models has changed the way people look at work. From being present at a traditional office setup to working remotely, freelancers get the flexibility to improve their work-life balance. They get to save more time and resources on their commuting, at the same time enjoy a sense of ownership. As a result, the number of freelancers is expected to increase in the country.
The revolution of the freelance landscape has already taken place with gig platforms entering the market. The pandemic, new work culture, and transition of organizations from traditional work practices are the biggest accelerants of the freelance marketplace models. With this, freelance marketplaces are predicted to redefine the future of work in the business world.
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