Creative professionals are a different breed altogether. They are highly imaginative problem solvers who know how to follow their instincts to create something which otherwise only a few can. That’s why creative roles are so sought after by companies across the globe. These are people who also like their creative freedom and flexibility when it comes to working.
In this post-pandemic era, distributed workspaces and hybrid work cultures have turned into reality. Remote working, work from anywhere, workcations, digital nomads and other such terms which were mere concepts and difficult to fathom are now sought-after lifestyles.
This has prompted professionals to shrug off their old cloak of a 9-5 job and look at building a career that allows them to work on meaningful projects while having the flexibility to work whenever and wherever they like.
Businesses, on the other hand, are now more open to having people on board who can collaborate with other team members and get the work done in the shortest time.
The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, around 97 million jobs will be created as technological adoption by companies will transform tasks, jobs and skills. The WEF in its report also mentions that 41% of businesses plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work and roles that need human skills will be on the rise.
Going by the latest trends and the booming digital and creative industry, it is evident that there is going to be a huge demand for talent in these fields, even if they are accessed from a remote location. According to LinkedIn’s work trend analysis, the most in-demand jobs will be done remotely. Similarly, the International Labor Organization maintains that one-sixth of the global working population can work remotely, which sums up to more than 600 million potential remote workers.
For knowledge workers, it is an opportune time to make the most of the opportunity and create a well-balanced life, both on the personal and professional front. Therefore, in this new work-life normal, it is critical for creative professionals to stack the odds in their favor by understanding the latest employment trends.
Here are some trends that redefine the evolving relationship between creative professionals and their workplaces.
- Cross border hiring is intensifying
Consider these facts; In 2020 alone, 82% of remote workers came from emerging countries and by 2025, 70% of the workforce will be remotely working.
Businesses are now more open to hiring talent from across the globe. It is not important for them to have the person come to the office or client meetings, thanks to virtual collaborations. The same goes for online brainstorming and team huddles.
No matter which part of the world you are based in or what your educational background is, if you have the right set of creative talents, you will be relevant to their business. This trend is broad-based and not just for IT-specific roles but also for non-IT creative roles such as content, design, digital marketing, finance and accounting, project management, etc.
Now with cultural and technological impediments fading away, an increased number of organizations going forward have begun considering remote freelance workforce arrangements. These hold true especially for creative jobs that can be as effective when done from anywhere as it were from the office.
- Top brands are focusing on skills than roles
Another interesting hiring trend is that roles and hierarchies in companies have given way to skills and flat organizational structures. More and more organizations are concentrating on embracing skilled talent and it’s not just the hard skills or soft skills but a holistic one. The lines between business and technology functions have started to blur.
In the past one year, LinkedIn saw a 21% spike in jobs looking for skills than qualifications in the U.S. alone. The number of job postings that did not require a formal degree went up by 40%. Companies while focusing on skillsets are also seeking to hire candidates based on what their future potential could be like, instead of their job history.
The good news for creative professionals in such a scenario is that they will have greater opportunities now to work with top brands. What has become important for these brands is the kind of skillsets that are critical to their core business and the competencies to resolve the toughest of business challenges.
This is something that creative minds like creative strategists, graphic designers, content strategists, SEO and social media strategists, and people in similar roles love to do. They just need to focus on their skills while honing new ones and enjoy the creative freedom to solve critical business challenges.
- The ‘on-demand’ creative workforce is in demand
What we saw as ‘The Great Resignation’ was an evident truth where people were motivated to move out of their organizational shackles towards an independent working lifestyle, increased pay and multiple sources of income. There is no doubt that it is happening, given the flexibility and freedom which is revered by creative minds.
Facilitated by this flexibility and driven by technology, an independent creative workforce is the future of hiring. As businesses try to get back on track after the pandemic, they need an online presence strong enough to sustain their business in the longer run. Which is why they need content that is both appealing and engaging at the same time, while increasingly becoming fascinated by the idea of the on-demand workforce.
Many years back McKinsey predicted that at least 70% of independent workers were so by choice. Companies are moving from talent acquisition to talent access. Be it creative design or digital marketing or even software development, one thing is for sure – on-demand talent is key to helping organizations to get great work done in a fast-changing environment.
According to a study by Harvard in 2020 in the U.S., 60 % of senior business leaders expected to ‘rent’, ‘borrow’ or ‘share’ talent in the future. A large number of companies are rethinking their talent onboarding processes in order to make it easier for teams to integrate with on-demand employees. They’re looking at the bigger picture now.
Another key point to note here is the skill shortage in companies where they are finding it difficult to attract and retain talent, given the competitive landscape we are currently in. With the onset of digital on-demand talent platforms and the rise of gig-workers as well as full-time remote workers has risen like never. Therefore, businesses are getting strategic about fulfilling the skill gap that exists in their organization.
With on-demand talent, they can now get creative professionals with the right skills to do the right work at just the right time.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a must-have
One of the key advantages of having on-demand talent is the increased DEI in companies. Considering that on-demand teams are skill-focused, companies are moving towards the virtues notwithstanding geographic boundaries, genders, ethnic or cultural backgrounds or disabilities.
Processionals in the creative fields often face issues such as the gender pay gap or underrepresentation in the workforce, even if they are qualified and deserving. But with the onset of on-demand hiring, WYSIWYG, i.e., access to equal opportunities, the same level of work, and equal expectation of contribution towards any project, is solely based on your talent.
As a matter of fact, knowledge workers are more aware than ever to call a spade a spade and move one if they think their ideologies don’t match with those of their employers. Case in point: The Great Resignation.
This, however, has provided a great opportunity for companies to be transparent around their DEI processes. They are now more than willing to accept talent on board who has the mettle to fulfill their business requirements. Moreover, with finding and retaining talent becoming difficult, DEI initiatives are primary considerations that businesses are looking at achieving for both in-house as well as on-demand talent.
- Latest company initiatives require creative talent
With Internet, social media, apps and other forms of digital communication, consumer behavior has changed drastically and even more so post-pandemic. The pandemic saw the market slow down for a few months but sprung back to life faster than expected. Such a swift market recovery left companies scrambling to find talent that could help them reach out to customers as quickly as possible and also retain and attract newer ones in the longer run.
Companies are therefore upping their ante in initiatives such as social and digital marketing, content marketing, e-commerce and many others to approach customers, improve their brand awareness and increase sales.
This race towards economic recovery and the demand-supply gap in the number of gig and knowledge workers in the creative domain is an ideal situation to be in currently. Add to it ‘The Great Resignation’ and you get talent looking at leaving their current roles in search of better, flexible, and more meaningful ones.
While creative professionals are looking for greener pastures which is more sustainable, companies are looking at attracting and retaining talent through various means, one of which is on-demand hiring to fill the void in their creative initiatives. According to the World Economic Forum, 84% of firms want to rapidly digitize work processes, which will include a considerable increase in remote labor.
With the onset of digital platforms and new-age technologies, creative roles across industries such as technology, e-commerce, consumer electronics, banking, finance, insurance, supply chain, fashion and others are becoming the most sought-after ones.
In today’s job market, traditional set-ups are giving way to new ways of working that are exciting, flexible, inclusive, and remote. Change is the only constant here, no matter which industry you are in. Therefore, getting an idea of the key trends that are currently prevalent in the industry is important for creative professionals to gain the maximum out of it.