More and more tech freelancers are working for companies. Will employee status therefore become marginal?
With the global pandemic, recruitment criteria have evolved within companies. The use of telecommuting for many employees has forced companies to manage hybrid teams with members working remotely. Furthermore, the number of company creations – and in particular of individual companies – has been breaking all records for the past two years.
IT Consultant: Freelancers on the Rise Relative to Employees
In 2021, INSEE observed a 21% increase in business creation, including a 21.8% increase among micro-enterprises. The number of available freelancers is skyrocketing in the job market, especially in the IT sector (for information Technology in English).
Tech freelancers are undeniably increasingly sought after by companies. But can we really speak of a gradual replacement of the tech worker by the tech freelancer?
Remote work gradually accepted by companies
This gradual acceptance of remote work has accelerated with the forced use of telecommuting due to Covid-19. For many business leaders, the choice was no longer given to them with the most restrictive health measures in place. Finally,had the merit of eliminating a number of prejudices about working from home.
For business leaders, they saw that employees are – for the vast majority of them – as productive at home as they are within the company. For employees, they were able to have a more realistic idea of teleworking with its advantages, but also with its constraints.
This telework revolution, used massively in recent months, has profoundly changed the appreciation of remote work within companies. By analogy, the development of teleworking among employees also enabled better recognition of the services provided remotely by freelancers.
Finally, telecommuting and buying services from freelancers are gradually becoming part of companies, particularly for positions in the digital sector.
Employee or freelancer: which status is favored by young talent?
If in the past the Grail was to sign a CDI at the end of studies, today young talents dedicate themselves to outlining their professional life project. Therefore, the CDI no longer appears as an obvious choice.
Among freelancers, most are active graduates who wish to pursue a professional activity without being constrained by an employment contract. The long-awaited CDI, therefore, has taken the lead in the ward in recent years and no longer necessarily represents the legal status envied by the most qualified.
This trend is mostly found among tech freelancers who quickly saw interest in favoring self-employment.
In fact, the demand for services in the technology sector has only increased in recent years. The main attraction of CDI as stable long-term employment loses much of its interest with these new digital professions that are not going through the crisis.
New graduates working today are clinging to the freedom of being able to work when they want, where they want and with any company. For many, this freedom is priceless. In fact, many tech freelancers bluntly admit that they prefer to work on their own, despite numerous requests from employers offering them a permanent contract.
Lack of qualified employees forces companies to recruit freelancers
A 2021 study by a freelance platform caused an uproar regarding the difficulties companies have in recruiting qualified employees. More than 500 DRHs, CEOs and managers were surveyed between early July and mid-September 2021. 57% of these respondents responded that they have already recruited a freelancer after having difficulty recruiting an employee for the same job.
Since the end of containment measures, many employers who want to resume full-time activity have made the same observation: many positions no longer find occupants.
For many workers, confinement has caused real questioning, both in private and professional life. Lack of recognition, lack of flexibility, degraded working conditions: several workers decided to reorient themselves professionally. For some, it’s about changing their industry. For others, the desire arose to create their own business and become their own boss.
Many sectors of activity are affected by this wage labor shortage, in particular the digital sector.
At the end of the day, it is mainly large companies that today recruit qualified employees in the IT sector. Indeed, these large groups can offer attractive salaries with negotiable working conditions to attract and retain various graduate profiles in their workforce (web developer, mobile developer, cybercrime specialist, etc.).
Medium and small businesses (SMEs and VSEs) have a harder time recruiting technology employees. The main reasons for this are:
- working conditions and remuneration generally less attractive than those offered by large groups;
- often precarious employment contracts (CDD, temporary assignment, etc.) that attract few candidates from SMEs and VSEs with a temporary need to recruit a qualified IT professional.
In the end, most companies that recruited a freelancer for lack of a candidate for a salaried position quickly repeated the experience without it being a standard choice. Companies are placing more and more trust in tech freelancers and prefer buying services to signing a fixed-term or temporary contract.
Leaving the CDI to become a freelancer: a reality for the French?
the fear ofembarking on a full-time freelance activity was still well anchored in our society a few years ago. Today, the trend is radically reversed. More and more employees express a desire to leave their salaried job to start as a self-employed person. Far from having big projects and dreaming of one day being CEO of a multinational, these workers dream above all of a better quality of life by establishing their own working conditions.
A survey conducted by the recruitment company Cooptalis speaks volumes on this point. This survey was carried out in 2020 among 526 HRDs and CEOs of French companies of all sizes. About 58% of companies surveyed said they have already received requests from their employees to work as freelancers.
According to this same study, 44% of companies have increased their freelance workforce in 2021. For small businesses active in the IT sector, freelancers can represent up to 30% of their workforce. Companies are, therefore, gradually adapting to this change in status, favoring freelance services for temporary jobs that require a certain specialization.
Freelance platforms facilitate the employment of freelancers within companies
To meet a real need to organize the connection between business and freelance, severalemerged in recent years. The latter propose to highlight various profiles of self-employed workers on their website. Freelancers can thus gain visibility on one or more platforms. Companies can consult various profiles of freelancers, contact them, receive quotes, securely pay their service providers, etc.
Please note that not all freelance platforms offer the same services. Some are content to facilitate contact between service providers and companies. Others offer broader support, with service contract signing, secure quote and billing service, etc.
In order to quickly find a competent and available service provider, companies can rely on certain platforms specialized in a certain sector of activity. It is no wonder that digital professions are among the most represented professional activities among freelancers (web developer, graphic designer, data analyst, etc.).
Companies looking for a freelance technology service provider can turn to the FreelanceRepublik platform. The technology freelancers proposed by this platform have been carefully selected, both in terms of their skills and their experience in their area of expertise. FreelanceRepublik is also responsible for guaranteeing the service with a legal contract, a quote service and an invoicing service that meets the legal regulations in force.
With the guarantee of service purchases through freelance platforms, independent consultants are permanently integrated into the company’s staff. Far from replacing employees, freelancers represent for many companies the ideal solution for temporary positions that require advanced knowledge.