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Many Employees Leaving to Go Work for Themselves

Many Employees Leaving to Go Work for Themselves

New research by Fiverr and HR platform HiBob offers new insights about freelancing. The survey asked HR professionals and hiring managers about the current state of their company’s workforce amid the “Great Resignation.”

Findings confirm that employees are leaving their jobs at rapid speed due to an increased desire for flexibility in their work-life, and because of this, both HR professionals and hiring managers are struggling to find ways to fill these talent gaps.

Key to this struggle is 54% of HR professionals and hiring managers said that workers leaving their companies are not re-entering the workforce - and instead they are choosing to work for themselves (as freelancers, founders or small business owners).

Key findings from the report are:

  • People are leaving their jobs because of an increased desire for more workplace flexibility.
    • 30% of respondents said that people are leaving their jobs more now than pre-COVID because they want more flexibility. This comes above better pay (27%) and higher title (26%).
  • It’s not the younger employees that are leaving, despite what most people think.
    • 46% said that at their companies, managers and directors are leaving more than entry level employees. 56% of those who’ve seen employees leave in the last six months said that the people leaving their companies are between ages 36-45 while 37% said that people leaving are between ages 26-35.
  • When these managers and directors leave, the team’s productivity is hindered. Their absence is also costing the organization money and creating massive skills gaps.
    • 58% said that turnover has either some negative effect or a very bad effect on their team’s productivity.
      • When breaking down HR professionals and hiring managers, hiring managers (44%) feel the impact of employee turnover more than HR professionals (38%).
    • 35% of respondents respectively said the amount of extra costs they incur to onboard and train new employees and the skills gap that is created are the most negative impacts of employee turnover.
  • It’s taking organizations a long time to find new hires.
    • More than half (61%) said that it takes on average, up to six months to hire new full time employees. 39% said more than six months.
  • That is likely because nowadays there are many more jobs and when an employee leaves their job, they may not be looking for a new one. So the pool of talent is extremely limited.
    • 54% of HR professionals and hiring managers said that many people that have left their companies are already working for themselves (becoming freelancers or starting their own business).
  • There is a likely massive pool of freelance talent out there because of this. HR professionals and hiring managers agree that by hiring freelancers some of the biggest positive impacts are adding flexibility (42%) and fresh outlooks and innovation (42%) to an organization.
    • Other respondents said that freelancers can have a fantastic impact on the upskilling of internal employees (41%). Plus, you can save money (41%).
    • 48% of HR professionals said flexibility was the biggest positive impact in hiring freelancers vs. only 37% of hiring managers.
  • However they’re not acting on it and HR professionals and hiring managers need to better align on this.
    • 58% of respondents said that they never or rarely work with freelancers to fill skill gaps and complete tasks, while another 42% said that they do sometimes or all the time.
    • Hiring managers seem to be more open to hiring freelancers, with 39% of managers saying that they sometimes contact freelancers to fill employment gaps and complete tasks, as compared to only 30% of HR professionals.
  • HR professionals seem to be more adverse and feel there are more challenges to hiring freelance talent than hiring managers.
    • 31% of HR professionals said inclusivity to the team was a challenge vs. 26% of hiring managers. 50% of HR professionals said they have payment issues when hiring freelancers, calling it a “dealbreaker” vs. 42% of hiring managers.
    • In hiring freelancers, roughly 3 in 10 hiring managers and HR professionals said payroll was the biggest challenge (30%) as is administrative technicalities (29%).

“The value that freelance talent can bring to an organization that is facing a talent shortage is unmatched,” said Shany Malbin, General Manager of Fiverr Business. “It’s clear from the data that HR professionals and hiring managers have differing perspectives on these advantages and therefore need to come together to address these issues. In the end, working with freelance talent can not only help fill skill gaps during this unprecedented time, but can also help prevent burnout of overworked employees due to the massive amounts of turnover.”

For more information on Fiverr and Hibob’s research, please click here.

** Survey conducted by Censuswide between 02.11.2021 - 10.11.2021, surveying 501 US Managers and 501 HR Professionals (Junior Manager+) in the private sector. All respondents will have worked from home at some point in the last 2 years, are aged 25+ and have worked at their firm for at least one year. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.