At Opinno, as a global innovation consultancy, we believe it is necessary to start a conversation about emerging trends in the workplace and how companies must transform themselves to adapt to the new reality. In an event organized by Shakers, Alejandro Briceño, Director of Culture and Communities at Opinno, participated in a roundtable to discuss freeworkers and new ways of working.
During his speech, Briceño emphasized the need to adapt to the ever-changing demands of professionals in today's working world. “People want to contribute something of value from the first minute,” he said. “Traditional corporations often do not allow for personal and professional growth, limiting people's ability to live an experience in the company that aligns with their values and allows them to express their creativity.”
In addition, he stressed that the future of work is already present and it is necessary for human resources departments to adapt to this reality. “Talent is looking for flexibility and different experiences from the traditional 9-to-5 workday,” he highlighted. “The belief in the corporate ladder is disappearing, and it is essential that companies understand and respond to these new expectations.”
In this new labor paradigm, Briceño highlights the importance of freeworkers: professionals who seek freedom and independence in their working hours and wish to contribute their know-how and acquired knowledge to specific projects.
In the current context, in which large companies such as IBM or Microsoft are making large layoffs, companies have the opportunity to draw on highly qualified talent, previously inaccessible to most. In this regard, Briceño comments that, although “companies cannot have the best talent in the world, because statistically it would be impossible”, he points out that “what is possible is to hire freelancers for your projects who are looking for this freedom, this independence, and combine them with those you already have in the company”. Thanks to this combination, the company can achieve greater diversity and take advantage of the knowledge gained in the market.
Freeworkers are increasingly in demand by companies. Specifically, those technological and ultra-specialized professionals, with knowledge in platforms such as SAP or Workday. This is a reality in English-speaking and Scandinavian countries, which will soon reach the rest of the world. In terms of this trend, Briceño points out that “this is essential because you save time, you can incorporate know-how, you can incorporate new work methodologies that come from freelancing, you can incorporate ultra-specialized talent into your work and, in addition, all of this will generate profits”.
Incorporating the freeworker into the company's strategy
“We, in the consulting firm where I work, have worked with freeworkers. It's just that we need them, because there are often projects where we don't have specific know-how and we need that talent.”
In a working landscape where more and more expertise is required, coupled with the desire for greater freedom among professionals, the freeworker trend is on the rise. This creates a new paradigm in the center of which HR teams must be the architects of the new workforce.
To adapt to this new reality, Briceño lists three main recommendations centered on internal communication: promoting the department itself, business managers and external platforms focused on these ultra-specialized profiles. To this end, he urges a transformation in the role that the HR department plays within the company: “I believe that HR has always been very tactical and needs to have a more strategic role, which is the true function of HR: to think, not with a short-sighted mind, but to make plans for the future”.
“In a world dominated by AI, as it is going to be in the next 5 years, the ones that are going to be safe, are those professions that are creative and strategic. Because in the end creativity is the basis of everything, so, to stay ahead you have to be relevant and strategic.”