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Contractors prefer the flexible workforce to boost careers, joint report by Adecco Group and LinkedIn finds

December 15, 2017

Professionals who take on flexible work are embracing it as an avenue to pursue their own goals, according to the report, Flexible Working: A Career and Lifestyle Pathway, released by the Adecco Group and LinkedIn.

The report found a large majority of those involved in flexible work do so through active choice as a way to meet current personal needs or career ambitions.

According to the study, young adults aged 18-26 have a very positive view of independent work and independent workers, and a majority aspire to such employment. And through the gig economy, a rapidly expanding new class of independent professionals are creating financially and professionally rewarding careers with a more desirable work/life balance.

Here are some additional key findings:  

  • Flexible employment opens the door to hire more senior professionals: Most contractors, 91%, are in their middle to late careers, and on average, work in higher seniority roles sooner — by more than a year, on average — than peers in non-contract roles.
  • Independent professionals are choosing flexible work as a lifestyle: The majority of those involved in flexible work, 54%, say that they are doing so in order to pursue their own particular interests. The top motivation among this group was that it is a stepping stone to a full-time position in their chosen field, which also skewed highest among millennials.
  • Independent professionals are consistently open to new opportunities: According to LinkedIn data, contractors across these countries are 2.1 times more likely to view a job on LinkedIn than the average member — and 84% have done so over the past year. They are also more likely to respond to InMails and more likely to engage with content.

This study draws on three previously unpublished surveys conducted by the Adecco Group and LinkedIn. It incorporates results from The Adecco Group’s Global Satisfaction Survey, which in spring 2017 asked 102,161 company associates in 38 countries and 48 business units their motivations for engaging in short-term employment; “Understanding What Working Independently Means” — a qualitative survey, undertaken by InSites Consulting on behalf of the Adecco Group; and LinkedIn’s analysis of 4 million members, in the same 38 countries, who have self-identified as contractors.

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