Myth Busting Common Assumptions About Independent Talent

November 20, 2023

Tradition tends to bind organizations to outdated methods, even when evidence exists to prove the efficacy of a more modern approach. Often, it’s not until traditional methods become obsolete that lagging companies grudgingly shift away from convention, though their skepticism persists.

Today, workers can pick and choose opportunities, and the burgeoning independent talent pool offers a win-win solution. Unfettered by geographic restrictions, companies get access to specialized expertise without the overhead, and independent talent get greater flexibility and a more diverse array of projects.

Companies that embrace both digital-first and independent talent strategies will have the greatest advantage when it comes to finding talent, yet tradition remains an alluring refuge and, thus, misconceptions still exist.

Here are two of the most pernicious:

If they were that talented, they would be in a full-time role.

Remember that the vast majority of independent workers are independent by choice—with only 21% saying a job loss drove their decision to go independent—and less than half (43%) would even consider returning to the traditional workforce. Instead they value autonomy and flexibility.

The independent professionals that BTG works with have proven track records and CVs full of applied expertise, including experience at top consulting firms and the world’s biggest companies. Simply put, their expertise and flexibility becomes your expertise and flexibility—to scale quickly, to strategize or execute on strategic work, or to fill leadership gaps while you search for a permanent hire. They weren’t overlooked for full-time roles; they chose to look beyond them.

They’re too senior to get their hands dirty.

You can’t judge independent talent by their previous job titles or assume they’re too senior to want to join your team in the trenches. Often, independents chose that path because they enjoy hands-on analysis—and prefer doing work to talking about it.

In one case, a global industrial company was creating a new commercial group to standardize processes across business lines. A large consulting firm had been brought in to strategize the plan, but once they left, the project’s executive sponsors needed help establishing the infrastructure, processes, and governance to execute it successfully.

BTG paired the company with an independent consultant who had previously worked at McKinsey and Roland Berger. He worked to clarify governance structures and design a PMO, then staffed it with internal resources and led it throughout the transformation.

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