New Research Shows Fortune 1000 Companies Turn to Independent Consultants To Fuel Growth in a Tight Labor Market
Data from Independent Consulting Leader Business Talent Group Provides Compelling Snapshot of Needs—and How Talent Economy Consultants Are Filling Skill and Knowledge Gaps
January 24, 2019 – The market for highly skilled knowledge workers is tighter than ever. Yet according to new research from Business Talent Group (BTG)—the leading marketplace for independent management consultants, subject matter experts, boutiques, and executives—top companies are tapping a different labor pool to get things done. Rather than relying solely on full-time hires, they are engaging independent professionals, who join internal teams to tackle specific, complex problems like post-merger integration or portfolio analysis, then disband. This according to BTG’s 2019 High-End Independent Talent Report.
“In a tight labor market, companies turn to independent professionals for cutting-edge skills that often can’t be found anywhere else. We are thrilled to help executives understand the breadth of what these professionals can accomplish—and the many ways they can make a difference on mission-critical initiatives,” said Jody Greenstone Miller, Business Talent Group’s CEO and co-founder.
83% of companies report skills gaps that threaten their organization’s ability to prepare for the future; these gaps are especially acute in high-demand fields such as biotech, IT, and marketing. Independent “gig economy” workers have emerged as a powerful solution to this problem. Nearly one-third of global workers are free agents, and 80% of global CHROs predict that their deployment of these nontraditional workers will increase in the coming years. Scarcity is by far the biggest pain point. BTG’s research analyzes client needs to understand how these professionals are helping large companies get work done.
Most in-demand projects that used independent, on-demand talent in 2018:
- Marketing & Sales Strategy (12%)
- Growth Strategy (11%)
- Opportunity Assessment (9%)
- Business Processes (8%)
- Product Strategy & Launch (8%)
- Planning (7%)
- Supply Chain (6%)
- Business Intelligence & Analytics (5%)
- IT & Tech Transformations (5%)
- Interim Executive (4%)
Most in-demand skill in 2018:
- Project Management
- Market Landscape
- Growth Strategy
- Strategic Planning
- Supply Chain
- Program Management Office (PMO)
- Corporate & Business Unit Strategy
- Product Development & Launch
- Market Access & Value
- Innovation Strategy
BTG’s research provides an up-to-the-minute snapshot into how top enterprise clients are relying on independent workers to fill their talent gaps. Across all industries, the greatest needs were for analytical and project leadership in highly specialized niches like distribution channel strategies, disruptive innovation, and market access.
Commented Miller: “Business Talent Group has a unique perspective into the needs of top global businesses and how independent talent can help solve them. We're excited to see so much cross-industry innovation in the selection and deployment of independent consultants and executives on these mission-critical projects."
Trends by Industry—a Deeper Dive
The BTG report is based on an analysis of 12 months of needs requested by BTG’s Fortune 1000 clients, averaging $100,000 per engagement. The insights revealed key differences in how companies from various sectors prioritize the challenges and opportunities they face—and how they're using freelance consultants to meet those needs:
- Life Science: As life science executives seek to stay competitive in fast-changing and highly regulated markets, they look to independents for a unique combination of strategic thought leadership and experience in specific therapeutic areas. They also take advantage of independent expertise in the increasingly complex—and critical—area of market access and value.
- Financial Services and Insurance: Big changes are happening in the financial services industry, from new products and services to more flexible talent management models. As financial services executives try to stay ahead of the curve, they look to independents for flexible, cost-effective assistance, taking advantage of niche expertise in areas like customer experience, supply chain, and pricing.
- Consumer Goods: It's not easy to keep up with today’s consumers. That's why consumer goods companies try to stay flexible as they strive to stay competitive. Independent consultants are the perfect solution, bringing a unique combination of industry experience and niche expertise in areas like supply chain and strategy—while offering quick, cost-effective assistance with critical initiatives.
- Industrial Goods: As industrial goods executives try to pull ahead of slow and sometimes turbulent markets, they turn to independents for practical, cost-effective assistance—from assessing new opportunities to streamlining operations.
- Technology: Tech had a big year in 2018. But how to sustain it going forward? As tech executives seek to maximize long-term growth opportunities, they turn to independents for smart, cost-effective assistance and niche expertise in areas like financial modeling and back-office process optimization.
To learn more about the top projects and skills requested by companies in each sector and business function, view the full report from BTG.
About Business Talent Group
Business Talent Group (BTG) is the leading marketplace that connects independent management consultants, subject matter experts, and executives with top companies to solve their biggest business problems. BTG provides just the right on-demand talent needed—on-site or remote, part-time or full-time, individuals or teams, anywhere in the world. More than 40% of the F100 trust BTG to curate, vet, and deliver legally compliant talent that fuel growth, innovation, and performance improvement. BTG’s commitment to project success has earned the company a 99% fill rate on all talent requests and a 97% repeat rate among top global companies. For more information, visit businesstalentgroup.com and join the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Business Talent Group