Will artificial intelligence revolutionize the way freelancers get work?

Words, hubbul

The world of work is changing fast. The days of a monotonous of 9-5 are dying, replaced with a way of working that brings freedom, flexibility, choice and control. Relentless technological innovation has changed the mindset of the global workforce and businesses alike, enabling anytime, anywhere working and building a new, exciting wave of entrepreneurs. 

Today, we can just as easily work from the comfort of our home or holiday villa, as we can from the office. This transformation has liberated the modern workforce, the catalyst behind the millions of bedroom businesses, coffee-shop workers, freelancers, contractors and self-employed.

Technology has undoubtedly been the driving force behind remote, new and innovative ways of working. And it’s no surprise that digital innovation is also expected to play a fundamental role in how this new workforce sources business, survives and even prospers in a fiercely competitive environment.

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) – a computer system so smart that it learns and understands patterns and behaviours to make better and more well-informed decisions – is set to revolutionize the way independent workers connect and match with relevant businesses who are on the lookout for quality freelancers and contractors.

Some say AI has the potential to one-day automate the entire recruitment process, as it learns to make better decisions about potential candidates and jobs over time, based on skills matches, references, day-rates, location, availability and to some extent culture fit.

As always, the business world is gearing up for change. 85% of executives revealed in Accenture’s Future Workforce Trends report that they are preparing to invest heavily in AI related tech in the next three years. Smart learning through AI has the potential to automate and reduce spend on mission critical activities, from customer service, right through to finding and matching with new talent.

Many businesses and employers are already ahead of the curve, on the cusp of embracing artificial intelligence, as they go in search of faster and cheaper ways to connect with the right freelancers and contractors. As many as 96% of senior HR professionals believe AI has the potential to greatly enhance talent acquisition – just going to show that this new, exciting technology is highly regarded as a main component in the future of recruiting.

But are we ready for such change now? 57% of HR professionals surveyed by Alexander Mann are concerned that technological innovation within their department is too slow. And despite the overriding believe that AI is set to fundamentally change the way these businesses match with freelancers and contractors, just one in four HR leaders are currently using these methods.

“It is certainly promising to see that an astounding number of senior HR leaders understand the benefits of utilising Artificial Intelligence in their HR and talent functions. Artificial Intelligence technologies and data analytics tools both hold significant opportunities for candidate sourcing, selection and retention,” explained Laurie Padua, Director of Technology and Operations Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions.

“And with figures from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey finding that 46% of HR leaders are still struggling to attract candidates in high demand talent pools, it’s clear that organisations which embrace technology will have an edge over their competitors. Companies who are quick to adopt these technologies will have far greater access to in-demand talent pools, while those who fail to act are likely to fall behind.”

The faster artificial intelligence is embraced as the technology which could fundamentally change how we as freelancers and contractors connect with relevant businesses and employers, the better.  And excitingly, the widespread use of artificial intelligence in the recruitment industry looks to be a case of when and not if.

For freelancers, contractors and the growing, global and flexible workforce, the benefits are clear. For the first time the new, independent workforce can be confident that the opportunities, projects and roles presented to them are entirely relevant. And for the first time freelancers can rely less on limited networks and their little black book of contacts, knowing that the right jobs, from the right employers, paying the right rates will arrive at exactly the right time.

How important do you see technology being in the way you win new work? Join the conversation...

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