On this episode, Chad is joined by a true gig economy expert. Marion McGovern has been in the consulting game since the 80s, written two books about independent work, and says it’s time for the world to realize that independence is a choice – not a placeholder between ‘real jobs’.
From the Episode:
Chad Nitschke: I’m curious, over the past 20 years, what do you think some of the biggest changes are in terms of attitude towards independent workers, both from the enterprise that’s hiring them, and then just the general public?
Marion McGovern: So, one, the whole sector has its own conference now, but there was a decided viewpoint on the part of the purchasing department folks that were speaking about the power of the talent, that now the leverage was in the hands of the talent. That was a new and welcome message because the challenge starting in the mid ’90s was figuring out how to help the hiring managers that really needed the talent because, as I like to say, you have this alphabet soup of things that are happening in companies where you have the hiring manager on one end and the consultant that could help them on the other, and in between, maybe you have HR, but maybe not. Maybe you have purchasing. Maybe you have an MSP, which is a master services provider, or maybe you have a VMS, which is a vendor management system. So, there were all these points of contact, which could fatigue a hiring manager, frustrate a hiring manager, and quite frankly, it resulted in the hiring manager trying to figure out how to go around this structure. I can’t tell you how many large companies where a hiring manager figured out, well, gee, I can just do it in this budget, and we’ll just forget about that whole thing. That has always been a big issue, and the idea that purchasing guys and that whole structure, their job was to make sure it was the cheapest option for the company, so I appreciate that, but recognizing that this is an important resource to deliver to your client, and if the resource is gonna cost more than you thought, you gotta pay that. That was wonderful.
One thing that I don’t think has changed enough is the respect accorded the independents. I think there are a lot of people who still get the, “When are you gonna get a real job?” People don’t understand that this is a career choice for most independents, depending on what study you read. There might be 65 million. It’s a pretty round, decent number for all the different people that track it, independent workers out there, and 70% of them are doing this by choice. This isn’t a default option. They’ve made a bold step. They’ve been very kind of entrepreneurial, like the American spirit of, I’m gonna go out there. I’m gonna do this on my own. We should be celebrating that choice, rather than saying, oh, that’s just a consultant. They’re not as good as us, the people who actually work for company X, Y, Z. So, I think as this becomes more and more a part of the agile corporation, which, of course, is the current hip term of art. The only way it’s gonna work is if everybody sort of trusts each other that we are equally competent. I may be external, you may be internal, but we are equally competent. We are going to make this project work. We are gonna have the success together.