Freelancing in Africa is a growing trend, and the continent is home to 10.1% of the world’s contractors. They can be found across a diverse range of sectors from graphic design and marketing to computer science and management. Working as an independent contractor not only attracts the youth who find it hard to find jobs, but also companies that seek to hire the best talent in certain sectors. Freelancing is an evolving activity, and there will be changes in the way contractors and employees are hired in 2021. 

Use of Technology

It’s not only the pandemic that has made technology an important player in protecting jobs and lives through remote work; it also helps in coping and adapting with new challenges. While employers sponsor targeted events to find the right candidates, a common practice is to use recruitment agencies like ours. As staffing deviates from traditional talent acquisition such as paper resumes and phone screening, recruiters are exploring social recruitment on top of finding candidates using online job boards such as PNET, Career Junction, to name a few. In fact, 94% of recruiters already use social media to find people, according to LinkedIn.

This is set to continue in 2021 whether people are planning to work as an employee or a freelancer, with each type of contract offering advantages and disadvantages. From small businesses to large corporations looking to hire people on a contractual or permanent basis, technology can help sort out the skills, work samples, and qualifications of applicants at a faster rate. For example, IBM and Hilton use the smart recruitment technology to speed up the screening, testing and hiring procedure.

Remote Recruitment

Companies that hire people will also tend to use online communication tools such as video conferencing apps when conducting interviews. This strategy not only saves money, but also valuable time when interviewing shortlisted candidates. Hence, both recruiters and prospective applicants must also prepare for this method by learning more about communication tools and proper video conferencing behaviour and etiquette. For best practices on remote recruitment such as using video technology for interviews and adapting your onboarding processes virtually, download our ebook. 

Expanding the Talent Pool

Employees at Apple or Google are not required to have four-year college degrees. Tesla’s Musk has also said that a college diploma is not a prerequisite to join his company. By dispensing with rigid hiring requirements, these enterprises are leading the way in expanding the pool of talents. The biases created by degrees, awards, and established university names create a wider candidate pool. Given that many of today’s successful tech professionals do not have formal degrees, the recruitment process will not be hampered by rigid and traditional requirements that can limit the chances of finding the best contractor. 

That said, even though prerequisites such as a college diploma may be waived, it does not imply that hiring managers will be less stringent and meticulous when it comes to evaluating skills. In contrast, hiring will become specialised, and recruiters will focus on the skills (both hard and soft skills) of applicants to fill up technical positions or find the perfect contractor/employee.

Becoming an independent contractor offers an alternative to the classic job and is perceived as a solution to counter unemployment. To make freelancing competitive, it is vital to adapt to recruitment trends that will continue or take off next year. By taking advantage of technology, learning online communication methods, and polishing specialised skills, the chances of landing a contract gig are higher.

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