79% of global executives expect freelancers to replace full-time staff: survey

More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of executives said they expect contingent and freelance workers to substantially replace full-time employees in the coming years, according to Mercer’s latest survey on global talent trends.

While predictions vary by industry, the survey found the financial services industry is expected to have a workforce that’s 80 per cent freelance in coming years. It also found more than half of executives believe artificial intelligence and automation will replace one in five of their organizations’ current jobs. 

Read: Canada’s growing gig workforce highlights need for portable benefits plan: report

The study pointed to significant human capital risks that could slow the progress of transformation, including low or declining employee engagement (43 per cent); inadequate diversity (40 per cent); lagging productivity (31 per cent); and slow decision-making (30 per cent).

As for what employees are seeking from employers, they want more purpose, inspiration and connectivity, where success is seen more as a team effort rather than a solo act, according to the survey. It noted thriving employees are twice as likely to describe their roles as relationship-focused and the environment they work in as collaborative.

As well, the survey found leading companies are pursuing four key trends in 2019: aligning work to future value; building brand resonance; curating the work experience; and delivering talent-led change.

Read: Majority of Canadian employers expecting HR disruption ahead: study