The battle for the consumer’s attention has never been harder fought than it currently is. The days of buying a print ad, an outdoor billboard placement or even a 30 second TV spot can no longer guarantee that customers will flock into your store, visit your site or buy your product. The increasing fragmentation of the media scene coupled with a growing resistance to even notice ads means that reaching your potential customers is now tougher than it’s ever been. People download their favourite shows and watch them concurrently with no breaks, they install ad blocking software in order to browse uninterrupted online and print circulations are falling fast. With thousands of companies using the same channels to reach the same consumers there’s an increasing need to cut through the noise and stand out. Enter content marketing.
(image credit: Escape from Cubicle Nation)
The future workforce is made up of millennials. Unlike their predecessors, they are much less likely to stay in work full time and more likely look for multiple sources of growth, stimulation and opportunity. Trends assessed by the US Government Accountability Office suggest that in developed economies, freelance, temporary and contract employees make up about ⅓ of the workforce. Mercer completed a study that showed Millennials prioritized having a flexible work schedule and having the opportunity to make a difference when it came to employment. Similarly in a recent survey by Ogilvy and Mather, 76% of respondents reported that they would rather spend more time with their families than make more money. In the Middle East, Millennials employment aspirations are captured in the Asda’a Burson Marsteller Youth report, which shows that respondents prioritized a good work-life balance ahead of salary concerns.
Is a freelancer right for your business?
Traditionally, business success depended on a top down method of managing staff and work. Some firms however have changed that and adopted a Results Oriented Work Environment, meaning the location and hours worked are less important than the final output. Work is done anytime and anywhere, based entirely on individual needs and preferences. This method of working is a perfect fit for Millennials who do not necessarily associate success with longevity at one firm only. The career path for younger generations more closely resembles a patchwork quilt, as people attempt to stitch together multiple jobs into something that is flexible and works for them.
In her book “Escape from Cubicle Nation” author Pamela Slim argues that the new norm is for people to maintain and develop skill sets in multiple simultaneous careers. In this environment, the ability to learn is something of a survival skill. Education never stops, and the line between working and learning becomes increasingly blurred. Millennials are more aware than ever how the local, and indeed global economy affects their work options. The Arab Youth Survey showed that people prioritized the UAE as an ideal place to work. As potential supply increases, the Middle East employer is therefore faced with a unique advantage, the costs of human capital may decrease, but the ability to utilize dynamic resourcing by tapping into many people simultaneously can be done with only a slight increase in operational cost.
Many Middle East employers are still in a cautious hiring mode. The highest growth shown on employment indices are in the Hospitality, Healthcare and Engineering industries, buoyed by the backing of the public sector and the stated aims of governments to reach 2020 goals including sporting events, expo’s, and increased tourism. For the private sector, there has been a year on year drop however for full time jobs in the marketing and creative industries (-7%), the software and telecom sector (-17%), and IT field (-12%). (Monster Employment Index).
This lack of demand for full time employment has surfaced in increased demand in the freelance field. Nabbesh.com Q1 data on what employers want shows the top 10 job posts as being in the software, marketing and design and creative sectors. Creative skills are the most sought after, representing 59% of the total, Software taking up almost one third and Marketing being 10%.
Our recommendations are that HR professionals must consider using freelancers as a way to contribute to the sustained competitiveness of the firm. For smaller firms that need to grow quickly and efficiently, the majority of budget is spent on acquiring customers, leaving little for human capital. Freelancers can solve this problem by offering the right skill to the business at the right time at the right price.
To access the largest pool of freelancers, visit www.nabbesh.com today and browse over 15,000 people with over 20,000 registered skills.
Kellie Whitehead has been freelancing since 2005 across the UK and UAE, and is the engine behind www.mamaknowsdubai.com. With 14 years of marketing and PR experience, she has rich industry experience coupled with a strong insight into the female, family and ‘mum’ demographic that is particularly hard to find within the region and much sought after by brands. It was this specialist expertise that was the catalyst for forming her UAE registered company Mama Media FZ.
Kellie works on a retainer basis with many agency clients, and directly with brands. As a working mother, freelancing was the only employment option when balancing her love of the industry with her family commitments. Her knowledge of the social media space has contributed greatly to finding work through the various platforms but recently she is finding Nabbesh very useful for leads.
Through Mama Media she works with some of the biggest global names such as Samsung, Unilever and Philips helping them reach out through social media, events and content creation to their target demographic. A highlight of Kellie’s career was pitching against larger network agencies last year to win her biggest client to date, testament to her deep knowledge in the sector. Kellie thinks agencies can benefit from using freelancers more as they bring unique skillsets and specialisms that a full time employee may not have. This trend is apparent on Nabbesh with many people asking for content creators specializing in automotive, cooking, fashion and beauty products.
She identifies an interesting angle on networking and generating repeat business; which is that account managers do change agencies quite often but they tend to take their contacts with them. Having a readily available and organized pool of freelancers to tap into can make an account manager’s work much easier, and she thinks Nabbesh is a useful platform to keep these connections alive. It also helps freelancers build a reputation as being able to show examples of work and get feedback from people is important in generating tomorrow’s business.
Get in touch with Kellie on her Nabbesh profile here http://www.nabbesh.com/DubaiWriter