In a recent panel discussion on Talent Strategies & IR35, seasoned industry experts shed light on the challenges, strategies, and future trends shaping the landscape of talent acquisition.
The panel deepened their exploration of the IR35 reforms, shedding light on the challenges encountered by organisations and the dynamic transformations within the freelance community. The discourse encompassed historical context, intricate legal insights, and strategies essential for navigating effective talent engagement amidst the evolving regulatory landscape. Significantly, the freelance community was unveiled not merely as a passing trend but as a formidable economic powerhouse, boasting an impressive valuation of 5.4 trillion in spend. The narrative outlined a discernible shift towards highly skilled and flexible professionals, deviating from conventional gig worker stereotypes.
During a panel discussion, Olivia Woodhead, Head of Talent at MullenLowe Advertising, shared her experiences in navigating IR35 challenges. She expressed relief at the initial delay of IR35 due to the Covid pandemic. Russ Endacott, Director of Operations at Publicis, emphasised the importance of compliance and effective management of freelancers in the face of IR35 changes. Fiona Coombe, Director of Legal Regulatory Research at SIA, offered valuable insights into the historical context of IR35, shedding light on its impact on liability and compliance. Ray Walker, VP of Contingent Workforce at Worksome, contributed a technical perspective by addressing attempted workarounds, outlining the challenges and implications for organisations.
Adapting Talent Acquisition Strategies Post-IR35: Emphasising Compliance, Broadening Freelancer Networks, and Embracing Project-Based Approaches
During the discussion, it was pointed out that organisations have had to adapt their talent acquisition strategies in response to the IR35 tax legislation. A key takeaway from the discussion was the emphasis now placed on compliance and precise control over engagements, which has resulted in a shift away from relying solely on perma-lancers to a more strategic approach. This approach involves broadening the network of freelancers for diverse skill sets.
One future trend that was highlighted in the discussion is the anticipated increase in confidence in hiring freelancers due to the new tax offset, which is expected to reduce associated costs by a significant 70%. However, it was emphasised that it is essential to monitor potential changes in employment status, EU directives, and regulatory landscapes to stay ahead of compliance requirements.
Another takeaway from the panel discussion was that in creative organisations, there is an observed shift towards project-based approaches, which allows for more flexibility and efficiency. It was recognised that understanding how work gets done in a project-centric manner is crucial, moving beyond traditional models. Overall, the panelists agreed that adapting talent acquisition strategies post-IR35 requires a more nuanced and strategic approach, with compliance and flexibility at the forefront.
The panel discussion highlighted several key takeaways for organisations looking to succeed in the dynamic talent acquisition landscape. One of the most significant factors discussed was the need for adaptability in compliance. Not only must organisations comply with existing regulations, but they must also adapt to the evolving landscape post-IR35 for effective talent engagement. The panelists emphasised the importance of staying on top of regulatory changes affecting the workforce to remain compliant and competitive.
The value of the freelance community was another crucial point raised in the discussion. The panelists recognised the immense value of the freelance community, not just as a workforce but as a substantial economic contributor. They highlighted the importance of leveraging the collaborative nature of the freelance community by actively participating in networks for effective talent acquisition.
The shift towards strategic talent acquisition was another key takeaway from the discussion. The panelists discussed the need to focus on compliance, control, and a broader network of freelancers for diverse skill sets. In particular, they discussed the benefits of project-based methodologies, especially in creative industries, fostering flexibility and efficiency in workforce management.
The panel discussion also shared the importance of staying informed about upcoming trends, tax offsets, and potential regulatory changes affecting the workforce to remain compliant and competitive. The panelists recognised the need for continuous adaptation to thrive in the dynamic talent acquisition landscape, ensuring organisational resilience in the face of change. Overall, the discussion highlighted the need for organisations to embrace change and innovation in talent acquisition to succeed in the future.
As organisations navigate the complexities of IR35 and evolving workforce dynamics, these insights from industry experts serve as a comprehensive guide for strategic talent acquisition. Embracing adaptability, recognising the value of freelancers, and staying informed about future trends are integral components of a successful talent strategy in today's ever-changing business environment. Whether you attended the discussion or are entering this space for the first time, these insights provide actionable guidance for effective talent management.