Walpole Partner Insight | The post-pandemic freelancing and flexi-working solution
The world of work is changing – with more people than ever before wanting or needing to work from home certainly for part of the time. That means we should all be open to flexible ideas and new – and exciting – ways of working, says Walpole partner V&C Associates.
The impact of Covid-19 cannot be underestimated, with many retailers and brands closing stores and reducing headcount, as executives question whether the organisation requires all its current staff. Staff culling like this will, of course, reduce a business’s overheads, but also leaves an abundance of redundant skilled workforce across the sector in buying and merchandising, retail operations, design and technical roles.
These candidates will now need to adapt to their situation by being more dynamic and entrepreneurial in their job search, as new, developing and emerging companies look to tap into their expertise via a freelancing route. Going forward, contracting across multiple organisations could very well be the norm for fixed or short term positions. It will allow variety of work for employees but also allow businesses to access skilled workers without the need for long-term investment.
Businesses will also need to change their mind-set. They will need set clear objectives for contracted or freelance staff and establishing tangible KPI’s that measure their output. However, they also run the risk that the employee may find full-term work or a more lucrative contract.
Freelancing and contracting means a retailer could employ a team of buyers for one season, a merchandise director on a three day week, perhaps a designer for one collection or an ecommerce social media expert for a fixed 12 months.
These roles are not traditionally temporary, however, with this new approach, retailers get fresh concepts and diversity without the burden of long-term employment issues. Retailers can also change their teams with regularity, introducing new ideas and responding with incredible speed to what the consumer wants.
Post coronavirus, there are going to be lots of highly in demand skills and great talent available but those people will also be considering how they want to work, wanting flexibility. If companies don’t take note, they will miss out on the best staff and lose out to competitors.
It’s Called Flexing.
Want a buyer but only two or three times a week?
Need a fixed term contract for your merchandising team?
Want a design director to give you direction for one season?
Need a buying director but you do not want to pay a full-time salary?
An experienced digital expert but you would like to work for more than one high street name?
A qualified HR professional looking for something that gives you better work/life balance?
V&C Associates will find you the role or the resource you need on a fixed-term contract basis (minimum 6 months). Imagine – a product developer that works for you but instead of all the time, just some of the time so you save on a full-time salary. Or for job changers, it could be that you work for two impressive organisations at the same time, 3 days a week with one, 2 days with another doing the job you love.
V&C will also invoice clients directly, taking the onus away by organising the payment structure, taking care of NICS and PAYE and even holidays. For clients, there is no long-term commitment. For candidates, there is flexibility and independence, and also many more advantageous tax schemes.
V&C know retailers and suppliers need their business costs at an affordable level, so every project is carefully costed out individually, to ensure partners maintain their costs but still get the best possible service.
The benefits are huge for retailers and for candidates and it is time to start thinking differently…
V&C Associates cover:
Design & Technical
Buying & Merchandising