Freelance status is becoming more and more popular in the labour market. Every year, many consultants, especially seniors, embark on the adventure of self-entrepreneurship. This new way of carrying out its activity, in the form of short or long missions,draws the world of work of tomorrow. What are the motivations of consultants to become independent? Who are they? How and why do they seduce companies? What future for the profession? Focus on independent consultants.

What motivates independent consultants to free themselves from employee status?

Over the past decade, the number of self-employed workers has doubled or even tripled in France. There are now close to 950,000. How can we explain such an increase in independent consultants in the market? The answer lies in the aspirations of professionals. By self-employed, their goal is twofold: to find more fulfillment at work but also to succeed in reconciling work and personal life.

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The number of freelancers exceeds 950,000 in France.

A balance that requires above all more autonomy and flexibility in the hours and workplaces. In addition, if consultants are ready to become self-entrepreneurs,it is also to gain access to more responsibilities, to be able to choose their clients and the projects to work on. Independence is a choice, synonymous with more freedom, freeing itself from the large consulting structures and goals of stressful and sometimes unrealistic results. Compensation is also a source of motivation. This is generally equal to or greater than that collected by consulting on behalf of a firm. Related: More job mobility for well-being at work?

Who are the independent consultants?

The increase in independent consultants in the labour market is the result, on the one hand, of the choice of companies to separate themselves from the most expensive executives and on the other, for these seniors, the desire for professional development and freedom. Indeed, in the market of independent consultants, it is not the juniors who are the majority, rather attracted by large groups to gain experience. Instead, there are converted, experienced and qualified executives whose know-how is highly sought after by companies.

For these senior consultants, independence can also mean a new professional momentum. It can be a step until you find an interesting pay opportunity or an opportunity to free up time to start your own start-up. For the past ten years, this independence has been facilitated by the status of micro-entrepreneur, which is very easy to obtain. Some independent consultants, however, prefer to turn to wage portage, which allows them to enjoy comprehensive social protection in the same way as an employee, while remaining independent. Are you planning to move abroad to work as an independent consultant? Everything you need to know about expat status.

Why are companies attracted to independent consultants?

Digitalization disrupts the functioning of companies that need to be supported in their management and transformation and boost their competitiveness. In a world where everything is accelerating, where everything is changing, the need for personalized and humane support has become more essential than ever to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Large companies, as well as small businesses and start-ups, are looking for talent with proven know-how and solid experience. Independent consultants,by being free from consulting firms and results obligations, offer a fresh look, a quality judgment, highlighting soft skills particularly sought after today.

To connect experts and companies, specialized platforms offering numerous profiles of independent consultants, allow companies to develop their partnerships with these external experts for long or one-off assignments. Experts who, by the way, can sometimes come from all over the world. Learn more about the best countries for expats.

Independent consultants to conquer small businesses

Most consultancy structures – about 60% – are concentrated in the Ile-de-France region. These include the “Big Four,” the four largest financial audit and advisory groups in the world. These firms mainly support large companies or smes that are quite large. While independents will struggle to establish themselves in the French market, even if companies are increasingly creating partnerships with external experts, there is considerable potential in the provinces for smaller companies.

France has about 2.5 million companies. Of these, more than 95% are small businesses with 0 to 19 employees. So many structures that will need to be accompanied one day. Using an independent consultant is as interesting for the expert as it is for the company that uses him.

For the latter, it is the opportunity to benefit from a sharp expertise on time when the possibility of hiring is not possible. For the specialist, it is the possibility of entering a dynamic job market to develop a sustainable business.

To do this, the independent consultant must also be able to adapt to new interlocutors in order to understand how it works in order to successfully define objectives and find solutions.

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What future for independent consultants?

In recent years, small and large companies have become accustomed to using independent experts for one-off or recurring needs. At present, the boundaries between freelancers and employees tend to gradually blur. Indeed, with the development of telework and nomadic work, the self-employed are less marginalized than before. On the contrary, they embody the aspirations of employees who seek more flexibility in their professional activity.

In addition, the referencing platforms of independent professionals have also helped to establish experts with companies. Their rigorous selection ensures that the company finds the tailor-made expert they are looking for for their mission.

Finally, by regularly using these “externals”, companies contribute to the development of the extended business concept, synonymous with more flexibility for more performance.

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