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Namu Update, September 2020

Founder's Notes to the Namu Community

September 8, 2020

Dear Friends and Investors,

When we started Namu, we knew the 1099 space was trending up as more Americans made the decision to chart their own paths and work for themselves. But what we didn’t take into account was a perfect storm of accelerants – a global pandemic swiftly followed by a global recession and a forced WFH culture – that would change the hiring culture in America forever.

With offices closed and remote working the new normal, managers now looked at their team design as something that was in flux. They quickly looked for new ways to build capacity remotely and leaned in to a flexible recruitment model, which meant, in part, the hiring of more (a lot more!) independent workers. 

In a recent Forbes article titled, The Coming Boom For Freelancers, Adam Ozimek, Chief Economist at Upwork, said:

“Companies are having to pivot very quickly and to quickly adapt to remote work and having to change their businesses in a variety of ways. Some of them are trying more flexible talent and finding it works, especially in circumstances where you need to move quickly and grow and scale dynamically.”

In support of this shift in hiring, Upwork also published the following:

  • 73% of hiring managers are continuing or increasing their use of independent professionals
  • 56% of hiring managers said working remotely has exceeded their expectations, and 62% said their workforce will be more remote than before COVID-19
  • Three quarters of hiring managers are not fully convinced that retraining existing employees is more efficient than engaging independent professionals to gain critical business skills
  • 49% of hiring managers pointed to access to highly-skilled talent as the reason to use independent workers in 2020
  • 57% of hiring managers engaged independent professionals for ongoing strategic partnerships across multiple channels

So, what does all this mean for Namu? It means the community of self-employed professionals will continue to grow but at a much quicker pace than originally thought. It also means that these newly independent workers will need help forming and running their businesses.

It is here, at this moment in time, where we see Namu having the most purposeful impact on the lives of everyday Americans – and it is more than we could have ever imagined. We are up to the challenge and will continue to build the best product and adapt to the new needs of this workforce.