Jobs for Rent

Those tasks that have been historically performed by full-time employees are increasingly being off-loaded to external workers for use on an as-needed basis thus saving money - as well as saving corporate reputations.

2/6/20242 min read

sliced lemon on pink surface
sliced lemon on pink surface

A balancing act is underway. Companies are grappling with the need for cost reduction while also ensuring they have the right skills on hand. This situation has led to a notable shift in how jobs are approached and employment is perceived, including in the realm of data analysis. This shift reflects a practical and forward-thinking approach that's transforming how companies operate and people work.

Having been a key part of a sizable analytics team, I've witnessed this shift firsthand. Within these teams, some individuals didn't always have a full workweek's worth of tasks. But despite this, their skills were still in demand, perhaps just not all the time. This observation has paved the way for a new approach—one that embraces a more flexible work structure.

Instead of hiring a full-time analyst, companies are exploring the idea of bringing in external experts on a project basis. This way, they can address their cost-cutting goals while still benefiting from necessary data analysis. On an hourly basis, it costs more. But when you roll up at the month level, they are more in the black than the red.

I, myself witnessed this shift first hand. As a former analytics team VP, my job search was met with pleasant conversations that ultimately led to a dead end, with the most frequent culprit being a limited ROI (Return on Investment). So that investment (my expected salary), were it to be less expensive, would have yielded the return necessary. And 'less' is what they can pay when engaging with an external data consultant on a more limited basis. This realization underscores the principle that value can be achieved even with fewer resources, especially when working with data consultants who offer their expertise when needed.

This approach reflects a macro mindset—a strategic view that understands how roles and resources can be adaptable. By realizing that not every data task requires a full-time employee, businesses unlock flexibility that's both responsive and cost-efficient. This shift toward macro thinking offers a smart way to navigate these changes. It enables companies to make the most of data analysts' expertise without needing them on the FTE payroll.

So, as we think about the changing nature of work and data analysis, let's remember that value doesn't solely come from constant presence. It's about recognizing the interplay between demand and contribution, and then using that insight to create an efficient system.

"unlock flexibility that's both responsive and cost-efficient"