Business Talent Group Report Finds Executives Turn to High-End Independent Talent to Maximize Agility During Volatile Times

New data reveals trends in highly skilled freelance usage as business leaders push for renewed growth, competitive advantage, and market share in post-pandemic future

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Business Talent Group (BTG)—the leading marketplace for top independent consultants, interim executives, subject matter experts, and project managers—today released its fourth annual High-End Independent Talent Report, an analysis based on BTG’s proprietary data of how Fortune 1000 companies rely on independent workers to fill critical skill, expertise, and leadership gaps amid increasing economic optimism.

“Business leaders are battle-tested and more empowered than ever before to engage the flexible resourcing they need for their most important work,” said BTG Co-CEO and Co-Founder Jody Greenstone Miller. “All manner of companies now recognize the critical role that independent talent will play in the months and years to come. In this environment, platforms such as Business Talent Group will be a key piece of human capital infrastructure to help organizations instill much-needed workforce agility and rapidly respond to the business challenges and opportunities they face today.”

The COVID-19 pandemic ignited a paradigm shift in attitudes toward remote work, while simultaneously opening a world of possibilities for resourcing critical projects. No longer limited to talent in their immediate vicinity, or those willing to travel, business leaders can tap a richer, more diverse pool of independent, on-demand talent and find the absolute best person for the job, no matter where in the world they are located.


  • C-suite takes note: The use of independent talent has increased at the more senior levels of an enterprise with nearly 69% of all requests from VPs and above, including 30% of independent talent needs from C-level executives—an increase of 67% YOY. Senior executives not only see the value of high-end on-demand talent for their organization’s needs but also for their own key initiatives.
  • Interim leadership at all levels: Comprising 8% of all project requests, interim leadership enables companies to fill gaps while optimizing the skills, working style, and priorities for roles both in the near-term and for eventual permanent hires. The use of interim leaders has taken an increasingly prominent role up and down the org chart, as shown by a 70% increase YOY in interim engagements below the C-suite.
  • Re-focus on growth: With 57% of projects falling into the broad bucket of strategy, the BTG data shows that early optimism for 2021 actually began in July 2020 as leaders focused in particular on growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate and business unit strategy.
  • Organizational optimization: Experts in workforce planning are helping to optimize organizations for the next new normal and enable the safe return to offices, while talent with technology and systems implementation skills are accelerating digital transformation efforts and supporting the widespread shift to remote work. Altogether, 35% of projects are focused on organization, operations, and transformation needs.
  • Remote Work Revolution: Before COVID-19, only 17% of executives were interested in remote-only work arrangements for independent talent. By May 2020, nearly all project requests had gone remote. As a cumulative effect of the Remote Work Revolution, remote-only project requests increased 335% YOY across all industries and business functions.

Most in-demand projects:

  • Marketing and Sales
  • Opportunity Assessment
  • Interim Leadership
  • Business Processes
  • Planning
  • Product Strategy and Launch
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

Most in-demand skills:

  • Project Management
  • Market Landscape and Research
  • Process Optimizations and Transformation
  • Corporate and Business Unit Strategy
  • Organizational Design and Workforce Planning
  • Market Access and Value
  • Growth Strategy
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Strategic Planning
  • Technology and Systems Implementation

To learn more about the top projects and skills requested by companies across twelve industries and twelve business functions, view the full report from BTG.


Business Talent Group (BTG) is the leading talent platform that connects top independent consultants, subject matter experts, project managers, and interim executives with the world’s best companies. BTG provides just the right on-demand talent needed: remote or on-site, part-time or full-time, individuals or teams, all around the world. More than 50% of the Fortune 100 trust BTG to curate, vet, and deliver legally compliant talent who fuel growth, innovation, and performance improvement.

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Jennifer Napier

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