Business Talent Group (BTG) Research Spotlights Most In-Demand Skills Fueling the Post-Pandemic Economy

Compliance Strategy, B2B Marketing, and Portfolio Strategy fastest growing skills as companies seek to spur growth and flexibility to ride upswing of global economic recovery

Demand for high-end independent talent surges to bridge “skills canyon”

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#FreelanceBusiness Talent Group (BTG), the leading marketplace for high-end independent talent, today released its fourth annual index chronicling the most sought-after independent talent skills leveraged by global companies to address their most critical projects in the current K-shaped economic recovery.

Demand for high-caliber independent skills has skyrocketed in a tight labor market marked by concerns of a “Great Resignation” with 40% of the global workforce considering leaving their employer in the next year, according to research from Microsoft, and a widening skills gap—that some executives predict will be a post-pandemic “skills canyon.” As companies seek to remain agile amidst a still turbulent environment, executives are tapping the growing ranks of top professionals who are choosing to work independently.

Based on an analysis of internal data from thousands of project requests initiated by BTG clients at Fortune 1000 companies and global equivalents, private equity firms, and nonprofits, key findings from the 2021 Skills Index include:

  • A spike in requests for talent skilled in compliance strategy and processes (+700% YOY)—BTG’s fastest growing skill for 2021—as companies fortify risk management, strengthen privacy-related initiatives, enhance digital security and fraud monitoring, and seek to manage risk for any and all eventualities
  • High demand for experts in B2B marketing (+450%) and channel management (+250%) to help companies rewrite their marketing and sales playbooks for the sudden shift to remote and digital channels and the trend toward omnichannel buying behavior
  • Increasing need for portfolio strategy (+263%) and clinical solutions (+200%) talent as life science companies seek to accelerate the drug development model, navigate an evolving regulatory environment, and adopt new technologies such as AI, decentralized clinical trials, and remote patient monitoring
  • A rise in requests for service operations (+233%) and shared services (+200%) expertise to streamline service models and adapt operations to meet the changing needs of both customers and employees
  • The continuing ascent of organizational design and workforce planning (now the third most in-demand skill overall) as companies seek to optimize resourcing amid a tight labor market
  • Project management and market landscape and research remain the most in-demand skills as companies seek skilled hands to drive critical workstreams and transformations and strategic minds to explore new business and product opportunities

BTG’s most in-demand and fastest growing skills are as follows:

Top 10 Most In-Demand Skills for 2021

  1. Project Management
  2. Market Landscape and Research
  3. Organizational Design and Workforce Planning
  4. Growth Strategy
  5. Process Optimization and Transformation
  6. Corporate and Business Unit Strategy
  7. Market Access and Value
  8. Strategic Planning
  9. Advanced Analytics
  10. Program Management Office (PMO)

Top 10 Fastest Growing Skills for 2021

  1. Compliance Strategy and Processes (+700%)
  2. B2B Marketing (+450%)
  3. Portfolio Strategy (+263%)
  4. Forecasting (+260%)
  5. Channel Management (+250%)
  6. Service Operations (+233%)
  7. Capital Raising (+200%)
  8. Clinical Solutions (+200%)
  9. Shared Services (+200%)
  10. Data Management (+175%)

Resourcing for High-Growth Recovery

BTG’s annual Skills Index comes at a time when companies across industries are seeking to accelerate growth and capture opportunities enabled by rapidly increasing digitization and structural changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to in-demand skills and expertise will be key to achieving companies’ desired level of growth as the global economy recovers and to help navigate the uncertainty sewn by new COVID variants—underscoring the business imperative of remaining nimble in the face of fast-moving events.

“The BTG Skills Index provides compelling insight into the ways companies are tapping independent talent to adapt to post-pandemic market forces and make the most of the nascent global economic recovery. From delivering mainstay skills such as market analysis and project management to niche expertise in growing fields and functions, high-end independent talent are fueling growth, optimizing operations, and driving market-moving results across all areas of the business landscape,” said BTG Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jody Greenstone Miller.

“In the past year, corporate leaders have seen firsthand how independents can help their companies remain agile and deftly maneuver amidst extreme turbulence in the business landscape,” Miller continued. “With uncertainty now a fixture of our new normal, high-end independent talent are a critical component of the talent mix to achieve the flexibility and competitive advantage today’s most successful businesses require.”

As a pioneer in the high-end independent talent market, BTG has more than thirteen years of experience delivering innovative talent solutions and proprietary data on how leading companies can best leverage independents for critical business needs—whether remote, on-site, or a hybrid mix of both. For more talent trends, expert advice, and case studies by industry or business function, visit the BTG Business Resource Center at

About Business Talent Group

Business Talent Group (BTG) is the leading talent platform that connects top independent management 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. That’s why more than 50% of the F100 and hundreds of other leading companies trust BTG to curate, vet, and compliantly deliver talent who fuel growth, innovation, and performance improvement. BTG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII).

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Nyssa Kourakos,, 917-364-5531

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