Not for Hire? Perhaps.

Some folks prefer to go it alone by starting their own company and some workers unfortunately disqualify themselves with falsehoods on job applications. However an opportunity exists with many recent “retirees” being willing to return to the workplace.

According to a survey commissioned by the Freelancers Union, thirty-four percent of the American workforce is freelancing. That’s 53 million Americans. A decade ago, the General Accountability Office found 42.6 million “contingent workers (freelancers)”, an increase of nearly 25 percent.

Independent research firm Edelman Berland provided additional information on freelancing. They found 77 percent desire to “earn extra money”. Regular job moonlighters make up 27 percent of the independent workforce. The biggest group of freelancers (40 percent) is independent contractors, on a project-to-project basis. About half of freelancers complain about lack of stable income and the difficulty of finding work. The rule of thumb is that they should spend 1/3 of their time on marketing their services. Another category, “diversified workers”, balances out their week between hours with a regular employer, a part-time side gig and freelancing. Temps — freelancers working on one contract — are only 10 percent.

The Pew Research Center suggested Millennials, more educated people and women are often the ones working more than one job. Millennials also are slightly more likely to freelance than older workers. For some it is the only career they have ever known. Sixty-two percent of Millennials are likely to look for work that has a positive world impact and is more purposeful.

What about retirees? Rob Garver of Fiscal Times noted a survey conducted by Reuters-Ipsos that showed that 40 percent of retirees reported that they had stopped working involuntarily. Thirty percent said that, if a job became available, they would effectively “un-retire”. This could be a potential source of trained and “reliable” workers for business owners.

This has implications on the monetary policy dictated by the Federal Open Market Committee. A number of members appear to believe rate increases should come relatively soon as “full employment” levels have been reached. Finding the proper yardstick to measure this is currently debatable. When the job market tightens, wages should rise, which results in inflationary pressure on prices. Inflationary pressures can be offset by raising interest rates, currently near all-time lows.

Federal Reserve Board Chair, Janet Yellen, believes there is more “slack” in the labor market than just the official unemployment rate measurement. This is supported by the Reuters-Ipsos finding that there are many workers not now considered part of the workforce.

One concern employers express and reported by Amy Langfield of CNBC is the degree of outright lying by potential employees on résumés. Fully 58 percent of hiring managers said they have caught a lie on a résumé, according to a Harris Poll conducted for CareerBuilder.

As a former banker, I, myself, found it surprising that 73 percent of applicants in the financial services industry misrepresented themselves. Others with a high degree of lacking veracity were in the leisure, hospitality, health care and retail sectors. To learn more see the full report.

The Harris poll listed that the most common embellishments were skill set (57 percent) and responsibilities (55 percent). Also noted were the dates of employment (42 percent), job title (34 percent) and academic degrees earned (33 percent). Additional errors noted included, job history listing companies worked for (26 percent) and awards achieved (18 percent).

Amy Friedman, Partners in Human Resources International, found a generational difference. “Among millennials there is a lot of puffing-up going on. Whereas, older workers, still in the workforce are “less likely to self-promote” and consequently are losing out on job offers.”

The upside of this honesty by older employees is employers do perform background check dates of employment, titles, education, and responsibilities. One falsehood will immediately eliminate any job seeker from consideration.

Any business plan should include the essential job descriptions. Additionally, those hired must be matched with capable and reliably honest employees. Michigan State University Extension educators working with the MSU Product Center provide business counseling and help to guide business planning for clients.

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