May 24, 2018
Independent contractors are one of the fastest growing segments of the American workforce. And while much of the conversation is centered on Millennials, nearly one-third (31%) of independent workers are Boomers, who are retiring from the office but not the workplace. We sat down with new CooperKatz clients, Sharon Emek, President and CEO of WAHVE, and Bob Criscuolo, President and COO at WAHVE Accounting, about how WAHVE Accounting is connecting “vintage experts” with companies who need experienced talent.
Sharon Emek: I was inspired to create WAHVE to solve a looming problem as Baby Boomers retire. Many industries would be facing a huge talent drain; institutional knowledge and network relationships would be walking out the door. Conversely, Boomers were not prepared to stop working completely as they knew they would live significantly longer than previous generations, and would need to supplement their retirement income. They also were looking to have more time to enjoy their life and not be tied to an office, the daily commute, and the office stress. Technology was also transforming how we work. I was working half the time from home and my staff were emailing me over the weekend.
All this brewing in my head for a solution, I researched retirement sites to learn what they were offering. All the jobs were back in an office or an establishment. I thought that was an oxymoron. If you retired, why were you back in an office? I woke up one morning with the solution – knowledge work can be done from anywhere. Qualify the skills and knowledge of our “pretiring” talent, set them up to work from home and match them to companies across the country who need that talent.
Bob Criscuolo: During the past several years, our insurance clients, as well as other business owners and operators, have repeatedly commented on the need for a service like ours in the accounting field. After a period of assessment, we determined the accounting space would be an ideal area for expansion.
In addition to the strong demand for accounting professionals, we were confident we could successfully leverage our existing insurance relationships to jump start the practice. Every company has a need for accounting help, from preparing their financial statements to guidance in filing their annual tax returns.
Bigger companies maintain a large team of accountants and frequently look to add professional talent. Smaller firms often find themselves unable to afford a full-time staff and rely on contractors to maintain their books and records. Regardless of their size or location, we are a viable option for every company.
Sharon Emek: Nasdaq estimates that 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2020. As we look further into the future, I believe we will have five generations of workers (Gen Z, Millennials-Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers, and some Silent Gens). About a quarter will work in the office full-time, 50 percent will have flexible work arrangements and another quarter will work 100 percent remotely. Artificial Intelligence will be more embedded in process work, freeing workers from data entry, and will provide them with more and accurate information to make better decisions. Some jobs will be shared, and work hours will start to decline to 30 hours a week. We are continuing to move toward an era of flexibility, and that will only continue.
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