Written by John Day, Founder, AV HERO
Beyond “pandemic” or “masks”, the “Great Resignation” may have been the biggest buzz phrase of 2021. Many industries, including the AV industry, painted a picture of being unable to find skilled talent, some even saying the problem was workers that just didn’t want to work. But when you look behind the scenes, what is actually happening is that workers are discovering their value and with job boards overflowing with postings, workers now have the leverage. The freelance revolution is here and traditional AV companies need to embrace the change and possibly take a different approach when it comes to hiring.
At the start of the pandemic, technicians throughout the industry were laid off or furloughed as projects, installs, and events were put on hold, along with the rest of everyday life. During the lockdown, people enjoyed newfound flexibility and were able to do the things they enjoy more easily. As things have slowly returned to pre-pandemic life, workers are trying to find more of a work-life balance after recognizing that life is more than a 9-5 job.
This line of thinking has caused the freelance economy to boom and even though traditional AV companies may be comfortable today, many will want to re-strategize what getting a project done looks like and how they are going to find the right people to get things done moving forward. As the demands of the AV industry continue to ramp up, companies are finding themselves with millions of dollars of labor they need to outsource and don’t have the people in-house to handle it. If they expect the technicians that got laid off will be looking for the same scenario as before, they might be in for a surprise.
For those willing to embrace it, there are benefits to hiring freelance technicians for companies big and small. Working with freelancers allows companies to operate lean since traditional overhead costs are not needed when working with freelancers. Nationally and globally, it also can expand the overall footprint of your company. As it becomes easier to access AV experts within any location, companies will be able to increase the amount of work in areas without physical office space or presence, expanding the ability to work in areas they might once have struggled to work within. Gone are the days when you need to send an entire team and incur the costs for their flights, per diems, hotels, etc. Now, companies can easily hire freelance technicians to cover offsite projects ranging from site surveys to install support.
As the freelance revolution shows no signs of stopping, traditional hiring companies will also need to adapt as the requirements for completing projects and keeping people satisfied become less predictable. AV companies are going to have a lot fewer technicians on the payroll, focusing employee hires around leadership and sales positions, and freelancers will be the way to get things done.
Clients want things now, and if you can’t do it they will find the company that can. AV companies need to keep customer satisfaction high as we navigate, what we hope, are the final stages of the pandemic. An idea before the pandemic, AV HERO is unlike a traditional labor company. Calling ourselves the “Uber of AV”, we work as a middle man between AV companies and expert AV technicians. Companies and technicians work directly through our automated platform to quickly hire technicians at the flat rate of $75/hour. Technicians are paid $50/hour which is higher than the industry average of $20.37. These AV “HEROES” get the opportunity to save the day, giving them the recognition they deserve while providing high-level service to AV companies and their clients. The name of the game is to embrace the change and if you do, this evolution will have benefits for all.