By now, every business has heard that hiring gig workers can be lucrative and also cost-saving. Project-based hiring can be worked out on the basis of short-term contracts and slices the overhead costs of maintaining a ready workforce. This is profitable when demand generation is unpredictable or low. It can also be scaled up quickly. To truly glean the merits of hiring gig workers, the organizations aggregating these services need a deep understanding of the gig working model.
In Intuit’s 2020 report on Twenty Trends That Will Shape The Next Decade, the number of gig workers in the formal workforce as of the year 2018 was pegged at 36%. This number was forecast to go up to 43% by the end of the year 2020. This estimate hinges on the fact that the hiring of on-demand workers is a sound decision from financial and logistical standpoints. It’s a trend for the future of work that’s poised to get stronger.
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Advantages of hiring gig workers can be analyzed as follows:
- Proof of ability is the only criterion: Since the factors of a candidate’s location, work timings, and in some cases even the experience at a job pale in comparison to actual ability, hiring is much easier. A quick chat or phone interview can reveal more than a résumé ever will about a candidate being able to perform the required task. Further concerns, backgrounds checks, induction, and onboarding of the gig workforce to initiate them into a business environment are unnecessary. This makes the whole prospect of hiring gig workers a breeze.
- Saving manpower costs: The whole human resource department can cut down the number of admin tasks and paperwork by hiring gig workers. There are no payroll administration, tax computation tasks, nor staffing and cookie-cutter models of workforce planning to be carried out when people work remotely and present their services/products online. Or, a leaner workforce can report in person and work while following social distancing and health safety protocols. This is not possible with the convention strength of staff. Flexible workers’ hours can be tracked via mobile or desktop applications virtually, which makes for far fewer absenteeism concerns or accountability for work hours that HR personnel needs to track. Compensation for flexible workers is purely on an hourly or per project basis. In turn, it paves the way for smart workforce planning that is not governed by fixed work weeks. The workers can telecommute or work from home. They submit their invoices which can be cross-referenced and paid out in a single day or even less than that.
- Wider talent pool: Since no workers are required to come into the office to fill in a timesheet of work in the freelance economy, an organization can hire nearly anyone who is qualified. They could be in the same city or outside the country. They can interface with team members and managers only when required. This is a direct save on time that employees opine compulsory meetings in the corporate structure take out of their productive time in the traditional setting.
- Business models supported by freelancers were in vogue even before the pandemic. The reason? Good workers and networkers can find the right fit between a job and a skill-set. To the worker developing a side income, the flexible world of work in the freelance economy lets them experiment with different difficulty levels and envision lateral growth. For companies, it’s an opportunity to turn around various work profiles and job families with minimal cost of trial and error. As consultants, the workers can demand better wages; companies in their turn save costs and scale up or down based on demand. Scalability is a considerable advantage. With the track record of successful gig working models already established, there is evidence to support that hiring gig workers can be a profitable endeavor for business concerns.
The inherent challenge for the future of work when hiring gig workers is that the term ‘gig worker’ should be defined without ambiguity. Employers may choose to call their part-timers, temporary workers, freelancers, consultants, vendors, or contractors by that name. Having clearly-defined terms ensures that there are no discrepancies in job responsibilities, compensation, and renewal of contracts.
- COVID-19 and Employment: Why the Definition of Gig Workers Matters More Than You Think | The Wire | Bhavani Seetharaman | Sept 2020
- THE GIG ECONOMY: 4 ADVANTAGES OF HIRING GIG WORKERS | Gigworx The Blog | GigWorx Blogger | Aug 2020
- How to Hire in the Gig Economy | RecruiterBox | Dave Anderson | April 2018
- 4 Things to Know about Hiring Contractors in the Gig Economy | Randstad risesmart | Jessica Miller-Merrell | May 2018
- Intuit 2020 report: Twenty Trends That Will Shape The Next Decade | Intuit 2020 report | Emergent Research – Intuit collaboration
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