A recent study by Fieldglass and Ardent Partners found that “nearly 35 percent of today’s total workforce is comprised of non-employee workers”. These workers are otherwise known as ‘freelance’ or ‘gig’ workers. And it seems this trend has been growing over the past few years. Now, many businesses are viewing these workers as a key element to success.
This freelance economy often goes by the names ‘flex economy’ or ‘gig economy’ and has been made popular and accessible by a growing number of platforms that facilitate freelancers in finding work and companies in hiring them. New labor markets like UpWork, job boards such as Indeed, and even social media outlets like LinkedIn, have been the driving force in the gig economy’s growth.
For companies, they’re are afforded the opportunity to hire pre-screened, pre-trained, niche workers who can come on quickly for only as long as they’re needed. This allows companies to scale up and down more efficiently based on changing needs. And it also lessens the burden of cost associated with full-time hires while quickly alleviating the stress of understaffing issues.
And for the workers themselves, it allows them the freedom of an independent career based around their unique strengths and can often allow for time and location independence as well.
As this economy continues to grow, we can expect to see changes in how we hire talent. Here are a few ways to plan for and evolve along with them:
Embrace freelancer management systems.
Also know as software-as-a-service platforms, these solutions make it easier to find, hire, manage and pay non-traditional employees. They can handle paperwork and contracts, manage larger numbers of external workers at once, and ensure labor compliance and effective payment processes. UpWork, mentioned earlier, is an example of an FMS.
Commit to flexibility and trust.
Although some have been forced into freelance work, many have chosen it for themselves for a variety of reasons. Highly skilled freelancers can work anywhere they want. Recruiting them under false pretenses won’t work for long. Your company must have an authentic commitment to providing the type of working environment those in the gig economy are seeking, such as location independence, flexible hours and a sense of autonomy. Earning their trust by delivering on these recruitment phase promises and then trusting them to their own process are essential.
Harness the power of social media.
Those in the gig economy are always candidates. And those candidates are always on social media. With over a billion monthly users in any given combination of social media platforms worldwide, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, it can be an incredibly effective way to find, engage and hire top freelance talent. It can also work as a passive recruitment tool, attracting top talent through building a brand identity known for being a great place to work.
The gig economy is changing the way we hire talent. Traditional forms of recruiting and hiring are becoming less effective and the typical responsibilities of a hiring manager are being automated. Because much of the workforce is now made up of freelance workers, they simply cannot be managed in the same way as traditional employees. Proactively planning to evolve along with this trend toward a growing gig economy is imperative to any company’s success.
Interested in learning more about developing your strategy to hire, train and retain top talent? Contact us today!
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