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Gig Economy: Assumptions, Reality & Staffing Industry

Gig Economy is on the rise! More and more candidates are stirring away from traditional employment to flexible employment practice. As the numbers of gig economy workers have increased, so has the number of companies introducing new contingent positions.

However, few businesses and recruitment companies are still reluctant to accept the changing employment marketplace because of certain assumptions about gig economy workers.

Let’s take a quick look at these assumptions below.

Assumptions about Gig Economy Workers
A quote by Agatha Christie, "Assumptions are Dangerous Things.", to highlight the assumptions made about Gig Economy Workers
Agatha Christie couldn’t have said it better!

There are many myths concerning the gig economy workforce. However, the most notable ones that prevail in everyday thinking are:

  • Giggers are failed, full-time employees. They can’t hold on to stable employment.
  • Gig workers can’t find a permanent full-time job.
  • Contingent workers struggle to make money.
  • Taking Gig assignments is a ‘millennial’ thing, only.

Despite the above-listed assumptions prevailing in common thinking, a study carried out by SHRM and SAP Successfactors indicated that they couldn’t be further away from the truth.

Debunking the Assumptions
A woman kicking the air symbolising kicking away the assumptions made about gig economy workers
Kick those assumptions away!

A research carried out by SHRM and SAP SuccessFactors, involving over 1700 interviews, brought stats into light that debunked these assumptions.

  • The primary reasons that motivated candidates to work as gig economy workers are:
    • Flexibility to work on their schedule (49%)
    • Flexibility to choose the work hours (40%)
    • Flexibility to work from any location (33%)
  • 74% of external workers indicated that the inability to find a steady job was not the reason they moved into the gig economy.
  • Almost 1 in 5 freelancers and giggers prefer working independently to working traditionally.
  • Over 1/3rd interviewees quoted making more money compared to their previous full-time jobs.

Another survey carried out by iCIMS, involving 1000 US gig workers, reported following numbers:

  • Majority of the external workers are experienced, and nearly 50% hold an associate’s degree at the very least. They are not low wage workers trying to add to their income.
  • Flexibility to work on their own terms is more important to them than stability that full-time employment offers. 76% of the contingent workforce find contract gigs exciting.

Summarising the truth about gig economy:

  • Majority of the independent workers are choosing to move into gig economy; necessity is not driving them towards it.
  • Gig economy workers are educated and resourceful.
  • Contingent workers are capable enough to land and hold a permanent job should they want to. They are not failed employees.
  • The gig economy is not merely a ‘millennial’ thing. Though gigging has experienced expansive growth in recent years because of increased millennial presence, people over 55 age group are moving towards independent work as well.
  • Majority of independent workers are happier and more engaged after moving away from the traditional employment model.
The above surveys show that it is important to look past these assumptions and take notice of the gig economy. Make efforts to understand it, recognise the driving force behind its growth and find ways to leverage it for your business.

 

Gig Economy and Staffing Industry
An image with text that reads 'Think outside the box."
What you need to do to cope with Gig Economy

Thanks to the rise of the gig economy, there is a gradual yet significant shift in the staffing methodology. Many large and mid-sized enterprises are opening up to the idea of transforming permanent positions into contingent ones.

At QX RPO Services, we understand that recruitment and staffing agencies must find a way to remain a valid option for candidates as well as businesses in this growing gig economy landscape.

Rather than dreading this change, staffing segment should consider this as an opportunity to solve the serious need of companies eyeing gig workers. Of course, to achieve this, they need to transform their operational framework and approach recruitment and staffing from a fresh perspective.

Using new tech to match the supply and demand of candidates is one way to do it. There are several recruitment agencies and RPO bodies in the market already that use artificial intelligence (AIs), robots and automation tech to streamline the hiring and talent management process. Automated processes such as electronic onboarding, shift scheduling, and attendance tracking go a long way in optimising business processes for the staffing agencies. Such integration can keep the processes scalable and fluid, enabling the businesses to better cope with the gig economy landscape.

In terms of candidate sourcing , the sourcing experts and recruiters must approach candidates differently and focus on skills, rather than titles or designations.

 

Conclusion

While the approach towards recruitment practices may vary, most recruiters will agree that the gig economy is bound to have a significant impact on the staffing and recruitment industry. You must make sure that you are adequately prepared with an approach towards hiring gig economy workers for your clients.

Need help? You can also opt to partner up with end-to-end RPO service providers to ease the hiring stress. At QX RPO UK Service, we provide offshore recruitment support from India, covering full-time as well as contingent positions, to staffing agencies spread out across the UK.

a photo of Ian Knowlson with a link to his interview with QX