Managing the gig economy

The so-called “gig economy” is starting to change the way we think about our workforce. As the world of work becomes more flexible, an increasing number of professionals are opting to become independent contractors who market their skills to businesses, for as long as they are required.


This new type of employee creates a new set of challenges for businesses to manage. These professionals tend to want more flexible working arrangements and work-life balance. They are agile and don’t want to be tied to the traditional 9-5 working day. As such, employers need to change how they think about their HR policies.

Plan ahead
If you want to use contractors and flexible workers you should create a plan for how you intend to allocate costs associated with them. In addition, you should agree a process by which you can set objectives and track deliverables and achievement of key milestones.

Work with the right partners
If you are going to use a recruitment agency to help you to employ contract workers, look for agencies that truly understand the flexible employment market. Do your due diligence and make sure they have experience of working with firms in your industry.

Cost drivers
Contract workers can help you to lower talent costs. As well as employment agencies, there are various online resources available such as Freelancers and Upworkers that allow independent contractors to pitch to your firm to work on your projects. This can help give you access to some of the best talent around but at a lower cost.

Utilise technology
Technology plays a key role in managing a flexible workforce. Contractors will need to access your systems and data. Consider whether they will use their own computer or whether its best that they are allocated a company-owned laptop / device for the duration of their contract. You should also consider security and ensure that company data held on any contract worker’s devices can be managed remotely if required.

The firms that are best able to tap into this growing talent pool will be able to access skills that may previously have been inaccessible to them. For example, some contractors may have broad experience gained from working on projects at multinational firms that can be of great benefit to your firm.

 

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