You are not alien to tough competition in the job market, and guess what? It just got fiercer with the “uberization of the workforce” seeping deeper into the recruitment industry.
One thing that recruiters need to do to ride this wave is to rethink their hiring process.
This guide will help you understand all about gig economy and prep you up with best practices to ace gig recruitment. So let’s get started.
What is Gig Economy?
The term Gig Economy refers to the free-market economy where candidates work on a short-term contract or as a freelancer with a company instead of traditional full-time employees.
The gig working model allows companies to hire independent workers on a demand basis without spending much on their recruitment and management processes.
Apart from avoiding paying regular employee benefits, many employers go the extra mile to save money by outsourcing their gigger’s management tasks to external agencies.
Sometimes, recruiters also hire gig workers to fill their client company’s immediate skill gap or to fit into budget constraints, making this one of the most preferred types of working models, especially for small companies.
Various surveys have found that:
- More than two-thirds of gig economy workers find freelancing more secure than the traditional employment system.
- 63% of full-time employees in India have expressed their desire to work independently.
- 84% of freelancers have said they live their preferred lifestyle that otherwise would not have been possible if they were full-time workers.
With such popularity, it is evident that freelancing has influenced and will continue to influence how most companies work and approach talents.
This seismic shift in the working model has further fueled recruiters to redesign their hiring practices to attract and recruit talent, even from the gig market.
However, this isn’t going to be easy.
But not impossible too!
Before we guide you to become a gig worker magnet, let us discuss a few challenges.
3 Common Challenges Faced by Companies While Attracting Giggers
1. Gig Economy Calls for a Strong Employer Branding
Employer branding plays a crucial role in attracting new talents, be they full-time candidates or gig workers.
Companies with a poor recruitment marketing strategy will find it challenging to sustain in the market if the gig economy becomes the most favorable working model.
Solution: Using social media to highlight your client’s company work culture, writing targeted job descriptions, strengthening your EVP practices, and focusing on enhancing your gigger’s overall experience while working with you can boost your employer branding.
2. Difficulty in Building Meaningful Relationships
Many gig workers feel disconnected from their company after the project or the contract period ends.
Some even terminate the contract in the middle, either due to serious issues like violation of the agreement by the client or simpler ones like getting bored with the current project.
And it’s not even shocking. After all, they are never considered on the same level as a full-time employee.
This feeling aggravates the engagement between the company and the worker, making it challenging to build common ground between both.
Solution: The best way to retain freelancers is by including them in brainstorming sessions and meetings, keeping the communication channels open, and personally reaching out to them every once in a while so they don’t feel aloof.
3. Balancing Contractual and Regular Employees
Since gig workers are not permanent employees, their management can be complex if appropriate policies and processes are not developed.
Here are three areas where most recruiters fail while managing giggers:
- Unclear classification of gig workers
- Maintaining hiring quality– It can either be a hit or miss. There is no in-between.
- Poor infrastructure to supervise freelancers
Solution: Companies must assign someone specifically to track and monitor gig workers. Also, partnering with third-party managed service providers and recruitment process outsourcing agencies may help avoid misclassifying employees intentionally.
4 Ways to Attract and Hire Talented Gig Workers
1. Keep up with the Hiring Pace
Recruiters need to speed up the entire hiring process to recruit independent workers.
Yes, the interviews and assessments are important but don’t go overboard with those. You can always look at the gigger’s portfolio for a better understanding of their skill sets and hire them only if they suit your requirements.
Since gig workers aren’t full-time employees, you don’t need to spend much time assessing them.
Talent engagement and sourcing strategies shouldn’t fail to keep up with the pace and should also reflect the demands of gig talent.
2. Go for Social Recruitment
Social media usage is rising, and most gig workers look for work opportunities on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
This is where social recruiting comes into play.
Actively posting content on your social media feeds, giving quick responses, most importantly, providing valuable content to freelancers can elevate your social media game.
You should use social networking sites to learn about the candidate’s professional experience, achievements, and background. Recruiters can promote job alerts and reach out to more gig workers using social media.
It is also crucial to tap into the right social media platforms and ensure that your company’s online and social media presence reflects the brand.
3. Be an Autonomous Company
Contractual workers are usually students or hustlers who wish to work on their gig projects during their free time. Since freelancing is often a mere side hustle for them, they expect their clients to be flexible with their project requirements.
Simply put, they wish to work on their own time and demand flexibility.
It’s never too late to acknowledge that remote working allows people to work anytime from anywhere. That is precisely what freelancers look for before applying for a job.
With flexibility, you may be worried if the hired talent does not work enough. After all, they are not bound by any fixed working hour contract as that of regular employees. Freelancer chooses when they wish to work and when not, which may sometime lead to delays.
To avoid this problem, set strict deadlines to submit the projects. You cannot control their working hours, but nobody is stopping you from expecting your candidate to submit the task within a specific timeline.
4. Invest in Training
Just because the recruitment process is slightly different doesn’t mean that independent workers should not be trained. While full-time employees need the training to develop skills to address any challenge that may occur in the long run, employers cannot afford to ignore the fact that hiring gig workers is an investment in itself.
So why not invest a little bit more in their training and get better outputs in return?
Organizing training sessions for all workers, interns, trainees, or contractual/ independent workers is essential.
Gig workers should also be upskilled in their assigned work, which lies in the interest of both the workers and the company. This way, the workers deliver better output and utilize their full potential.
Remember, talent acquisition is all about motivating talented giggers.
If you aim to grow your business in the gig market, it is vital to be proactive and adapt to your talent’s needs.
From utilizing the right recruiting software to leveraging employee advocacy, every step taken towards improving your gigger’s experience will make your hiring practices seamless.
Remember, be it hiring a gig worker or a full-time employee, you will have to think like a marketer and aim to constantly evolve your strategies along with the changing market.
Show the temporary workers that they matter!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Will the Gig Economy Replace Traditional Employment?
There is a fear among companies that independent jobs will replace conventional jobs. The concern is justified because of the flexibility and instant service delivery.
However, gig workers aren’t entitled to full-time employee benefits.
Workforce culture evolves every day, and newer trends develop every day, but that doesn’t mean the existing traditional employment method will vanish.
After all, a company is like a family and needs its permanent employees.
2. How Has the Pandemic Affected Gig Workers?
The COVID-19 pandemic has wholly positively transformed the gig economy by accelerating it.
Studies have found that even full-time employees who either quit their jobs or were fired because of the economic disruptions the pandemic caused looked up to freelancing or contractual work as a side hustle to earn money.
3. What are Some Popular Online Gig Economy Jobs?
Most of the gig jobs are done online. Often, freelancers sign up on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, etc., to bid on the gigs that clients from all over the world post there. These platforms make it easier for giggers and clients to connect and interact.
Of course, there are offline ones, too, like food and grocery delivery, cab driving, caregiving, etc. But let’s admit it; getting things done online is way easier.
Here are a few most popular ones:
- Content writing
- Graphic Designing
- Video Editing
- Online tutoring
- App or website development
The list is inexhaustible and practically impossible for us to cover.
The key takeaway is that the gig market is booming dramatically and will continue to. (At least until the digital workspace exists, and that’s forever, isn’t it?)