In the digital age, how business is conducted is constantly changing. To stay nimble, you need to keep an eye on new practices and incorporate the ones that make sense for your business. Hiring is changing as a result of the rise of the gig economy and of course as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
The pandemic is forcing the hands of businesses holding on to tried and true hiring practices. The work from home mandates that were put into place to stop the spread of COVID-19 compelled the rapid development of remote work protocols at businesses that had not considered that possibility before now.
Based on what has been demonstrated during the nation-wide remote work experiment, businesses that previously didn’t consider gig workers for their workforce are now reconsidering the possibilities and the benefits of the gig economy.
Today, a third of workers identify as gig workers, according to Guild. A report issued by the Freelancers Union says that a majority of American workers will be freelancing by 2027. Companies that are not yet hiring gig workers are missing out on the skills, flexibility and cost savings available through this workforce.
Gig workers give your business flexibility. Gig workers are typically hired for a specific project or time frame. They bring specific expertise to their role that you might not have access to in your traditional full time team. When it’s crunch time, gig workers come onto the team ready to be productive. When the project is complete, you don’t have the additional headcount on the payroll.
There are cost savings associated with hiring gig workers. While you should definitely find out from your financial advisor if this is the case for you, in most places, gig workers are not eligible for benefits or vacation pay and you don’t pay their taxes. They also don’t require office space, working from where ever they are located. Onboarding gig workers is faster, reducing the time employees are paid to learn what they need to do their jobs.
Freelancers can supplement your workforce during seasonal busy periods. They know that this is a seasonal hire with no expectation of full time work. Many prefer the flexibility it gives them to do what they like and then move to the next gig.
You can develop a relationship with talented workers. It’s possible to avoid some of the interview process by hiring gig workers for specific tasks. This allows you to test whether a worker can handle the job and fit in with your team. You can develop a relationship with them, and perhaps bring them on as a full time employee down the road, or hire them for other short term projects as needed.
Freelancers bring fresh perspectives into the business. You may not have the need for someone with a specialized talent on a full time basis, but hiring a gig worker for that specialty when needed can give your team fresh insights into their projects. A fresh set of eyes can identify inefficiencies and suggest remedies, or can give the team useful feedback to validate that they are on the right path.
Oftentimes the most talented people turn to gig work for the flexibility it offers. Thing Gen Z and increasingly, retirees. For small businesses especially, this means that access to top talent for specific projects is available and affordable. A wide range of skillsets are available on demand. Businesses can now hire for just about any need for affordable prices without sacrificing quality work.
Many employers are finding that supporting the gig economy by hiring gig workers is a win for them in a multitude of ways. If you think your company could benefit from hiring gig workers, it might be time to revisit your hiring strategy to include them.