Understanding The Gig Economy: Why is it so popular?
Defined as: ‘a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs’, the gig economy represents a social, cultural, and business evolution in attitudes towards permanent, fixed employment, in favour of more flexible and temporary staffing arrangements.
The reality is, as more and more workers fluctuate between different positions and alternate working hours to accommodate their lifestyle, the gig economy becomes ever more popular. This presents a challenge for recruiters more accustomed to filling permanent roles than ‘ad-hoc’, temporary staffing ones and, as a result, the recruitment industry is changing.
This blog will highlight some of the key aspects of the gig economy that recruiters need to take into consideration, as well as how the gig economy is reshaping the recruitment industry.
The Benefits of a gig economy
The gig economy is a working environment built around short-term engagements, temporary staffing, and freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. It’s attractive for both employers and employees:
- It gives employers the freedom to hire qualified individuals on a part-time or ‘as needed’ basis and offers greater control over both resources and budget.
- It gives employees the freedom and flexibility they desire, allowing them to fit their work around personal engagements and activities.
The gig economy is orientated around independent, freelance workers selecting jobs they are interested in, rather than simply being forced into a position where they have to accept whatever jobs they can find, or are offered. The consequence is that temporary jobs, contractor work and part-time roles are becoming more popular.
Why is it becoming more popular?
The advancement of digital initiatives, Cloud-based solutions and the way technology supports our social lifestyle is also changing our working lifestyle. It is now entirely possible to build a business online without the need for data storage servers or even an office! All you need is connection to the Internet. VPNs (Virtual Private Network), video and voice communication are making work life considerably less complex and strenuous, allowing employees to work whenever and wherever they want, and conduct meetings from home or on the go.
Not only is the gig economy introducing greater work flexibility, it is also influencing employers’ attitudes towards the needs of their employees. Companies are now more likely to offer their employees flexible working schemes, as well as allow their employees to work from home and those that don’t are viewed as having an out-dated workplace environment.
How can recruiters help candidates looking for a ‘gig job’?
For recruiters helping candidates looking for ‘gig jobs’, it’s vital to ensure that information on their website concerning job and candidate availability is regularly updated. Updating job positions on the website as and when they become available is a must.
However, it is important to not be swept up by the pace of the gig economy. The general recruitment procedure has not changed, just its immediacy.
First and foremost, establishing what your candidates want, what they are looking for, and their preferences, is of the utmost importance. Take the time to understand your candidates, as this will help you provide them with opportunities that are relevant and appealing.
Even with the gig economy altering the pace of the recruitment landscape, recruiting best practices still apply. Ensure you provide your candidates with an exceptional service – and if you are unsure of just what you should be doing – read our blog on the Do’s and Don’ts of recruitment.
The gig economy is a new dimension to candidate recruitment that recruiters are grappling with and if you want more information on how to attract the latest talent, then download our free eBook: 10 Techniques to Target the Next Generation of Candidates.