Over the recent past years, a lot has changed in the way job markets function. We are moving from a traditional ‘Job Economy’ to ‘Gig Economy’. While the old system involved individuals focusing on a lifetime career, gig workers are those who work on a freelance, temporary or need basis. Technological advancements have made it possible for people to work independently while on the move through a cloud platform.
For example, UrbanClap Currently, it employs thousands of gig workers in areas of maintenance, home repair, beauty, wellness and more. This has allowed the company to earn more profits by cutting down the costs of running a salon. In other words, the gig economy is proving to be a win-win strategy for a professional as well as the company.
With gig economy slowly inching towards becoming the norm, the need of the hour for HR executives is to prepare for it well so as not to let the companies be impacted detrimentally. But how should they engage a digital workforce and assimilate them seamlessly in a company to make the most of what the ‘human cloud platform’ has to offer?
Here’s how HR professionals can evolve to fit the new job market better:
• By acquiring the support of the top management to effectively leverage gig talent and take the company’s business to greater heights.• By reiterating the importance of compliance and legal nuances such as ‘Non-Disclosure Agreements’ while hiring gig talent for the company.
• By instilling a sense of inclusion, appreciation and mutual support right from the start while hiring gig professionals so they are motivated to give the best results.
• By playing the role of a strategic business partner over and above their day-to-day HR responsibilities and including the gig talent in the broader workforce strategy. This includes encouraging the top management to match gig talent strategy with the business strategy to achieve higher returns.
While it is a fact that gig economy has been more prevalent in countries such as the US, so much so that freelancing income contributes nearly 5% of GDP or almost $1 trillion to the economy (more than the leading sectors like transportation and construction), India is not far behind and has been welcoming gig economy with open arms as well.¹
A recent report by Truelancer corroborates the findings with India accounting for $1 billion of the global freelancer market valued at $2-3 billion and growing at an annual rate of 14%. While the US tops the list with 53 million independent workers, India is leveraging the gig economy concept with 15 million freelancers. The leading segments in the usage of gig workers are the IT sector, Banking and Finance and Life Sciences.²
Remember, it was technology that led to the advent of the gig economy, and so, technology alone will be its accelerator not just in India but all across the globe. In the end, the companies will have to recognize the skills on offer by contingent workers alongside the challenges it brings and create jobs that are specific to their profiles.
Is gig economy here to stay? The answer is a resounding yes! With time, we can most certainly expect more individuals to move into the gig economy due to benefits such as improved work-life balance and the convenience to work with who you want and when you want. The employers, on the other hand, can considerably benefit from the reduced costs of not hiring a long-term employee who may not prove to be the right fit in the long-term and instead of hiring on-demand workforce based on skills for different projects. Undoubtedly, the gig economy is poised for unprecedented growth across specializations and multiple industry verticals.
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