4 Ways HR can Embrace the Gig Workforce

Posted 30-Sep -2019

The buzz around the so-called gig economy has been growing louder in recent years. Commonly, known as the flexible or the mobile economy has attracted talent looking for the right work-life balance. From data entry to website development to HR consulting, across a slew of different industries, modern workers are opting to work independently and take on gigs with companies rather than sticking to a full-time job.

In India, 86% of professionals indicate they are more open to non-traditional work arrangements than they were in the past, according to Randstad Sourceright. This indicates an impending disruption in the modern workplace where Human Resource is at the forefront of the changing workplace dynamics. Hence, HR needs to revisit the talent acquisition, development and retention policies for the evolving workforce.

Here is a list of 4 ways HR can embrace the gig workforce to be prepared for the future of work:

Embrace Workplace Flexibility: To embrace the gig workforce, firstly, businesses need to embrace flexibility. Flexible working is at the core of the gig economy and the very reason for professionals to choose gigs. Also, from the employer’s point of view, flexibility has been the key motivator for employees to work efficiently. According to a recent report by Noble House, 63% of business believe that employees’ productivity spikes when they are offered flexible work arrangement like work-from-home or flexible office hours. HR must consider this growing need of the workers and embrace flexibility to attract and retain the top talent.

Identify gig roles in your organisation: With 81% of employers hiring gig workers in the last one year, according to the Noble House survey, the gig economy is definitely here and growing. HR must identify roles in the organisation that can be let out to the gig workers. For instance, 60% of businesses are willing to hire a gig worker for roles that do not require an 8-hour workday as this brings down the cost and the headcount. Also, one can consider hiring gig workers to backfill position for employees on maternity, sabbatical, etc. And, most importantly, to acquire skills externally that are not currently present in the workforce. Conducting a pilot in a few departments can get you going.

Delivery-based gig hiring: Instead of creating a typical job-description for the gig workers, HR must focus on delivery-based hiring. Share the project’s deliverables and the timelines based on the skillset with the gig workers and ask them how they are going to deliver it. By giving a JD, gig workers are restricted to take the traditional route of working for an organisation, which is the very reason they chose not to be in the full-time arrangement. Gig workers want to do projects they are really interested in. As long as the employers are getting the desired results, they should not mind the factors, such as age and the place of work of the gig workers.

Integration and Development: Inclusivity of the gig workforce has always been in question. Employers are reluctant to fully integrate gig workers into their organisation for various reasons, such as data security, lack of trust, etc. However, for effective results, integration and development of gig workers through training is vital for the organisation. Gig workers are also your brand ambassadors, as they are out there working for multiple brands. Therefore, unless you treat gig workers as a part of your organisation, they would never be loyal and effective. Offering flexibility, health insurance, training are some of the ways to make gig workforce feel inclusive. As per the Noble House report, over 19% and 18% of organisations are offering training and partial medical coverage to gig workers, respectively.

These strategies are a stepping stone to build a positive employer-gig worker relationship, which will make it easier for your business to embrace the benefits of the gig economy and create a workplace of the future.

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