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Gig Economy Changed by Tech in 2018

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Mar 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have a market that favors job seekers. Unemployment is below five percent, which gives prospective employees the upper hand in the market. However, today's job seekers want more than the traditional staffing approaches have to offer. 

Beginning in 2018, technology will free up industries to become flexible in a new economy based on gigs. Let's look at a few trends to see how this will produce a sea of changes in how we work.

A New Marketplace is Emerging

Can you imagine jumping into a stranger's car after too many drinks, then sleeping at another stranger's house? A few years ago, this would have been the setup for a horror show. Now, it's another day in the gig economy for Lyft drivers and Airbnb hosts. Sure, it's a risk, but the convenience of friendly apps in your hour of need is so hard to resist.

In the same way, a technology-driven marketplace is emerging that connects people with diverse “side hustle” opportunities. Just as Amazon centralized online shopping for merchandise, savvy tech providers are developing networks for people to find work that matches their passion and skills.

Data Science Teams Answer the Most Relevant Questions

The explosion of information has made it more difficult for workforce leaders to collect and analyze the data they need to meet client demands. HRIS, ATS and VMS tools gather huge volumes of data that are complex in nature. So, organizations struggle to digest the data in ways that help them find the needed resources. 

In the past, organizations struggled with how to the extract data needed to make strategic decisions on hiring temporary employees. However, starting this year, new tech will enable businesses to collect accurate, relevant data on those who work one gig at a time. This information includes work patterns, concerns, and desires. Current algorithms only evaluate workers. Best-in-class organizations will soon have the ability to collect rich data about employee preferences to more effectively recruit those willing to navigate the gig economy. Companies are wondering why they can't catch the right fish for the skillset they need. So, they deploy recruiting tech like thousands of fishing lines into the ocean of available workers. Now, they will be able to use tech like sonar to detect the exact type of fish needed for a specific task. Other technology will help them select the appropriate lures to attract those fish to their firm. 

Instead of casting a wide net, the savviest companies will take advantage of data science to determine where the right workers live and thrive, what they want from a workplace and how often they want to work.  

The Gig Worker Population Will Explode

About 41 million Americans believe they are independent workers in one way or another, according to 2017's MBO State of Independence report. Indeed, this number is likely to increase. MBO predicts that half the US workforce will have experienced independent worker status within the next five years.

This may seem like an overwhelming number. It does point out that the profile of a gig worker will greatly expand from the current temporary workforce. A few factors could hasten this sea level change. First, more user-friendly applications will emerge that connect workers with people who need specific services. This will embolden those who already want more independence. Next, an untapped source of gig workers will crop up. They might include full-time students, teachers, nurses among others. These people can't work a nine-to-five shift as part of their main or side gigs.

Technology will form the backbone of the new gig economy, set to explode in 2018. For those with an independent streak already, this may signal an unprecedented time to get a new or second gig utilizing any or all the new tech. Workplaces have to adapt to these changes and offer more flexibility to employees and contractors. Otherwise, they risk losing forward-thinking, agile staff to more progressive companies. It may be time to rethink antiquated staffing processes. What does it mean to work and how open can your organization reasonably be to attract high-caliber? For many companies, this may mean redefining the concept of work from the ground up.

Get Flexible

While you may have to do a bit of work upfront learning what your organization can handle in regards to flexibility, we've got you covered when you have to find the talent. Contact ICS for skilled professionals that will not just get the job done, but fit in with your organization. Tap into our talent reservoir and be introduced to your new employee.

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