Gig Economy: the Corporate perk

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on May 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

The "gig economy" is a popular term for the recent rise of independent contractors and other on-demand work placement. This gig economy is becoming an increasingly important part of talent acquisition, and we can show you how to use it: Here are the top strategies to take advantage of the trend. 

Hire Specialists for Smaller Troubleshooting Tasks 

Mid-sized and smaller companies may not be able to afford the often high-priced work of auditor firms and third-party consultants from large corporations. A single, temporary specialist with the right qualifications, however, is more within the budget – and the gig economy is encouraging precisely these kinds of consultants and freelancers. 

When small to mid-sized companies are looking for a specific kind of consultation, such as an accounting audit, it's now a smart move to look at the gig economy for a temporary hire to address these matters, rather than a more complex contract with a third party. Compliance specialists are growing considerably more available in freelance positions to help meet this demand, making this option more worthwhile now than ever. 

Build a Gig Process for Marketing Specialized Content 

Marketing has long been one of the fields to benefit the most from independent contractors and gig arrangements. The current trend we are seeing in marketing opportunities is highly-skilled based: In other words, contractors are now being hired to fill in particular skill gaps that companies have struggled to solve in other ways. Videography is a growing example, as more businesses look for freelancing professionals that know how to produce quality video content rather than depending on amateur efforts in-house. 

The same is true of other content production skills that are rarely available from smaller and mid-sized companies, including photography, PR relations, and platform-based specialties (something with web or WordPress experience, for example, can help start company blogs). It is often useful to create strategies aimed at recruiting temporary hires into full-time marketing employees if these arrangements work out. 

Save on Office Space by Switching to Remote Work Strategies 

If your company is considering a downsize, renovation or new lease to help save money, a new remote work strategy can help lessen pressure on office requirements while increasing schedule flexibility. The rise of the gig economy has shown that workers, particularly young professionals, are more than willing to adopt flexible scheduling and remote work opportunities that fit around their personal lives (just ask insurance companies). Moving some positions – even full-time positions – to gig-based hiring practices is often a possibility, in the presence of high turnover. 

It's not only physical space that can be saved by reorienting positions. Moving more into the contract and temporary work also allows a company to solve any existing "off-hours" issues with availability. However, policies regarding non-permanent employees and how their performance is measured typically require some changes as well, so don't underestimate the depth of this particular paradigm shift. 

Speed Up Hiring Processes via Independent Contracting 

Has hiring started to drain too much time and resources? One of the advantages of gig-based work is the growing element of organization – freelancers are more experienced, more united, and more available through staffing companies than ever before. This allows HR to take some weight off the shoulders of hiring teams and move it out of the company. This especially true of online resources for managing independent contractors, which are ideal for filling in temporary vacancies or locating freelancers with the right experience without exhaustive interviews. 

Use Gig Teams and Upgrade Your Collaboration Tools 

Gig teams are usually formed from full-time employees and talented outsiders brought together, often remotely, to solve specific problems. These teams are far from a new development, but they are far more accessible to companies of varying sizes thanks to increased availability of contractors able to work as part of teams. A significant part of this accessibility is the use of the latest collaboration tools, usually through cloud documents and hosted platforms. That allows businesses to tackle two issues at once: Forming a team using the independent talent that wasn't available before, and upgrading collaboration tools to the latest and most efficient options in your industry. 

Scale for Seasonal and Cyclic Work 

The gig economy makes it easier than ever to scale your workforce up and down to deal with cyclical demand. The common example here is a seasonal business involved in sports or other season-specific activities, but we encourage you to consider the cyclical elements in your own business, no matter your industry. Many businesses have cyclical elements (realtors, construction companies, restaurants, and many other examples), and a gig strategy can help save money by arranging swift hires during the more active parts of the year. 

Look For Experienced Talent Coming Out of Retirement 

One less expected benefit of the gig economy is that seniors are coming out of retirement to investigate gig and remote jobs to help stay active and generate more income. One advantage they have is long-term experience in specific positions which younger workers haven't gained yet. If you haven't considered a gig arrangement for a particular position because of the experience required, it may be worthwhile to see if any retirees are returning to the market with the right set of skills. 

Note that the gig economy does come with its own set of risks. You can mitigate these risks by working with a hiring agency such as ICS. Check out the Find Talent Now page to find out what positions we can help you fill!
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