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Side Effect of the Gig Economy: Creating a New Kind of HR Executive

Today we begin a new blog series on what we’re calling the “side effects” of the gig economy. While other workforce trends come and go, on-demand work is impacting the future of employment as we know it. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing how the gig economy has created a new kind of HR executive, manager, and worker.

Job seekers have more choices than ever before, and corporate recruiters have the difficult task of trying to make their company stand out among the crowd. And, once companies do find the right workers, get them hired and onboard, HR executives often have an equally difficult job of ensuring high performers are happy and engaged.

The reason for these challenges? In many ways, it’s the gig economy. Let’s consider five ways that it has affected HR strategies today in finding and retaining top talent.

1. The workforce available for full-time positions is shrinking by the minute.

Today, the percentage of the workforce engaged in flexible work arrangements is 40% and counting. Recruiters are competing not only against other companies for talent, but also with new ways of working, creating a smaller talent pool from which to select and hire workers.

2. Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.

Because of the gig economy, many corporations are forced to attempt to mimic the freedom of flexible work by offering their employees the opportunity to work remotely and even tailor their hours to their own schedule. (Here’s three companies that are leading the way.)

3. It’s more complicated than ever to manage the workforce.

While employees work alongside temporary workers, consultants, and other types of flexible workers, they are tracked and managed with separate technology platforms. This makes visibility into the total workforce and the HR needs of the company difficult for executives. A Deloitte reported that 70% of surveyed companies were having difficulty integrating the various types of workers into a unified whole.

4. Culture is more fluid and less controlled.

Culture is widely defined as “a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations.” The gig economy has created a changing workplace that no longer plays host to the same people each day, from 9 am to 5 pm. Flexible workers stay on for months, weeks, or even just one shift. This inevitably shakes up a company’s culture over time and affects employees.

5. The employer brand is more important than ever.

To attract and retain workers, employers must have a strong brand and reputation. After all, people can work for ABC company... or themselves. Unless someone has reason to believe that a company will give them more opportunities to be successful than they’d have on their own, they’ll often choose to be their own boss.

While the gig economy has certainly created some challenges for HR executives, it’s also become the solution to its problem in some ways. As HR executives re-think their strategies to be most effective in the wake of this new environment, using on-demand labor can be a way for them to ensure smooth business operations in the meantime.


Interested in using an on-demand workforce? 

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June 7, 2017 | Shelby Eversole