What Is the Gig Economy?

For the past few decades, HR has been predicting the rapid evolution of the workforce and the workplace. I’ve been told that in the 90s, Brand Me was supposed to change the relationship people had with companies and virtual offices. And, an army of independent contractors were going to change the world.

Join us March 6 at 2pm EST for the Chad & Cheese Webinar, “The Growth of Gig—Are you Ready? Lessons from Shiftgig and KRT Marketing.”

Today, we have video conferencing, email, text, Microsoft office, new communication platforms such as Slack, and new productivity tools such as Trello. The Internet has changed how to work and how we communicate. Also, big data, the cloud, and machine learning are changing what we do.

But yet, most of us still work for a company, and commute almost every day to an office or other business location. Sure, we may have summer hours and occasionally get to work from home on Fridays—and our boss may understand that we have to drop the kids off so we’ll be at work 15 minutes late most days. But these are hardly the revolution that was boldly predicted two decades ago.

Now, the hot buzz term is “The Gig Economy,” which once more threatens to change the world order, and in the process redefine employment and recruiting. So, what is the Gig Economy? Simply put, it is that change in the company-worker relationship that has been long forecast. It has the potential to empower the individual, who doesn’t work for a boss, but can decide who to work for, when to work, and where to work. This freedom comes at a cost, and some would argue that the Gig Economy allows employers to build a workforce without providing benefits, or paying for vacation, or other employee-related expenses.

The truth? Probably some of both. For some people, the Gig economy is a way to be their own boss, and make a living or even become wealthy running their own company of one. For others, The Gig Economy is a series of jobs that they have to take to eat and keep a roof over their head. For some companies, the Gig Economy is a way to change a marketplace and create new business dynamics. For others, it’s a way to manage costs and be able to create capacity without commitment.

Specifically, the Gig Economy is today comprised of over 67 million U.S. citizens who freelance or pick up hourly gigs. It is accelerating because of companies like Uber, Grubhub, Task Rabbit, and Upwork. These companies use technology to make it easy for independents and companies to not only find each other, but to automate the entire work and payment process. Gig Workers include the person who drives people to the airport in their spare time, as well as talented engineers or designers who don’t want to work for one company, so they sell their talents to a variety of firms.

While the Gig Economy can help people prosper, it also presents some new challenges for recruiters. In fact, it’s expected that by 2020, 43% of workers will be part of this new trend. What does that mean for typical 9-5 roles? With good candidates being already hard to find, will this newfound preference for contract work make it even harder? What is the role of the recruiter in attracting Gig Workers in addition to employees?

For a provocative take on the The Gig Economy, join the next Chad & Cheese Webinar, sponsored by Nexxt: The Growth of Gig – Are YOU Ready? Lessons from Shiftgig and KRT Marketing

The webinar will tackle defining the Gig Economy, how employers can benefit, and what challenges recruiters will face. Sign up here, and be in the know about the latest workplace trend. After all, it can’t hurt to be prepared!

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *