An engaged Gig workforce leads to build a talent pool of loyal individuals, who prefer to work with your organisation even if the compensation offered is low since "Experience" is the pivot.
Times have changed and there has been a revolutionary shift in work structure engagement. There was a time when most individuals were striving to have a fulltime job, since it was perceived to be secure, even at the cost of one’s well-being and interest. Having a full-time job marked one in a superior financial position with a stable and secure future. However, things are no longer the same since nothing is secure in such a volatile ecosystem with the metaphorical sword of Damocles’ dangling over at all times. With so many job cuts, layoffs, and at times, the role of circumstances, compels individuals to pick up whatever is on offer for sustenance, be it parttime or freelance. And there is this another set who take the plunge to let go of their hefty paycheques to be on their own, and pursue something radically different than what they were pursuing in their career. This forms one side of the story.
A mutual advantage The other side to this is that many organisations are looking at hiring parttime or freelance workforce, hitherto known as G or Flexi workforce. They have realised that partnering with such a workforce gives them the leverage to engage with a specialist with lower costs and zero retention accountability, in case of skill redundancy. We all know that skills are changing rapidly, new is old in no time! So, a win – win situation for both.
A gig economy is a free market system, in which temporary positions are common, and organisations contract with independent workers for shortterm engagements. Some examples of gig employees in the workforce are freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers, and temporary or part-time hires. Many organisations like Uber, Zomato, and several consulting organisations engage with a flexi workforce, and reap the benefits that come along. Research has indicated that organisations will need to fulfil nearly 50 percent of their talent needs through flexible talent in the next five years.
One’s own journey of three years from a corporate job to that of a gig worker is a testimony to the above fact. While it did provide an opportunity to experiment, there were a few wrong decisions that led to great opportunities being missed, and some right decisions that resulted in enormous learnings. One also discovered the importance of learning and constantly acquiring new skills to create opportunities for oneself, which can come knocking anytime, as also the significance of networking - knowing people beyond your own teams or organisation, as was the case in a fulltime job.
These years have provided the experience of being on both the sides of a table. As a “Gig Worker” and as a “Gig Employer”, and with this comes the perspective over the expectations from one another.
Benefits of partnering with a Gig worker
• Getting to work with a specialist or an expert at a low cost since hiring a fulltime expert is a costly affair, more so when the work is seasonal
• There are no compliances or financial obligations unlike in the case of a fulltime employee
• As an employer, there is no obligation to put them on the bench or layoff in case of skill redundancy
• In the event of performance dissatisfaction, you may choose not to work with them again
• Generally speaking, the lot is self-motivated and believes in upskilling oneself to create opportunities. This, however, has a stroke of the individual’s mindset
Disadvantages of partnering with a Gig worker
• The employer may have lesser control since there are no fixed perks.
• It is challenging to keep the workforce engaged since the interactions with them are not regular
• Data security and confidentiality of information or resources could be under threat
• Delayed decision processes can lead to their unavailability, impacting the timelines, and restarting the complete search again to scout for the right talent leading to loss of time, effort, and money
• Poor experience may make them to decide not to work with you, leading to a limited talent pool and /or loss of a talented partner
Creating a pool of engaged Gig workforce
First and foremost, it is essential to create a pool of talented and trusted partners, who are always ready to work for you, and are mature enough to keep the confidentiality of your business model. And this can only happen over a period of time.
• Communication is extremely important. Clarity in communicating the deliverables, timelines, and the expected outcome brings in a lot of transparency, and smooth execution of the task in hand
• Reviewing their performance, depending on the project milestone and deliverables. Ensuring to give constructive feedback on the deliverables to ensure no gap whatsoever, and a fair association
• Be liberal and genuine in appreciating the good work done. This works wonders when it comes to driving performance and engagement
• Setting clear expectations on the terms and conditions of their working engagement
• Invest time in knowing them and their interest well, possibly offer their interest of work to keep the engagement level high
• Dealing with humans requires the need to connect, and when understood individuals sometimes are even willing to work for lesser compensations.
• Pay on time and be clear on the commercial terms
The future of workforce arrangement in undergoing a massive change. Needless to say, it is a costeffective proposition, and is aligned with the expectations of the gennext workforce. It is worth remembering that the “need is mutual.” A positive experience will create a pool of engaged Gig workforce. The rest can be explored and learnt as we stride towards the future and garner more experience.
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