Pre pandemic, the gig economy was primarily considered to be food delivery and ride-sharing drivers, Now, the tidal wave of change the pandemic created has changed this perception.
Over the past two years, the gig economy has grown, with knowledge workers opting for freelance careers in increasing numbers. According to a recent report released by Niti Ayog by 2029-30, the gig workforce in India will expand to 2.35 million workers, constituting 4.1% of the total Indian livelihood. A large portion of the future of workforce is going to comprise gig workers. The number of full-time workers who have started work-from-home jobs and gigs as their side hustle has also increased.
Witnessing the rise in the number of gig employees, some countries like India also have created provisions in their labor codes to protect the interest of gig workers.
The gig economy thrived when people were looking for work and companies were looking for better talent acquisition solutions. Today, Millennials love the idea of being their boss - but so do retirees looking to return to the workforce as well as moms who want to return to work but need more flexibility. There is no barrier as to who can become a contractor. Workers from any field or level of experience can try their hands at contract working. Companies are also beginning to see the benefits of engaging contractors with the specific skills they need rather than hire and layoff permanent employees when their needs change.
Reduce Your Labour Costs
The gig workforce provides organizations access to skilled talent with reduced labor costs. An article by Ernst & Young on the gig economy states that 55% of organizations see contingent workers as a method to control labor costs. Hiring full-time employees for short-term projects adds to the cost, and impacts the company’s employer brand and morale when they end up laying off workers who are no longer needed.
Hiring gig employees also saves the time and cost spent during the traditional hiring process. Businesses can sign up on external talent marketplaces to fulfil their talent acquisition requirements.
Get More Work Done
Gig employees are solely paid based on the number of projects completed and the quality of work they deliver. Businesses can find gig employees from fields like IT, design, marketing, academics, etc. and commence the project as soon as the terms of a contract are finalized. Freelancer/contractors love to work with long-term and well-paying clients. To retain good freelancers and get more work done, businesses must treat them well. Providing great opportunities and a pipeline of projects as well as paying them well will keep top contractors interested and working with you.
All companies regardless of size face skills shortages and the need to scale resources up and down as their business goals change. Companies often hesitate to hire new employees because of the time it takes to attract and onboard new prospects. This leads to more burden of work in the hands of the existing workforce resulting in performance gaps and leads to trends like “quiet quitting” and the Great Resignation.
Compared to hiring full-time employees, the process of hiring freelancers and contractors is shorter and easy. The gig employees can share the workload and do not need much supervision to complete tasks on time. This eventually increases the overall productivity, helping the business scale faster.
The gig economy engages millions of freelancers, expanding in all sectors. A report by Niti Ayog states that, out of 7.7 million plus gig workers operating at present, about 47% of the gig work is in medium-skilled jobs, 22% in high skilled, and about 31% in low-skilled jobs.
Since many potentially fit candidates are working full-time or part-time work-from-home jobs and gigs, it will be best for businesses to reserve a portion of their workforce for gig employees. Today, organizations understand the importance of having a diverse workforce. Thus, they are planning to change their future of workforce and are building hybrid structures. As per an Intuit report, 80% of large corporations plan to increase their flexible workforce hiring in the coming years.
When it comes to talent acquisition, AI-powered marketplaces like FlexC are the perfect fit where businesses can find freelancers, contractors and full-time employees and manage them efficiently on one integrated platform.