What is the Gig Economy?

A “Gig Economy” as defined by the dictionary is, “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.”  There have always been contracted employees, but the number of people freelancing has dramatically increased in recent years.

There are several reasons for the change. The millennial generation has been criticized by some for their lack of commitment, sense of entitlement, poor communication ability and their tendency to jump from job to job, all of which frustrate companies and supervisors. But positions need to be filled and if they are going to be filled by candidates from the Millennial generation companies today are in a situation, whether they like it or not, where they have to cater their audience if they hope to recruit or retain candidates.

staffing the gig economy

Gig Economy Success

Some companies have recognized this trend and have been remarkably successful in responding to it.

For example, Uber gives employees the flexibility to work as little as they like, for as long as they want, or to not work at all.  They can pick up a few rides after their full-time job or drive for 8+ hours a day and make that their only source of income.

Airbnb allows owners to rent their homes, beach houses, cabins to tourists or visitors when they would otherwise be left empty and unused.

AmazonFlex allows employees to deliver packages seven days a week.

Etsy provides the craft-savvy entrepreneur an online marketplace to sell their creations.

Benefits of the Gig Economy

The gig economy is not only beneficial to the noncommittal or temporary employee but it also has some significant financial benefits for employers as well.  Employees working on a contract basis may not qualify for full company benefits. Health insurance is a significant cost to any employer, it is a cost that has been increasing steadily and is expected to continue to increase at rates of 10-20% depending on industry, risk and recent injuries.  In addition to insurance, companies may not need to contribute to retirement accounts, pay PTO, education reimbursement, stock options, etc.

What Does the Gig Economy Mean for the Staffing Industry?

The current trends have the ability to change the way many businesses operate, including businesses in the staffing industry.  That there is a trend from both employees and companies to consider short-term assignments is great news for staffing agencies because we are already filling that need for current clients.

As more and more companies and candidates look for contract positions there will be a greater demand to fill positions, not just light industrial or clerical work, but more professional positions as well. Accounting positions, IT positions, customer service jobs, marketing positions, management positions, delivery positions, and many other career opportunities are becoming available via staffing.

Do you need help finding employees for your business in the gig economy? Call us or contact Your Employment Solutions via our Employee Request form today!

Seth Hopkin
On-Site HR Manager – Ogden, UT
Your Employment Solutions

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Seth Hopkin

Seth is the on-site HR manager for one of Your Employment Solutions's clients in Ogden, Utah.

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