Article Recruiting Gig Economy

Technology is empowering employees who want flexible working hours and roles to suit their lifestyle choices. Gone are the days of loyalty for a lifetime. How can you adapt your working environment to attract and keep the millennium talent in the emerging Gig economy?

In this article, we take a closer look at what the Gig economy is, what it means for your hiring processes and how you can use the Gig economy to your advantage.

What is the Gig economy?

The Gig economy is a new free-market system where positions are usually temporary and independent workers are contracted by organisations for short-term projects. Freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers and temporary or part-time hires are all examples of ‘gig’ employees.

There are a few different factors that have led to the emergence and prominence of the gig economy:

  • Digitisation

In the digital age, service labour is now more mobile than ever before, allowing people to be able to work from anywhere in the world. The Internet and mobile devices have made working in an office unnecessary for many employees. Workers are now working at home in their own hours being just as productive— if not even more so. Rigid office hours can be seen as an outdated and unattractive quality of a company’s work culture for some millennial jobseekers.

Job seekers today have access to thousands of online job listings on the market and, knowing that they have a choice, they tend to assess potential employers and compare culture before they accept the role. The short-listing process has become a two-way street.

  • Work-life balance

Millennials expect flexible working arrangements. The Gig economy has proved that work-life balance is possible, realistic and justifiable in most jobs. The system is fuelled by the mobility of independent workers who can choose the jobs they are interested in, rather than being stuck in one for the sake of being employed,

  • Lower business cost

The gig economy doesn’t just benefit employees. Firms can cut costs and make more efficient use of their resources like reducing office space. They are also able to outsource specific projects to experts who are too expensive to keep as permanent staff.

How to use the Gig economy to your advantage?

The game has changed, and you have to adapt our working environment to attract and keep the best millennial talent. Even if your company primarily requires full-time roles, you will still need to know how you can attract full-time millennials and high-skill talent.

“Employees jumping ship for other companies with a better work-life culture can be costly for your business”, warns Peter Dowling, Regional Practice Head, Software & FinTech at RGF Executive Search. “Finding new competent employees can be a long and expensive process. In this digitised economy, it is imperative that your business is as attractive and progressive as possible to hire and retain the best talent”.

Here are five ways you can compete effectively in the Gig economy:

  • Offer career advancement

Millennials want to feel wanted and challenged. Stagnation can cause boredom. If your company doesn’t offer higher positions in the long run, don’t be surprised if your workers leave for better prospects. Most employees seek to climb the ladder and advance their careers. The possibility of getting promoted can keep your workers motivated and engaged in their positions and make them more likely to stay loyal.

  • Offer flexible worktimes

With the Internet and mobile technology, spending the 9 to 5 in an office is no longer a necessity for some positions. Most non-confidential work can now be done at home. Offering a flexible home-work arrangement is an attractive quality of a business to potential employees. A healthy balance between work and personal life is important to many people, especially those starting a family.

  • Give positive reinforcement

Sometimes, your words are enough to make your employees feel welcome and respected in the workplace. If your employee has done a good job, praise them and let them know their efforts are appreciated. Acknowledging hard work keeps up morale and will make your employees feel accomplished. A positive work environment can be created at no cost. You just need to open up your heart and communicate positive feelings.

  • Enforce anti-harassment and equality policies

An essential part of a positive working environment is safety and inclusivity, especially so for minority groups. Discrimination and belittlement amongst employees can create a toxic working environment, and it could all be happening right under your nose. Be it race, religion, sexuality, or gender, everyone in the workplace should feel equally respected. Define what workplace harassment is with your team and make sure that everyone understands where boundaries lie. Promote these policies and encourage employees to report abusive behaviour. Understand too that equality of pay is an important message to send out. Male and female employees should be paid equally for the same roles.

  • Promote your company brand

Your corporate culture and values should be clearly communicated on your career site to maximise your engagement with millennial talent. Your corporate brand will go a long way to attracting people to want to work in your organisation, especially if they feel they can contribute to the culture and company growth. Even if the Gig economy doesn’t apply to your business, the elements and virtues of your corporate culture can still resonate with a typical ‘Gig’ employee looking to be a full time worker.


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In this article:

Peter Dowling
Peter Dowling
Regional Practice Head, Software & FinTech
RGF Executive Search Singapore
Posted On 2019-09-18