Since the arrival of digital technology, the way companies and employees have engaged has gone through a total transformation. Gig work is changing the employment paradigm allowing companies to access talent in easy and cost-effective ways.
Long-term employer-employees relationships, with fixed yearly salaries and organisational charts, are no longer the norm. The digital economy has allowed a variety of relationships for liquid talent and business to collaborate and enhance each other.
But what changes will gig work require from companies? And how will the future of work look? The Outvise team analyses these trends and suggests ways for companies to adapt.
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Trends in gig work: 2 changes leading to the future of work
The digital skills gap or the high numbers of unemployed people speak of the same reality: the labour market has struggled to keep pace with the transformations in economy brought about by digitalization. However, changes in the way people work can be summarised in two trends:
Employees work within a new paradigm
Employees today are not looking for a life-long job or a fixed position in a company with structured payrolls. The millenial generation is instead interested in specific projects and professional experiences. At work, just like in any other areas of their life, diversity and interesting experiences have replaced other values and the 9 to 5 work is no longer a reality for many.
According to McKinsey’s report, ‘Independent work: Choice, necessity and the gig economy’, up to 162 million people in Europe and the USA engage in independent work. Many of these value the nonmonetary aspects of working on their own terms.
Organisations must understand change is coming
Gig work means there are strong implications for organisations, as they need to rethink how to attract and retain talent. A key challenge for them is to learn how to interact with this liquid talent; which will include:
- A need to implement agility and flexibility.
- Become project-oriented instead of process-oriented. This implies understanding each project will require companies to act differently.
- Find a new HR approach, as IT skills (LINK) and capabilities are rapidly changing.
Companies are more and more aware of this: in a survey conducted by Forrester, 88% agree that “specialized talent is essential” and 66% agree that “the primary barrier to their long-term success is having the right talent”.
Gig work adds these two factors together. Workers are hired to complete a particular task, project or for a certain period of time. This constitutes liquid talent, as opposed to frozen job positions.
This is impacting every industry and many different workers’ profiles: from those positions with low-key skills to high-end professionals such as management consultants or technology architects. Today, especially in highly demanded skill areas, talent is often found among gig workers.
Why companies need to adapt to gig work
Embracing gig work provides many strong benefits to the organisation, including:
- It’s an efficient and rapid way to access top talent. Very often the best talent is found among gig workers, as they need to remain top experts with “state of the art” ideas and skills in order to remain competitive.
- It’s also aligned with project-driven and agile methodologies.
- It’s less expensive and more cost-effective than traditional alternatives. According to McKinsey’s report ‘A labor market that works’, adopting this “could reduce costs related to talent and human resources by as much as 7%” on average. This cost reduction could be dramatically higher, though, for certain specific positions. Meanwhile, companies could see a 275 BPS improvement in profit margins.
Where to find gig workers and freelancers
Traditional personal and professional networks, developed by every company, have become too reduced and restrictive. Instead, new digital talent platforms are connecting gig workers with companies, acting as a labour marketplace.
These platforms are facilitating the transition towards the gig economy for companies and workers, as only through embracing gig work can businesses remain competitive.
These platforms can:
- Add value by providing adequate profiling of candidates.
- Match client needs and candidates.
- Help with paper work and contracts.
According to McKinsey’s report ‘A labor market that works’, these online marketplaces for gig work positions could add $2.7 trillion to global GDP by 2025 and 540 million individuals could benefit from finding jobs at these platforms.
In this context, platforms such as Outvise, https://www.outvise.com/ provide an invaluable aid, acting as a hub for gig workers and companies to meet and collaborate in quick and efficient ways.
While in the past, businesses would need to rely on personal contact lists or hire entire business consultants teams, online networks such as these provide a real marketplace for liquid talent, from which medium-sized to big companies can benefit.
These platforms are also able to focus on certain niches, making processes even more precise. This is the case of Outvise, which focuses on telecom, media and digital high-end talent, pinpointing the best professionals in the industry.
Alex Collart, CFO & Co-founder at Outvise. Serial entrepreneur and management consultant, with a focus on strategy and marketing. Has co-founded and exited several companies. Former McKinsey&Co associate. Industrial Engineer + MBA (IESE/Kellogg).