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January 4, 2024

The Gig Economy Reveals Key Issues Facing HR Leaders in 2024

The Gig Economy Reveals Key Issues Facing HR Leaders in 2024

A Gig economy is on the rise in the U.S. Around 36% of US workers (approximately 57.3 million) were contractors before the pandemic, which grew to an estimated $73.3 million in 2023. HR professionals are seeking to understand what matters to the Gig workforce and apply their knowledge to nurturing full-time employees. 

What Is A Gig Economy?

  • A gig economy is a labor market that relies heavily on independent contractors and freelancers who fill temporary and part-time positions as needed. 
  • Gig workers provide services to a company’s clients as self-employed individuals, not full-time employees of the company.
  • Workers in the Gig economy thrive on short-term project-specific agreements. 
  • They’re comprised of people choosing the flexibility and independence of contract work over the job security a full-time position affords. 

Top 4 Gig Economy Take-Aways For HR Teams

The shift has HR professionals refining their employee strategies to improve workforce productivity and increase the longevity of their employees.

1. Let Workers Focus On Tasks They’re Passionate About. 

Independent Gig workers enjoy the freedom to focus on the tasks that most energize them, leaving the rest for another worker. As a result, these specific tasks get done quickly, often with impressive outcomes. Workers hone a specialty craft that produces more in less time while sustaining energy levels. 

HR professionals can achieve a similar flow state with full-time staff when they give employees the freedom and tools to pursue distinguishable skills. Human Resource teams can take a more fluid approach to hiring, which gives new employees different career options as their experience and self-awareness evolve. HR can build robust learning and development resources and flexible career paths as employees increase skills and experience in specific areas. 

2. Promote Self-discovery.

A Freelancers Union survey found that among workers ages 18-24, 47% are freelancing either part-time or full-time. This is compared to 28% of Baby Boomers. It should be noted that Millennials and Gen Z workers come from some of the most historically over-scheduled upbringings, which included little time for self-discovery. Many young professionals arrive in the workforce still in search of what drives them. As for senior employees, their passions can change over time, and a long-held position can become stale. 

HR teams can maximize their full-time workforce’s potential by embracing employees’ evolving passions and supporting them when they want to pursue a specialized skill. Career coaching can be incredibly impactful for helping employees identify their passions and gifts, as well as maximizing their value. Employees with this level of freedom and support don’t have to go independent to achieve their highest potential. And, the company shares in the productivity rewards.

3. Let Employees Own Their Role. 

Gig workers report that flexibility is a major benefit of contract work. Contractors can increase or decrease their workload as personal circumstances require by taking on more or fewer clients. They can schedule their work around lifestyle needs such as family time, hobbies, additional education, or a second career. Additionally, Gig workers don’t worry about Big Brother checking the quality of their work daily and expecting detailed activity reports. 

HR teams can promote this same spirit of ownership to their full-time employees by promoting a work culture of personal accountability and letting their people rise to the expectations on their own. Managers must value empowering over micromanaging and hold high standards without dictating the steps one must take to reach them. HR leaders can offer extensive manager and leadership training to ensure employees’ satisfaction with their bosses. Well-equipped leaders can faithfully steward their teams while allowing their people the space to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.   

4. Create A Safe and Fair Workplace.

Gig economy workers have greater control over how their clients treat them and their level of compensation. They can choose to work with companies that compensate competitively. On the other hand, they lack the retirement and healthcare benefits of a full-time employee. HR teams can attract and retain more full-time talent by developing healthy workplace environments that value mutual respect, honest feedback, and fair compensation. They can offer retirement plans, healthcare benefits, career coaching, and personal development support, which employees can partake in without sacrificing essential items of fair pay and healthy culture. 

5. Embrace Contractors As A Vital Part of Business Strategy

Gig workers are a part of the business growth strategy for many companies. HR can retain the talent pool for future objectives and enhance their Gig workers’ performance.They can do this by offering them on-demand benefits that fit their individual needs and flexible schedules. TaskHuman is supporting Gig workers with on-the-go coaching in career and personal matters as well as hobbies and interests. TaskHuman helps busy Gig workers progress in their careers and preserve their health and overall well-being. 

Make the Most of What the Gig Economy Offers HR

The pros and cons workers consider when deciding whether to jump into the Gig economy can all hint to HR professionals what matters to their full-time employees and contractors. HR teams can embrace the Gig talent pool for specialized tasks or temporarily fill in skill gaps and weather the economic volatility. A closer study of who the Gig makes up Gig workers and why the Gig economy exists will reveal the keys to a longer-term strategy that meets the needs of workers and organizations.

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