The Pros and Cons of Hiring in a Gig Economy

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The rules of the game are changing, or better yet, evolving. The professional world used to be ruled by employers and now it isn’t, and that is just the start. Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘Gig Economy’, it’s a new model of work that is becoming quite popular nowadays.

Gigs have many things in common with freelancers and remote workers, but they are not quite the same. The main difference being that someone working on a freelance basis offers a specific and specialized type of service that not just anyone can do, and remote workers usually have a schedule that is generally established by their employer that they must comply with. An important aspect of the gig economy is that it’s open to almost anyone, you don’t have to be a professional in order to offer a service. Gig economy revolves around people performing jobs for a client once and then moving on to the next with the key element of having an intermediary between the worker and the client.

Companies like Uber, Lyft, and TaskRabbit were some of the first to tap into this new market in which employees enjoy a new sense of freedom and flexibility. The main characteristic of this format is that workers get to choose how much of their time they want to spend working and when to do it, all thanks to mobile technology allowing them to always stay in contact with their employer and fulfill their tasks.

Many other companies are starting to realize the benefits of tapping into this new type of marketplace and hiring gig workers. However, before you decide to go ahead and jump head first into this new economy model, we recommend that you take the time to evaluate if this is actually something you can benefit from. To help you do that, here are a few pros and cons of hiring gig workers:

Pro: It’s Cheaper. Aside from the fact that when you work with a gig worker you don’t need to include them in your payroll and give them any other benefit besides their payments, you’ll also save a few bucks recruiting them.

With all the modern technologies and platforms available, it is easier than ever to find a gig worker that can do just what you need. There are plenty of websites that offer gig workers a way to promote their services. Some of these sites are rather general and have people who can do all sorts of things, while there are others dedicated to a more specialized market, i.e. drivers.

Pro: There’s More People Up for the Job. Commonly, when you want to hire someone and include them in your team, they probably must be living near your company or be willing to move there. One of the many benefits of gig workers and modern technology is that most things can be done from a distance. This means that you’ll be escalating your talent pool to worldwide levels. A gig worker can be living in London and be able to work for a company based in Los Angeles without much problem.

Pro: Recycling Talent. If you hire a gig worker to do a specific job for you and you like the way they did it, you can always save their contact information and hire them again whenever you need their services again. This way, you’ll be creating a network of gig workers to call in whenever you need them.

Con: The Competition is Fiercer. You’ll have a bigger candidate pool with more options to hire, but that is also true for your competition. Imagine the war for talent escalating to a point where it becomes the “World War for Talent”. Not only will you be contending with your local rivals, now you’ll have to deal with competition from all around the globe.

Con: Gig Workers Are Harder to Retain: The way it works is gig workers will fulfill whatever task you need them to do and then move on to their next client. If you liked the way they did things and would like to keep them around for future opportunities, you’ll have to come up with a way to really impress them.
Building loyalty from a gig worker is not the easiest task. In most cases, they prefer working with clients that know exactly what they want and that are quick with payments.

Con: It May Take Time to Find a Good Gig Worker. An inherent problem with gig economy is that almost anyone can participate in it. This means that you can get a good and responsible worker that is professional and does things the right way, or you can get a scammer who’s out to make a quick buck. In most cases, the platforms where you’ll find gig workers do their best to weed out the good from the bad, but that’s not an infallible filter.

The job market is evolving and gig economy is the latest mutation in this line; only time will tell if it is fit enough to survive or if it will go extinct. It is up to you as a recruiter to evaluate and decide if you want to give it a chance and hop into the newest trend or maybe wait around for the next one.

Edu Rojas / NEUVOO
Content Marketing Editor