While staffing has been around for decades, the term “gig economy”—a phrase referring to the growing number of workers abandoning traditional 9 to 5 employment in favor of working independently on a task by task basis for one or more employers—is relatively new. [more]
While the idea of “gigging” isn’t all that different from those who seek temporary employment, there are some notable differences that make the gig economy appealing for a growing number of workers.
Flexibility, Convenience and Specialization
First and foremost, workers who are drawn to the gig economy want flexible and autonomous work. The ability to be able to work when and how they please feeds into their own sense of work/life balance, and they have more control over what that balance looks like.
Second, the gig economy is providing convenience in new and innovative ways, often linking workers, employers and gigs with easy-to-use apps or other software.
Third, workers have the opportunity to hyper-specialize in one area without fear that they may never find employment.
So what does this mean for staffing firms? It may seem as though the gig economy is cutting out the “middle man,” but in reality, staffing firms can flourish within this new approach to work. Here’s how:
- Specialize (Even More) in Recruiting Talent
Recruiting is already at the core of your business, but there’s no better time to set your firm apart as a talent-finding machine. While the gig economy often allows workers and employers to connect easily through an app or website, there’s rarely a tried and true vetting system that guarantees that a particular gig worker is the best gig worker for the job.
Put your recruiting and retention skills to work to benefit both the gig worker and the employer. Especially focus on Millennials, who favor flexible work arrangements in increasing numbers and need a trusted partner to connect them to the right gigs.
- Upgrade Your Management Systems
Managing your talent seamlessly is growing in importance, especially when your firm is competing with apps or software that puts the power into the hands of the worker. It is imperative that you provide a level of depth and insight for both your workers and your clients, as well as carefully track data and information.
Utilize the right systems that allow you to focus on providing better, more customized information for the people you serve. This custom experience will help to set you apart in a world where “customer service” is becoming a rarity.
- Prioritize Transparency
One thing that gig workers love about the gig economy is transparency. There aren’t layers of corporate structure between them and a satisfying day’s work. Nothing feels “behind the scenes” controlling their outcomes. Gigs are straightforward, clear and uncomplicated by bureaucratic noise.
Be as transparent as possible with your workers and develop a sense of unflinching honesty in your firm. If you have systems that feel complicated to your workers, find ways to simplify the process.
- Find the “Pocket”
The gig economy is moving well beyond writers, designers and other creative fields and has broadened to a wider range of opportunities, industries and specializations. With your specialized knowledge in recruiting, double down on finding the “pocket” for a particular worker and client.
In other words, work with your clients to understand their needs, and tell them to be specific. Today’s environment means you can match them with gig workers who hyper-specialize in exactly what they want.
- Help Your Clients Shift
As your client’s expert in all things staffing, you can be instrumental in helping them shift into a gig-friendly work environment which can help them attract and retain more talent. Perhaps they need to provide more flexible hours or working arrangements. Maybe they need to re-examine the way they communicate with employees.
Some studies estimate that half the working US population will move into the gig economy in the next five years. Help your clients create workplaces that work in harmony with the gig workforce and continue to make your firm and indispensable part of the way they do business.
We believe the gig economy presents more opportunity than ever for staffing firms to grow in the coming years. Start preparing now for the future of work.
Advance Partners specializes in meeting and supporting the unique needs of staffing firms. Our clients receive payroll funding, back office support and business consultation when they work with us. Contact us today to learn more.