The gig economy is rising steadily and will soon be the preferred choice of employment for individuals, both old and young.
It is believed that by 2020, 40% of the Americans would have made the switch to becoming an independent worker instead of being on the payroll of an organization.
The gig economy isn’t limited to one sector in particular, but today, it has enveloped them all. Gig workers are a part of almost all sectors of the economy, including niche and untapped sections like fitness and nutrition consultants or bloggers, even. At some point, every organization has wanted to hire gig workers but may not have much information on the types of workers and ways in which they can build a productive relationship.
Types of freelancers
Side giggers are those freelancers that are freelancing out of being motivated by financial security and job flexibility. They may pursue the gig economy as a way of having an extra income besides the income they bring in from their traditional jobs at an organization. These types of gigs can earn them approximately 20% of their income, and they are qualified individuals with a Bachelor's degree or even a higher degree.
Fly-In experts are individuals brought in for a short term or interim basis, to fill in a position as a consultant for the time being. They are qualified experts who work on contract basis instead of pursuing a career as a permanent employee at an organization. This is an attempt to earn these experts an income as well as to build their career as a consultant in the field.
Moonlighters are the most common type of freelancers or gig workers available in the gig economy today. This is a freelancer who works the traditional job with an organization and in his free hours pursues gigs with other companies making use of his skills. This gigger works a double shift with a tightly packed schedule. However, it helps him become financially secure and maintain a particular standard of living. These types of freelancers are also known as ‘The Autonomous Clickworkers’.
Freelancers who work for companies based on their passion are called “Passionistas”.
They associate themselves with a company where they can work on gigs that are related to their passion. They believe in flexibility both with work and the number of hours they put in, but also aim to achieve the maximum results in those few hours.
These kinds of freelancers are usually bloggers attached to any field, and also as influencers that have begun trending and gaining the maximum momentum for companies associated with them. Their gigs bring them a good amount of money by working for lesser number of hours.
Ways to engage freelancers
Know what drives them
It is crucial to understand what drives your employees, the ones who work within the office and the ones who work for you distantly. Understanding their requirements and expanding the scope of work within the framework of gigs helps bring out their potential exponentially. Most freelancers want flexibility and autonomy when it comes to their work. These are skills a freelance individual needs in their field and helping them strike a balance between the two can work wonders for them and your organization. It also helps build a life-long value-based relationship with them.
Conduct a skill check
It is a fact that gig workers are skilled individuals since they are thorough in their field as they are always working towards building their skills and updating them with the changing trends. However, before you jump to hire them, it is better to conduct a skill check within your organization. The primary reason behind this being that it brings you clarity on the skills your employees possess and the skills you need to hire. When you are clear on this, you will function much better with the freelancer you hired since their work will be valued and appreciated instead of them being treated as just as another worker.
Most freelancers have said that they find it challenging to engage with companies where feedback is not given, certainly none of them being productive. This becomes a roadblock for them since they do not understand the points where they went right and wrong, which can help them in their future gigs as well.
Constructive feedback helps them to work on their skills better the next time. At times, asking a freelancer for their satisfaction level of being associated with the organization, too, can go a long way. Both these things help to balance the expectations of the parties involved.
Freelancers are the budding workforce of economies around the world. As a manager wanting to hire freelancers for any organization one needs to understand the various types of freelancers available today and the upcoming ones of tomorrow.
Millennials are now becoming a part of the workforce who are tech-savvy and prefer to work for themselves and companies that are value-based instead of those based only on monetary benefits. Creating an environment that brings out the best in a freelancer can help build a long-standing relationship based on satisfaction and high performance.