The gig economy trend isn't new. It's just bigger now with more than 57 million workers in the United States freelancing. This equates to about 37% of the workforce. This is significant considering close to half of millennials are freelancing today; and a gig economy growth prediction is that by 2027, gig economy workers will make up most of the U.S. workforce. ("Freelancing in America: 2017", Upwork).
This compelling data raises some important questions about what HR professionals (or someone who has responsibility for recruitment, retention and talent) should do about the impacts of the gig economy at their organization.
Reading a recent article from WorkSpan magazine, Seeing the Gig Picture with these thoughts in mind excites me about the possibilities for individuals, the opportunities HR professionals have to lead the way in engaging this network of talent while mitigating risk.
In this article, John Jones and Renee Smith, from Willis Towers Watson, outline thought provoking considerations about how to create a competitive advantage in this evolving environment. The commentary around HR's role in the new gig economy highlight these important topics:
- Freelance Fallacies: How the Willis Towers Watson "2017–2018 Global Future of Work Survey" results put to rest many myths about contingent workers—their engagement, what they are looking for and how they feel about the work experience.
- Contingent Conundrums: What they are and how or where HR professions must think differently.
- Pivoting the Proposition: The practice of evolving and expanding the employee value proposition (EVP) to include both core and contingent workers for a talent value proposition (TVP).
- Creating the TVP through a 3-D Approach: The three key steps in creating the TVP; how to get started in tailoring programs for a broader talent network; and how to link the worker, culture and organization to drive high performance and an engaged workforce.
This is a great read full of advice and research for any HR professional in organizations of all types and sizes. At a minimum, it will give you great nuggets to share with your boss or colleagues--or look even smarter in your next meeting!