Sixty years ago, going to college and getting a degree that would land you a degree-oriented career, was considered ROI positive. The official market was rendering 9 – 6 jobs on a daily basis, creating the supply and demand for the generation. With the advent of the internet — education and information grew a large net — making the classroom digital and in certain cases, free for all who seek. This gave rise to a generation that was using the tools handed to them, to build skill sets that helped them to move beyond the desk job scenario. They wanted more growth and freedom out of their work. What started as side gigs, in slang, soon shifted to people selling their skills independently, on various job-searching platforms. This group of working-class individuals, who did not confine themselves to a desk, popularly began to be known as the “freelance generation”.
Over the past 20 years or so, the work economy has shifted to more freelancers looking for work as compared to traditional work set-ups. The onset of various platforms and marketplaces that allow one to find work or workers willing to work on a gig-to-gig basis, has led to increasingly pervasive effects of the shift to ‘alternative work’.
WHAT IS GIG ECONOMY
An economy is composed of buyers and sellers, who provide services and receive monetary compensation. This is a permanent work situation. The difference between an economy and a gig economy is rather slight. There is a difference in longevity, meaning there is an exchange of skills, time and money, but the employee is not bound to work for you, exclusively or on a long-term basis.
According to Truelancer:
- Asian freelancers contribute $2000 billion in freelance revenues
- On an average, Asian freelancers earn $25/hour
The 2015 Venture Beat article by Jonathan Friedman pointed out that gig companies attract consumer demand from the main offices where the direct sales executives form the centre of the business model. Hence, they are able to create new and improved opportunities for freelancers to be successful.
By economic custom, as the demand for freelance projects increases, the supply for the same will naturally increase. In simpler terms, the easy availability of projects makes freelancing and gig working a viable source of income for people looking to earn while retaining their choice of timing and income module.
GIG ECONOMY IN HR
One industry where we can see the same working archetype — an independent consulting/working — is HR consulting. HR consultants make up the workforce that hires your workforce for you. They generally form teams with assorted skillsets, each waiting to be used as the need presents. Some companies already have an HR team in place; some companies outsource it from consultancy firms to manage personnel functions such as administration of health benefits plans, retirement plans, workers’ compensation insurance, and hiring, training and legal expertise.
The hiring process and other HR processes, in a company, are usually not yearlong jobs. Hence, skills are being wasted on idle days. For professionals looking to expand their knowledge, experience and skills, generate excess income from multiple sources; manage their time to money ratio properly and eventually grow; being an independent HR consultant is the best option.
As per ‘A Guide to HR Outsourcing and Employee Leasing in 2015’, small and medium size companies hire HR consultants for administering payroll, paying employment taxes, managing risks etc. The report goes on to analyze that the average size of such companies is 19 employees! The economy of scale lowers the cost of these HR services, though the big recession increased the rates of this type of outsourcing.
HR Through New Lens
So, to sum it up all, this advent of gig economy is not a passing fad anytime soon. With the rise of digital flexibility more and more people will start freelancing. Trends have predicted that over 40 percent of the workforce will be freelancing by the year 2020. However, for the HR leaders, there are still certain implications for managing workforce over the internet. For this purpose, Noble House is now supporting contingent workforces and managers, and we are helping them hire and work with our customized business solutions for the HR Industry. Get in touch with us if you’re a manager wanting to hire independent HR consultants or if you want to freelance with reputable companies.