There is no denying that today’s CEO has new pressures not experienced by business leaders in the past. Disruption is everywhere, making it very hard these days to count on stability and consistency in any area of a business. This is also true in the areas of talent acquisition and development.

Over the last 5 years, HR and recruitment has gone through enormous and disruptive changes, and more recently has been impacted by the rise of the Gig Economy. However, for the agile and creative CEO, this changing dynamic can be considered a significant competitive advantage.

The Gig Economy is a generational shift, away from secure 9–5 full-time employment and towards part-time, or ‘gig’ work. This is not a trend, but a phenomenon that’s here to stay.

Why should a CEO care about the Gig Economy?

The Gig Economy should be considered a strategic competitive advantage and something that is worth getting right. Embracing the Gig Economy can deliver significant value to a business, including:

  • A stronger business performance through enhanced productivity.

    A contingent workforce means a different way of working and monitoring work. Rather than having one employee straining to cover a multitude of tasks, the Gig Economy allows hiring for specific skills and jobs. This means greater accountability for tasks to be finished, as each job has an estimated end and cost limit. Additionally, freelance employees rely on good reviews and open networks, which lead to a high grade of work.

  • Less pressure on operational costs.

    With a flexible workforce comes the ability to match labour to the peaks and troughs of business. While the rate of pay for a freelance worker might appear higher than for a full-time employee worker, when paid leave and statutory on-costs are taken into account, coupled with the cost savings of deploying labour on demand and enhanced productivity, the impact on the bottom line can be significant.

  • Better use of your HR department.

    According to the online work report by Upwork, from start to finish it takes approximately 43 days to fill an open position with traditional recruitment methods. In contrast, its takes approximately 3 days to hire a freelancer. Dedicating large amounts of time to hiring is a waste of resources. Rapid fill rate means the ability to dedicate your HR department to other aspects of business that really impact organisational performance.

So how do CEOs best approach the Gig Economy?

As the Gig Economy continues to gain momentum, companies will need to develop new ways to manage resources, attract and retain the best gig workers and build communication internally to remain competitive.

Here are our 3 top tips on how to get Gig Recruitment right in your company:

  1. Review the design of your organisation from a resources perspective.
  2. What is the ratio of permanent, full-time staff to contingent, contractor and freelance staff? Is the mix right? Have you compared the productivity of different types of workers? It’s time to look at how the demands of your customers are changing and align work and organisational design accordingly.

  3. Focus on attracting and retaining the very best talent.
  4. To really capitalise on the benefits of the gig economy, businesses will need to attract the very best talent to each gig. This means being clear on what top talent looks like and ensuring you have innovative methods in place to find and connect to them.

  5. Build a strong culture internally to support the new system.
  6. A healthy company culture stands as a key competitive component in organisations today. By bolstering communication and focusing on engagement, companies ensure that the culture and values are translated and spread throughout the organisation.

    We know engaged employees are 45% more productive, so focusing on the engagement drivers of all your employees is essential. Ultimately, company culture is translated through the core team, so ensuring they are feeling valued, happy and engaged is paramount now more than ever.

It’s important for CEOs to take control of this phenomenon and drive the implementation of new systems to utilise the benefits of the gig economy. Once these systems are in place, the business cycle will gain momentum and you will start to see the benefits flow through to your culture, your customers, and the bottom line.