Working a part-time or full-time job is the usual type of employment. But in the recent years, the workforce has shifted toward a “gig” economy, where most people are taking on various short-term projects, or the latest jobs which include temp jobs, freelance work and the sharing economy.
The evolution of technology is the main reason why the gig economy is taking up a larger percentage of today’s workforce. Due to the fact that it is now easier to work remotely or telecommute, companies are already hiring workers from around the world.
In fact, most companies are now operating through mobile apps, making it a lot easier for someone to begin working as a contract employee. For those running their own business, social media allows them to promote their products and services at a more affordable cost as opposed to traditional advertising.
Here are some lessons that candidates and employers can learn from the gig economy.
5 Lessons for Candidates
- Distinguish yourself at work
The mentality of being part of a team in a huge corporation can crush you in the gig economy. Some of the highest-rated Uber drivers are well known for their snack-stocked cars and their smiling faces. Although setting yourself apart at work needs to go a bit farther than having a box full of candies on your desk, it is crucial for you to make an effort to differentiate yourself at work. Some great examples of how you can set yourself apart from the rest are listening well, performing some extra tasks, and asking relevant questions.
- Always assess your performance
At the end of each week, or each time you finish a project, assessing your performance by determining where you shine and where you could have improved can help your career. By doing so, you can identify weak spots that you need to pay attention to, along with the skills you must sharpen and the different technologies you must learn to grow into your next role.
- Self-promotion goes a long way
The gig economy proved that a bit of self-promotion goes a long way. Instead of solely letting your work speak for itself, you should speak up as well. Make sure that those who must know, will see that your work is hitting major milestones, connecting to the company’s goals, and improving the firm in some way. You need to become an advocate for your own work and skill set. And if you see a project that you can be of great help, offer to assist.
- Maintain sustainable work-life integration
To maintain a steady flow of income as a contract worker, it will take a good amount of organization and discipline. That said, it is quite easy to let work hours bleed into family time. As such, it is essential for you to set expectations for yourself and your family so that you do not have to sacrifice personal time and the quality for your work.
- Opt for the best health insurance coverage
A major drawback to gig work is the lack of employer-provided health care. Without paid medical leave, employer-provided health insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, the cost of any illness or injury will fall on your own pocket. As such, it is crucial for you to take advantage of insurance providers offering a wide range of healthcare plans or insurance options that are great for the workforce in the gig economy.
4 Lessons for Companies
- Job titles and descriptions will change
If your company is willing to offer a temporary job or an on-going relationship with a competent independent contractor, the job titles and descriptions must denote it. When posting job vacancies on the best UAE job sites, be sure to include independent contractors in the pool of potential applicants. Most candidates might be interested in the job, but would be unable to apply for it if it would become their secondary full-time job. So always ensure that the job descriptions are precise.
- Networking is essential
Gigs might not translate well when traditional advertising is used for an open position. If your company needs proficient gig workers, you can find them through great networking. Exploring social connections is among the best ways of finding a specialist who can help you with your projects.
- The workplace may shift
The gig economy and the technology are overlapping. With the increasing number of workers and the technology making it a lot easier than ever to bridge distances, the workplace can significantly change. Technologies like video conferencing are now important since it allows company owners like you to check on your employees who can’t report to a physical office.
- HR technology must be improved
The gig economy has a huge effect on the recruitment processes. Gone are the days when HR professionals should only search for people who don’t have current jobs or for those who want to change their employment because competent candidates today are looking for extra jobs. Most of the qualified candidates are employed full-time, so HR methods must expand to reach those who are looking to supplement their existing long-term contracts or work.
Polling revealed that most workforce participants want to take on second short-term jobs when they are promised to bring in a little more cash. As a result, companies are becoming more receptive to such an idea. Whether you are an employee looking for a supplemental job or a company owner searching for qualified workers, you can definitely learn a lot from the gig economy.
A recruitment professional with over twenty years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. In 2003, David set up Mackenzie Jones in the UK, growing the business across two offices in London and Birmingham. In 2005, David established Mackenzie Jones in Dubai to serve the Gulf region and neighbouring countries. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.