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Is Your Hiring Strategy Ready For The Gig Economy?

Posted by Kate Smedley on 6 Feb 2017

The gig economy was predicted to be one of the biggest influences on the labour market in 2017 by the CIPD. A new survey this week supports this, suggesting that half of UK employers are planning to increase their use of gig economy workers by 2020[1]. It is expected to be worth an estimated $63bn globally by 2020 and £2bn to the UK economy but is your hiring strategy prepared to successfully hire gig economy workers?  

The gig economy enables HR to resource sought after skills which are often outside the scope of your ongoing business, offering access to talented professionals. These ‘open talent’ workers (as described by Deloitte) have dropped out of the traditional recruitment market and won’t respond to your usual hiring methods. 70% of gig economy workers have over 10 years of experience in their market and a growing number possess more skills and experience than permanent employees. A classic example is the growing need for skilled cybersecurity workers

But is your hiring process ready to effectively recruit and retain these flexible workers? Here are five signs it might not be:-

The gig economy = ‘zero hours contracts’ to your business : Our previous article highlighted the distinct four categories of freelance workers. Citizen’s Advice has suggested that up to 460,000 people could be ‘bogusly self-employed’, a concern thrown sharply into focus by the recent Uber ruling. At present proposals are being put forward to guarantee a minimum wage for these ‘gig economy’ workers.  If your business does not differentiate between zero hours contracts and the skilled professionals available in the gig economy, your hiring process is probably in need of a review. Your recruitment software will provide insight into the number of your job posts requiring zero hours contracts. 

There’s no training policy in place : More than half of UK employers believe that training materials should be made available to gig economy workers to enable them to adapt quickly to their new working environment. Ongoing career development should also apply to your flexible workforce in order to retain the skills you need.

You don’t have a wellbeing policy  : A lack of engagement in the UK workforce is continuing to affect productivity. The University of Cambridge cautioned that if HR failed to ‘get to grips’ with the transitional nature of the workforce, it might have a detrimental effect on the mental health of employees. Two thirds of UK employers do not have procedures for supporting staff who are unwell and only 45% have formal bereavement policies. If your business isn’t prepared to deal with these issues, you’re probably not ready for the gig economy.

Your compartmentalise your open talent workforce  : The weakest link in the gig economy chain is HR’s inability to engage fully with its flexible workforce. Gig economy workers are as critical to your organisation’s success as your permanent employees. For your hiring strategy to succeed, a formal performance management strategy for remote or flexible workers is essential.

You've failed to review your recruitment metrics : Your traditional metrics will need adjusting to effectively evaluate your recruitment and retention of gig economy workers. For more information, please see our previous article on the 7 key recruitment metrics your business should be measuring.

To focus on your priorities and to create a talent management strategy which embraces the new workforce, Deloitte suggests asking four questions:-

  • What is your talent vision?
  • Who are your critical workforces?
  • Which priority talent programmes will you invest in as you progress along the ‘open talent continuum?’
  • What infrastructure will your business require to support those investments?

Your answers will help to formulate an effective talent management strategy to support your achievement of business goals and gain clarity into the nature of your workforce.

Advorto’s recruitment software helps you to gain the clarity your business needs to create a streamlined and effective talent recruitment strategy. Find out how.

Start your 30 day free trial today.

You might also like to read:-

3 Recruitment Strategies For An Unpredictable Jobs Market

The Gig Economy : The Good, The Bad & HR

For an in-depth of the impact of the gig economy, please refer to our whitepaper The Rise Of The Gig Economy.

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[1] Source :

Topics: talent engagement

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