Staffing Industry Analysts report that recent buyer surveys predict a huge workforce shift across the next 10 years. The shift is one which many organizations are at least aware of, even if they haven’t already begun taking steps to capitalize on it. We’re talking about the “gig economy” and the effect it continues to have on both labor and workforce management functions with all types of organizations. Is your workforce management program prepared to address the challenges and opportunities presented by this shift already well in progress?
A recent study by Intuit confirms the SIA’s report, predicting a full 40% of Americans will be independent contractors working in the gig economy by 2020. That’s less than three years from now! What can workforce managers do to improve their efficacy when it comes to sourcing and retaining these resources in a compliant fashion?
One of the key things to do is to reframe the way an organization approaches staffing requirements. Since the gig economy is built upon the use of IC resources, organizations should recruit resources to staff “by project” instead of the more traditional method of supplementing full-time staff. As companies grow more comfortable with gig economy workers, they’re finding it is easier to carve off tasks and functions that can be “projectized” and then hire teams of gig contractors to execute.
Perform a “core vs. non-core” assessment of all the work typically performed by non-employee labor. The core items may require the utilization of temp labor as these will likely require resources to be on site for regular hours and to be supervised by full-time resources. As such, these roles will not pass IC classification compliance requirements and should not be staffed with gig workers. However, the non-core roles are the ones that are often more appropriate for remote and project-based workers. Project work falls within compliance parameters for being executed by gig workers.
Thinking in the same terms, once an appropriate assessment has been completed and the scope of all gig-ready functions has been identified, workforce managers can take steps to improve their sourcing and management of gig workers. It is recommended that a contingent workforce program establish guidelines and policies to ensure:
- Partnership with the correct staffing suppliers for sourcing independent contractors
- Cost containment strategies are in place
- Visibility to entire workforce for ongoing planning strategy regarding gig workers
- Risk mitigation and compliance to any independent contractor laws
That last point is especially important. Laws governing the gig economy race to keep pace with the changing nature of the labor market. State and federal regulators are working to provide a unified front when it comes to legislation and enforcement. It can be difficult for companies to keep abreast of fast-breaking changes. Consult with experts at workforce management solution providers like nextSource for help with compliant use and utilization of gig workers in this growing gig economy.