3 GR8 Tips for Hiring Success in the Gig Economy

There was a time when organizations viewed gig workers as a luxury or an auxiliary piece of their workforce. The last few years have turned that notion on its head. Research supports the growing trend of gig workers becoming a force to be reckoned with. According to an Aspen Institute study, 25-35% of current U.S. workers partake in gig work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics further reports that 10% of workers surveyed primarily rely on gig work for their income. This trend isn’t going unnoticed by business leaders.

A study from Mercer’s Global Talent Trends shares that 77% of execs see the gig worker as replacing full-time employees over the next four years. Additionally, the pandemic has shifted the way we view work irrevocably. With many workers forgoing the traditional 9-5 in favor of a more flexible work arrangement, gig work is growing in attractiveness. And it’s growing in attractiveness for employers, too—organizations can hire gig workers for short-term work to fulfill a critical business need that might arise with an ongoing project or new opportunity. Think of it like hiring workers on-demand!

Has your organization started to embrace the changing workforce by creating more gig jobs? If so, it’s time to adapt your team’s talent acquisition strategies to attract top candidates looking for their next gig.

Strategies for Attracting Today’s Gig Worker

Though the fundamentals of recruiting and hiring remain the same, the gig economy is a very specific workforce to target in and of itself. It includes highly specialized individuals whose motivations can vary—they may be looking to fit work around other commitments, or they may simply enjoy gig work for its level of flexibility and potentially high pay. According to Randstad, the rise of the gig economy reflects a number of drivers including the acceleration in digital transformation, the growing skills gaps, and the move to total talent management models. Many talent acquisition teams are failing to reflect the particular demands of gig talent and you don’t want to be one of them. Here are 3 GR8 tips for your team to leverage:

Tip #1: Boost your employer brand and candidate experience
A major downfall that organizations experience when trying to attract gig talent is that their employer brand is not inclusive of them. Your employer brand should appeal to both gig and permanent employees. We’re living in a candidate-driven market, and regardless of their long term or contingent employment plans, job seekers are going to look towards your corporate career site and social channels as their number one means of learning about what it’s like to work for your company. You may be appealing to traditional workers, but have you taken the time to evaluate your EVP and ensure that you are appealing to all the talent you’re trying to hire? Gig workers want to feel like you value them and the skills they’d be bringing to your company, just like any other employee. Consider your offerings that are particularly attractive to gig workers that other organizations may not have. While their time with your company may be short-term, gig workers want to feel like they belong to your team in the same ways as permanent employees.

Your candidate experience as a whole plays a significant role in this, too. With the right recruiting technology in place, recruiters can set up workflows specific to gig-workers that are tailored to this type of hire. Think about shortening the process to include only necessary steps as well as automated and timely communications—just make sure each touchpoint is personalized to keep candidates engaged.

Tip #2: Invest in the right technology
Any successful recruiting team knows that leveraging the right technology and recruiting automation can bring unparalleled value to your sourcing strategies. This rings true for sourcing gig workers just as much, if not more, than sourcing traditional employees. AI-matching can make it remarkably easy for recruiters to engage with matched, scored, and qualified gig talent as soon as they open a job. With an AI-powered recruiting solution, talent in your database can be matched against job criteria with efficiency and ease. Imagine starting your day with a populated pipeline of actionable leads for a “need to fill” requisition—and being able to automatically activate candidate communications. Recruiters spend less time sourcing and more time building relationships with potential candidates.

Let’s take it a step further—say the perfect gig worker is matched with the perfect job and they’re hired, but you still have a list of valuable talent who have already engaged with your brand. Your recruiters now have qualified candidates and silver medalists to add to a talent pool specific for gig workers. This gives recruiters the opportunity to engage with and nurture a long-term relationship with compatible talent to recruit on demand the next time they need a quick hire. Automated, personalized communications can be set up to keep candidates warm and ready for when you need them.

Gig workers are often hired for project-based work and organizations find themselves needing to find qualified candidates quickly. Consider adding a text recruiting solution to your tool belt too. This gives recruiters the opportunity to reach candidates how and when they want in real-time. We live in a mobile-centric world; think about the time-savings involved with getting feedback and answers from candidates in minutes instead of hours and even days.

Tip #3: Build Relationships
Thinking back to the sourcing and engagement strategies noted earlier, it’s just as important to keep that relationship going with gig workers after they’re hired. Establishing meaningful connections with your short-term employees is a fool-proof way to keep GR8 talent in your back pocket if and when you need them in the future. Not to mention, today’s gig worker could be looking for a permanent position tomorrow. Or you may onboard a gig worker that ultimately decides they want to stay on the team long term. It’s crucial that these workers receive the same treatment as permanent employees, not only to make them feel included and valued, but to make the relationship last no matter which direction it goes. Word of mouth is always something an organization should keep in mind when sourcing and hiring. There are countless forums out there where gig workers can connect and recommend job opportunities from their own experience. It’s never a bad thing to have a community that advocates for your brand in a positive way!

Embracing the Gig Economy

Gig work is undoubtedly becoming a new standard in today’s labor market. With remote work and the importance of work-life balance setting the stage as the new normal in the modern work environment, employees are looking for purpose-driven employment opportunities and flexible hours that fit their lifestyle. Recruiting teams will be missing out on a highly skilled pool of talent if they don’t adjust their hiring strategies to be inclusive of gig workers. With these GR8 tips in mind, your organization can ensure success when sourcing talent in the gig economy. In today’s candidate-centric market where there’s a shortage of top talent and open jobs are plentiful, make sure your team is set up to embrace the gig economy.