Gig economy: A Revolutionary Trend for the Labor Market

Digital transformation of workplaces has generated new trends that revolutionize the labor market. Nowadays, on-demand and independent jobs have caused an increase in worldwide employment options, which has become a feasible and sustainable option for many people.

Digital natives look for new ways of working and prioritize the chance of incorporating their jobs into their personal life. Spending 9 hours in a crowded office is no longer an option for those who have experienced management by objectives and without the pressure of time. This new model is the demonstration of “life-work balance” on which new generations are based and they put it into practice in every opportunity that the labor market has for them.

So, within this context of freelancers seeking professional growth and labor diversity rather than one job for their whole life, arose a concept in America that has become popular during the last years: the Gig economy. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the Gig Economy is a way of working that is based on people having temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately, rather than working for an employer. In general, these temporary services set by objectives are offered on digital platforms that establish a connection between workers and users who are asking for a specific service. As stated by the Gig Economy Index, almost 40% of the American labor force generates at least 40% of their incomes within this model. Besides, as claimed by the research From Workforce to Workfit, carried out by Kelly Services, a company specializing in external consulting, the demand for this kind of workers in that country is 47%. Independent freelancers’ microbusinesses in America represent 17% of the gross domestic product, which generates US$2.4 trillion.

 

 

The worldwide figures indicate the growth of this trend: the demand in Asia is 84%, in Europe it is equivalent to 80% and finally, in South America it reaches 54%. Taking into account these figures, many experts claim that the gig economy is the future of work, due to its outreach, facilities and working benefits both for employees and employers.

Among the most remarkable gig economy benefits and advantages for a freelancer, we can mention that:

Independent workers improve their quality of life: reaching a balance between personal life and work is one of the most valuable advantages. Remote jobs enable them to sleep better and even eat better, as they are not under the pressure of time.

They can have a flexible schedule: as they are hired for a certain project or objective, this type of worker is able to manage their time in the most convenient way.

They feel motivated: a freelancer is highly motivated since they have the chance of working in a field they love. Management by objectives makes tasks become more specific, so they feel more at ease.

They can save money: independent workers save on daily expenses, such as commuting or having lunch on the go.

It is also important to note that remote jobs give the possibility of generating incomes to people who are usually excluded from the traditional way of working, for example, those who are in charge of caring for others or are unable to commute due to a lack of mobility.

This methodology is also beneficial for enterprises, as they acquire the necessary resources and talents at the appropriate time and place. Freelancers really value independent work and they are constantly getting qualified, which makes it possible for the enterprise to create a highly competitive work team. However, this represents new challenges for the companies that must incorporate their traditional teams into the remote ones. According to Kelly Services’ research, the enterprises that succeeded in this in an innovative way it is because they passed on the business culture early, implemented a comprehensive onboarding process and used adequate digital tools.

Some data that show this trend worldwide are:

      The number of digital platforms that facilitate online work or that hire workers directly to offer their services increased fivefold around the world in a decade. 

      Only 13% of people who worked remotely by the end of 2021 have fully come back to the face-to-face model, as stated by Infojobs’ research.

      A McKinsey report shows that more than 150 million people from Western Europe and North America have decided to become independent workers during the last decade.

      Lately, it has been known that more than 4 million American people have quit their permanent jobs willingly in order to set up their own businesses or work on their own.

 

As technology improves and the labor force evolves, the gig economy emerges as an original way of working which is based on independent development and without any geographical limits. Some of its advantages are easier access to opportunities, more efficient use of resources and comfort for workers and clients.

In this model marked by a versatile and disruptive economy, specialization and knowledge are not limited by recruitment methods or borders. More than ever, there is huge competition in the business world and digitalization has become a need rather than an option in order to be at the forefront of the current market.

4 Essential Challenges for Talent Outsourcing Companies

The Covid19 pandemic accelerated the setting of a new model that is focused on the digitalization of work. This places us in a full training and developing reality which is being taken on increasingly with its ups and downs.

Nowadays there are around 1.100 million freelancers working around the world. In many countries, the supply and demand for remote workers have risen significantly during the last few years. The search for job advertisements making reference to this modality is placed in a more and more important position. For example, 41% of the American labor force is freelancers.

The independent work methodology is accepted worldwide and the demand will increase because the concept of work itself has also changed. Productivity is not related to the number of hours spent in an office by an employee. Moreover, strict compliance with schedules is a thing of the past. New generations will not want to come back to their workplace as they knew it and remote job positions will become more powerful in contrast to the traditional way of working.

 

 

The future of work, in which the digital world is more and more predominant, comes together with an increasing demand for freelancers. According to this model, not only the enterprises but also the employees are facing new challenges. Although this situation is profitable for many companies as general expenses are reduced, there are some questions that arise:

How to achieve effective communication

Internal communication is essential for the success of an organization since it makes possible the synergy of the work team. Having a virtual place for dialogue will keep the connection among employees and between them and their employers, it also enables them to overcome any obstacle on time. Arranging weekly meetings with clear goals represents a must for a remote team.

 

How to recruit talents

It is hard for those who have worked following the traditional model to think of a recruitment process for freelancers for the organization. However, there are many websites that function as platforms of talents, in which the geographic location is not taken into account.

 

How to build the company culture

It is not easy to imagine a business culture when facing this work fragmentation where one person belongs to several enterprises at the same time. In spite of this, the desire of a person to have a remote job position has to do more with being able to manage their own schedule rather than with belonging to an organization or not. Therefore, the freelancer can be part of a company but without being employed in a dependent way. This is a challenge for the managers, who must use different strategies to strengthen the much-needed culture of work. The first step is great leadership, as employees will respond by recognizing them and themselves as an active part of the company.

 

How to follow up the fulfilling of working goals

his new methodology is showing a positive impact on productivity since employees no longer work under pressure but they pursue an objective. Keeping updates and improvements in tasks is a good way of providing a follow-up without bothering someone. Establishing short-term goals makes it possible for the talents to organize their timetables according to their preferences without hinder productivity nor their approval of the enterprise.

 

 

It is clear that organizations must be adapted, but people who took on this new culture are also facing new challenges, such as:

Time management

One of the advantages of this modality is the lack of a manager giving orders. However, this can be negative if time is not well managed. One of the most valuable aspects of being a freelancer is having available time to enjoy the freedom that this involves. Therefore, it is important to fix a work schedule and priorities, provide a follow up of the working hours and know how to delegate.

How to get new jobs

According to a survey carried out by the financial services company Payoneer, 36% of the clients are in North America, while the European customers represent 27%. Using social media is a useful tool when trying to contact them, as it is free. Another way of acquiring clients is by word of mouth, that is taking advantage of the company’s acquaintances who may need their services. Networking and collaborating with other freelancers are other ways of getting new customers later.

Setting fees

Although remote job positions eliminate the geographical borders, freelancers must take into account that remuneration levels are set according to the cost of living in the customer’s country and not in their own one. It is a good idea to get in touch with other freelancers and revise tariff charts in order to estimate costs. Making an estimate of the hours that will take to fulfill the goals, evaluating the money that is needed and considering a profit margin are different ways of calculating figures. It is not a bad strategy to ask the client which is the budget that is considering investing in that project.

There are many challenges that both employers and employees must undergo, but being able to give answers to them and understand the future of work is essential if we want to be part of the new working model of the digital era.

Asynchronous: The Key to Remote Work

The last years pace has been set by the new challenges that arise in the companies.

 

Beyond the development of virtual strategies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new work conditions and new necessities for business people and collaborators are considered, as well as new possibilities of satisfying them in order to obtain greater working comfort.

One of the most innovative decisions that enterprises have been making is moving from a 100% face-to-face or synchronic modality to a virtual or asynchronous one, although it is in a partial and graduated way.

The home-office modality does not require doing tasks in real-time nor attending face-to-face meetings (or not fully). This allows the distribution of responsibilities among the members of the company. Therefore, projects move forward together with more independence and autonomy from the people involved in them.

Asynchronous work brings greater efficiency and better team performance, with the help of optimized communication, fewer distractions, and more transparency in the decisions and choices that are made.

Through labor dynamics, there are more and more businesses that aim at decentralizing employees’ working times and spaces.

In order to attract qualified talent, it is essential to understand that, thanks to the asynchronous participation, productivity can rise, objectives can be met in the shortest time possible and the autonomy level of performance in an organization can increase. This enables enterprises to take a leap toward projects that require more intensity and depth in their realization. And this means including larger amounts of people involved in them, as well as being articulated with other worldwide ones.

The advantage of applying greater flexible working strategies is the elasticity of the relationships of the companies, both internal and external. Moreover, it brings creative, new, and customized contributions and proposals, which enables a much more efficient way of working.

As this is a new modality that will stay, the benefits of the asynchronous work for the IT talent will be mentioned below.

  1. Independence related to datesschedules, and location: in worldwide projects, every person is in a different place, so the time zone also varies, which has an impact on their time availability. Working in an asynchronous way allows using time and location properly in search of the implementation of a plan, without depending on others.
  2. An in-depth look at tasks within the project: it is possible to deal with every project with a deeper approach, paying attention to its distinctive features and details. The greater productivity moment of every talent can be chosen to achieve that task.
  3. Focus on objectives and deadlines: by implementing the asynchronous work, the main aspect is meeting the objectives. Thus, it is more possible to ensure the compliance of the project within the scheduled time.
  4. Autonomy: every member of the team works when they decide to. Under this modality, it is understood that each person has different necessities, which permits true flexibility and freedom.
  5. Performance within the team of the enterprise: by learning to work in this way, the members increase their individual and team performance, as time is more efficient.

 

It is known that this kind of labor organization is a way of working and, contrary to predictions, it is a format that promises to stay definitely.
The fact of not executing it could be risky for companies by calling into question the possibility of hiring new talents who work in this way without exception.

 

 

Let’s mention some requirements to take into account for its greater use:

 

  • Train the employees in the digital tools that are needed to put the asynchronous mode into effect. There are more and more specific digital tools and platforms for every area of the labor market. They can be used according to the special features of each project. Knowing and using them is essential if you want to implement this way of working.
  • Choose the most adequate means of communication, either to make consultations, give notices, or to reach an agreement with the team. In the asynchronous work, communication decreases but, at the same time, it is optimized, as what is communicated represents what is truly important and the project cannot go forward without it.
  • Establish a joint work plan, in which the steps, roles, and tasks of every employee are specified. Before starting with a certain project, it is convenient to plan what it will be about and how it will be developed.
  • Define objectives to meet, deadlines and considerations to take into account for its normal development: it is not possible to work without setting deadlines and objectives to meet. This must be the starting point for all the projects.
  • Create a meeting agenda for the asynchronous meetings, which makes it possible to share, revise and assess the execution of projects and the asynchronous experiences of the members of the team.

 

This new work scheme needs new requirements, so all the members of the company must keep themselves up to date.

Outsourcing Software Talent: a trend that is here to stay

Work structures and recruitment methods are changing and this creates new opportunities for businesses.

Moreover, the fact of choosing the more adequate professionals for a certain area, within an increasing variety of possibilities, opens up new prospects full of many advantages.

When going through these talent recruitment processes, the supply of candidates increases worldwide. Therefore, companies are forced to update and renew their working dynamics.

Although before it was more complex to work with external participants, nowadays many organizations prefer to hire other enterprises, teams or IT specialists so they can be in charge of the software development outsourcing for their projects.

It is known that large companies around the world have kept this idea for a long time. However, small and medium-sized enterprises now understand that this is also beneficial for them, so that they can obtain better results. This leads to an important question: which are the reasons for this phenomenon taking place more and more frequent and at macro level?

The global market of these services has a value of US$600 million. The companies must think of a new investment due to different reasons: the lack of time to make a recruitment process, the increased pace because of the boom of new technologies and finally the expansion of the outreach of the projects related to those tech tools.

This enables them to reduce not only the costs of doing those tasks but also the time spent by doing them. So they can use that time for other priorities. Also, they try to avoid the expenditures coming from this process being higher than the budget assigned to each project. That’s why the outsourcing is considered to be so viable. The fact of outsourcing this task to external and specialized professionals also helps the internal employees of the companies to focus on deciding which abilities the talents must have. These talents must show that they possess the adequate potential in order to offer customized and more efficient solutions.

The companies who outsource IT experts provide a wide range of web development workers, according to each project, with great time availability and an impeccable career path.

It is essential to take into account that enterprises need agility and willingness towards change and innovation, which means more flexibility and openness at work. Regarding this, having a team that works in a freelance way has important benefits.

The idea is to optimize the delivery time of projects. This makes the marketing processes to happen in shorter times, which provides a greater customer satisfaction and makes possible the increase of the competitiveness on the market.

Moreover, by outsourcing skilled professionals for the software development, companies make sure that those talents put their abilities, knowledge and techniques at the service of the project fulfillment. The aim is to improve the work quality by respecting the required outlines and the fixed delivery times, so that it can work properly.

It is essential to be aware of the past outsourcing experiences of such organizations, as this will be useful when looking for new software developers or when creating and executing new projects.

On the other hand, it is true that by hiring other software development outsourcing companies or IT professionals, the enterprises obtain more credibility. The reason is that when their employees meet the deadlines of each project, there is a chance of improving and surpassing its planning, development and delivery to the specific customers.

In this area, there are great leaders who provide the service of external software development outsourcing. This removes some previous tasks of the companies while they develop their potential of the projects hand in hand with great experts.

 

Beyond the reasons that cause the boom of this service, it is relevant to mention its benefits:

1. The enterprises which have more trajectory always ask for information about the past experiences of the recruited staff, so they can focus on the customer’s area of interest. They work with responsible, committed and enthusiastic developers.

2. They hire a team made up of different talents which must have the required features according to the project.

3. A worldwide database of contacts is used in order to choose the best web developers.

4. They give the chance to work in the long term with the external developers, which makes the internal employees know each other better. At the same time, it permits a deeper knowledge of the details of the project as a whole.

5. Outsourcing enterprises respect the software developers’ values, cultures and ways of working by agreeing on some specified dynamics to fulfill the projects.

6. This kind of companies establish a communication plan, so that they can assure the normal understanding of every aspect of the project. They also pay attention to the dialogue with the experts to keep the fluency at work.

7. A joint working plan is defined. It is also divided into stages and levels of scalability.

8. They take responsibility for data security and confidential data related to the project.

9. Indicators are measured to check if the project is successful or not.

10. They control the quality of the products by avoiding mistakes or failures before marketing and selling them.

The secret of effectiveness lies in a Culture of Open Talent

Nowadays, companies are going through a crucial moment as they are almost forced to innovate some practices and dynamics in accordance with these times but without giving up old work schemes (in which the physical presence in the office was one of its requirements).

 

Therefore, the complex company culture is constantly changing by means of the use of technologies and Internet, which allows more and more new and better ways of exchange, beyond working face to face.

 

The new searches and needs of both enterprises and freelance workers show the current reality of the labor market.

 

Companies are facing the dilemma of continuing with their talent recruitment and selection processes as they have been doing for ages or looking for new ways of recruitment.

 

One thing is certain, they are immersed in the new virtual model, so they are not exempt from using platforms and digital resources at work. The opportunities that can be obtained with this new situation justify the importance of respecting and including the diversity of available options in the known schemes.

 

So the idea is to create an open talent culture by keeping in permanent contact with collaborators and other companies, increasing the talent sources by looking for more flexible and open ones, generating more dynamism inside the enterprises and encouraging the talent flow respecting its time, roles and specific needs.

 

All of this requires a total commitment in the recruitment of new talents.

 

The aim is to prevent a company culture from keeping closed in on itself, blocked and rigid. In this traditional talent system, there is little resources flow and there are not enough movements in order to make the exchange profitable.

 

Most organizations, even the ones that belong to fields that change constantly, keep on being involved in a traditional working model – the permanent employee who has a fixed schedule. That model is no longer able to follow the rhythm of the huge informative and technical change which it has to respond to and the speed at which it has to do it.

 

Promoting an open talent culture does not mean that we must accept everything equally, as this may cause the system to disorder. When we allow more exchange, there is more energy, ideas and tasks flow which are aimed at creating innovative solutions within the organization.

 

In this context, the foundations of the open talent culture are:

  • Transparency and openness. Once the new temporary members are incorporated, there is new constant information and methods to solve problems. The openness to new information and methodologies are the key for the company success.
  • Agility and dynamism. Open talent cultures are abundant in suggestions and experiences from freelance workers who, as a global community, provide a specific approach in order to share new tools and methods.
  • The incorporation of global talent promotes the addition of different cultures and ways of thinking. The fact of having a culture which is focused on inclusion will improve the results significantly.
  • Collaborative environment. It is essential to understand that, in order to achieve the best performance of remote workers, we must collaborate in an open way.
  • Management by objectives. Open talent cultures hire employees who work by projects. The enterprises that apply this methodology have less permanent labor relationships.
  • More predictability. One of the main problems of an organization is to be able to know which actions it may need in the future. In this context, with an open talent culture, the functions of the employees are reduced and remain without internal background that makes them unable to operate. There is no prejudice when leading change.

 

 

What’s the use of keeping a fixed work team in which its members feel blocked, without any chance of growing and even any clear goals? For what purpose do we resist to take advantage of the new work dynamics?

The current work models must be more and more aligned with the hybrid schemes and the dynamism of the context in which they are developed. Having a close talent culture which does not go together with the external events and trends causes the loss of effectiveness in all of its organizational levels.

An enterprise that maintains its open talent culture, with its front doors in constant movement allowing employees to move freely, is likely to have more effectiveness when showing the results.

This is not a new trend but the promoters of the open talent culture allow the mixed and flexible labor force to increase at a pace that has not been possible so far.

How to better manage freelance teams

The search for talent has become global and without geographical boundaries, making teams increasingly competitive and creating an ideal team a great challenge for companies. More and more companies are hiring their workforce on a freelance basis, which has many advantages. However, it is also a great challenge. Some of the tools to achieve this are training and effective communication.

 

The boom of remote work goes hand in hand with the gig-economy. The latter refers to a market system in which temporary projects are common and companies tend to hire freelance workers instead of full-time employees. This trend has been growing more than ever for the last two years. The last survey of human resources consultancy ADP shows that more than half of the global labor force says to be more interested in freelance work since the arrival of the pandemic.

 

The gig economy is the economy of small tasks.

 

On the other hand, many studies by the World Economic Forum show that there is a great economic impact. A research has said that the gig economy will have an annual growth of 17,4%, which represents US$455 billion in global activity up to the end of 2023.

 

It is certain that more and more enterprises prefer to include independent and remote workers in their projects but, as it is an innovating and growing trend, the question about which is the best way of managing a freelance team successfully arises.

 

  • Provide training and tools

As it happens with the joining of a fixed employee, the independent workers who are incorporated to a company must know about its culture, values, mission and points of view. That’s why it is essential to send them documents or style guides, which are necessary to start working.

 

The fact of having a digital admission plan will make it faster and will teach the new employee about the organization and how it works as a whole. As it is possible that a freelancer who works 10 hours per week does not need the same quantity of information as an employee who works 40 hours, it is important to hand in only what is necessary in order to maximize efficiency and not to waste time.

 

  • Document and measure progress

Documentation of processes is relevant in order to understand what are the teams working on, so they can be in tune with each other. Therefore, they can ask for changes according to what they can observe. It is also vital to measure progress through collaborative platforms or tools where expectations, deadlines, orders and comments can be communicated. Thus, freelancers are able to understand how to manage their work within those due dates.

Communication is essential in every team. It must be transparent, pleasant and efficient. By virtue of new technologies, it is easier than ever to connect with remote workers through different platforms. But we must know how to use them, both in a technical and a personal way. It is significant to establish a friendly and transparent communication among teams in order to create a responsible and enjoyable work environment.

Building long-lasting relationships with freelancers will be the key for success to work with them in the future. To be able to trust them in various projects is invaluable as it implies hiring good-quality talent with minimized hiring costs and general expenditures. So it is ideal that they feel well-received and part of the team.

 

  • Understanding their way of working

It is a challenge for companies to understand that an independent worker, no matter how many projects they are working on, keeps on having a freelance work modality. It means that they do not work during common hours or they are not even in the same time zone as the company.

 

Freelancers work on their own and are used to manage their own time and work. But it does not mean that they are not able to fulfill a high-quality task or that they will not be available when required. On the contrary, they achieve aims in a different way but being efficient and productive as a fixed employee. It is relevant to know how to adapt to each other’s requirements and take into account deadlines, orders and common goals of the projects.