Freelancing is a sole source of income for an increasing number of workers – in the U.S. alone this number reached 56.7 million people. In less than a decade, around half of the country’s workforce is projected to become a part of a gig economy.
The gig economy opened a world of flexibility and great opportunities for both employers and freelancers. However, the vast number of workers on popular platforms also led to a serious decrease in the quality of the work and the conditions for freelancers.
The future yet isn’t so grim – and things could get better both for the workforce and the employers.
The Influx of Workforce
As time goes by, the workforce keeps getting younger, more tech-savvy and adaptive to the dynamic environment of the gig economy.
Millennials and Generation Z may not be super-thrilled about the unpredictability of the gig economy, but they are willing to be proactive about their skills-related education. Reportedly, almost half of the workforce in this age bracket is freelancing.
Around two-thirds of them freelance by choice, feeling that the pros of the gig economy outweigh the cons. This number has grown in the last five years, showing there is an upward trend when it comes to job and income opportunities.
What does this mean for employers? Namely that the talent pool will be deep, which is always a good thing. However, the greatest challenge that stems from this trend will be finding, attracting and retaining top talent.
Corporations are Connecting with Freelancers
Industry giants have also jumped on board the gig economy train. Aware of the ever-evolving nature of their respective industries, large corporations are outsourcing non-core work such as marketing or administration to teams of freelancers.
While this is not a rule for every industry, some of them, especially the IT sector, often require assembling various teams on a project basis. This allows them to diversify the workforce in terms of skills and knowledge. Much like the previous trend, this one also has its pros and cons.
While this significantly helps in reducing overall costs of training and onboarding, it also makes it more difficult to find the perfect resource.
More Remote Companies
One of the ways employers could overcome the previous challenge is to expand their pool of talent by outsourcing work beyond their city, country or even continent. While most employers outsource part of their team, an increasing number of businesses does not have any headquarters.
While remote work offers great flexibility and small expenses, it also contributes from dissociation from the team and the company’s goals.
Workforce fighting for better terms
Income unpredictability is one of the main concerns among freelancers – around two-thirds of them dip into their savings on a monthly basis. This uncertainty is also underlined by the lack of any retirement and health benefits. The issue of using giggers as cheap labor is also a notoriously weak point of the gig economy.
Recently, Google announced that their staffing partners will now be required to pay contract workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour and provide health benefits. After fighting a long battle with freelancers who felt they were exploited, the industry giant acquiesced to their demands.
If employers want to remain competitive and attract top talent, shifting security from traditional jobs to the gig economy is the key to securing a good future for their company.
In general, freelance platforms are popular among employers and freelancers because they are offering a certain level of security for both sides. However, some platforms went a step further.
Hiremotely.com is a freelance software development platform whose sole mission is gathering the top talents in the fields of Software development. This platform matches the employers with the best individuals or assembled teams, minimizing the costs of recruitment, onboarding and the risks of bad hiring decisions. It ensures this by a strong vetting process for freelancers, requiring workers to maintain the high quality of work, and offering solid hourly rates for the workforce.
The future of gig economy is not “race to the bottom” – it is taking the gig economy from the status of “side, in-between job” to a desirable life choice.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.