It seems “gig economy” is one of the new buzz phrases taking the business world by storm.  Stealing the term from the entertainment industry where musicians, actors, and other performers make their living booking gigs, other industries are trending toward gig workers to fill roles without the commitment (and expense) of hiring full-time employees. From Uber to Amazon, gig workers, more formally known as independent contractors, are everywhere. 

This gig economy receives a lot of attention – both positive and negative from the media. Gig workers love the freedom and sense of self-worth they get from “calling their own shots.” These free spirits choose when they want to work and for whom. If they are really good at their trade, gig workers can choose the clients and the projects that offer them the most interesting potential. Inconsistent income and a competitive gig market create challenges for the gig worker, but the benefits of “being your own boss” usually outweigh the objections for most workers participating in the gig economy.

Workers On-Demand

Companies who leverage gig workers can operate with fewer full-time employees and reduce fixed costs by using these workers as needed.  This on-demand model can be a huge win for CFOs, but it can lead to issues very similar to those the gig workers experience: inconsistency and competition.  When a company employs a worker full-time, there is more accountability and ownership in how projects are completed. In leveraging a gig-worker, often an individual without a support infrastructure, there isn’t nearly as much oversight, accountability, or ownership. The best gig workers go to the “sexiest” projects. If a project manager is relying on a gig worker to finish a job, he or she may be disappointed when he loses his best worker to another opportunity. This inconsistency is making some business owners push back on the gig model, deciding to move gig workers to employee status, despite the increased costs associated with full-time employees.

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The Best of Both Worlds

This is where the professional services on-demand model can really step in and offer consistent results without the commitment and expense of hiring more full-time staff.  When any of us hire a law firm, accounting firm, or a management consulting firm, we expect results. These firms work on-demand, by retainer, by the hour, or by the project. There is an expectation that the projects will be completed on time, and there is an understanding that the firm will hold themselves accountable. Over time, we’ll start to see more and more firms pop up to support other functions and projects within corporations. Why can’t the functions covered by gig workers be completed by on-demand firms who offer consistency without commitment?  Corporations can partner with marketing firms, graphic design firms, technology consultants, and even recruiting firms—by the hour and on-demand. 

The IQTP Model, Recruiting On-Demand

Five years ago, IQTalent Partners listened to our clients and re-created our model, becoming an on-demand professional service firm in the recruiting and executive search space. Companies needed help. The demand for hiring was growing as the economy was expanding. But, our clients did not want to hire more full-time internal recruiters, they did not like the option of contracting with different inconsistent contract (gig) recruiters, and they certainly preferred not to pay the huge fees charged by traditional commission-based search firms. What to do? We re-invented ourselves as a firm that is the Uber of talent acquisition as the solution to all these hiring problems. When a client partners with IQTP, they receive a high-quality, consistent service from a firm who employs over one hundred full-time experts in the recruiting field. The services are billed by the hour, on-demand, with the option to add or subtract hours as needed in real-time. 

The pros and cons of the #GigEconomy are being felt by #employees and their organizations. Find out how to you can get the best of both worlds with @IQTalent! Click To Tweet

Business needs can change day-to-day. For this reason, the gig worker has gained popularity by its flexible nature. But, the lack of consistency makes this option less than ideal. Partnering with a trusted firm who offers the same financial benefits as a gig worker but without the headache of a revolving door of different people offers the best of both worlds. IQTP has disrupted the talent acquisition market as the go-to on-demand recruiting partner, offering an hourly service with the consistent results our clients expect, creating a win for both the CFO and the hiring manager.