Are You Gig-Ready?


In this blog series, we continue to explore considerations for our NEW, new normal in the months and years ahead.


In our last post, we recommended looking at the talent that is critical to your business model or which helps create competitive advantage for your business and asking, “What do they want?”.


One of the increasing refrains from talent is wanting great flexibility, autonomy, and variety of work….which leads us to talking about the Gig economy.


TALENT: GIG ECONOMY


During 2020, the Gig economy grew to represent about 35%....yes 1/3rd (!!!!) of the US workforce. It is forecasted to be half of the workforce by 2023. WOW!! The question to ask yourself is, “How does the growth of Gig work impact my company? My team?”


It might be part of the reason you are struggling to find or keep the talent you need.


Why are people choosing Gig work? 70% of Gig workers choose it for the flexibility, autonomy, and variety of work. Additionally, many cite that if they are going to work 50 hours a week, they would rather make an income that reflects those 50 hours. Some, out of necessity with layoffs last year.


Also, the type of Gig work is evolving greatly. Originally, Gig talent was mostly freelancers, a side hustle, or a contractor hoping to be converted to a full-time employee. Skill-for-hire. Now, more strategic work is becoming common place. Small businesses who could not afford a full time CMO, CHRO and access that knowledge and expertise on a 25% basis. Mid-sized businesses who don’t have expertise in-house to lead the transition of their culture to remote-first can hire the expertise and leadership via a trusted advisor (like yours truly!) on a finite basis.


As we head into the NEW, new normal, it is worth exploring why the talent you need might choose to work for you as a full-time employee if they can have greater flexibility and autonomy being a freelancer, contractor, fractional CMO, or advisor. It is a question I often ask as I engage with clients about their business strategy, and the resulting talent strategy to fuel their business.


What is even more interesting is the common gap between the responses I get from leaders vs. the talent themselves to this question. It demonstrates that many leaders aren’t quite embracing the new paradigm of work, and thus struggling with how to leverage it.


If more talent is going the direction of gig work….and they are…how are you and your business prepared to leverage this trend to YOUR benefit? How can gig work help to address talent, knowledge, or experience gaps in your business? How can gig talent address, or even help to avoid, temporary or ongoing pain points?

  • Too much work to do and not enough people? Where can a freelancer support?

  • Do you keep hiring people and they aren’t working out? Bring them on as a contractor so you both can ensure it is a match, then convert them after six months to a full time employee if both parties agree.

  • Not enough time to spend on building out a strategy? A fractional expert could literally give you that time and…. add to your thinking

  • Need an outside perspective or someone to guide the work? Advisors like myself have experience across a vast number of businesses and companies to pull from.


I have literally leveraged every type of Gig talent in my past and current work. The opportunities, and the available talent, for gig work is only growing in how, where, when, and why they can be leveraged.


It begs the next question: Is your company or team set up to leverage Gig work….and, if so…what form? How can you access this talent? Does it require going through an agency or a lot of procurement department hoops? That might put your at a disadvantage. What are your payment terms? Old school, large companies typically have payment terms of 40/60/90 days on invoices. That is not a gig-friendly practice. (FYI: It also isn’t a great practice for supporting women, veteran, or diversity-owned businesses. I digress.) How is work scoped, handed off, delivered, or documented? It might reinforce the need to move to a remote-first work environment, even if what is practiced is a hybrid work model.


Leveraging gig talent is a business case that builds itself. Instead of having to justify a full-time employee or an experience level that busts the budget, you can secure the talent, extra hands, or expertise at a fraction of the cost. This means a strong ROI for a small investment with low commitment. Good food for thought!


Join us in future weekly blog editions as we explore, representation, role of the office, technology and more!


Interested in exploring what’s next for your organization? Schedule a no-obligation 30 minute strategy call with Heather by clicking here.




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