‘Gig’ The Future of Workforce

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The USA gig-economy grew by over 4 million jobs between 2003 and 2013. It is expected to rise to be 43 % of the total workforce by 2020. Presently around 16% of the UK workforce make up the gig economy. The emerging ‘gig’ economy and the rise of the freelance workforce is ushering in a silent revolution in the way people perceive and perform work.

Imagine being a part of the workforce in an era where we are looking at growth of platform economy supplemented by gig economy. The times are interesting and future is going to be full of disruption. Regular workforce is and will shrink SMEs and gig workforce will start to thrive. What it will do is, create a workforce who are happy doing their job, as it will be a gig for them.

With cognitive technology, Artificial Intelligence, big data, machine learning and block chain already starting to impact the workplace, chatbots already deployed in millions, imagine the number of jobs that have moved away from the human workforce. While It is highly unlikely that all jobs will move to technology leaving humans with no jobs, Gig work force will be the answer as it will bring specialization, cost effectiveness and a skill based worldwide economy.

‘Gig’ The Future of Workforce

In the changing work force dynamics, the role of HR will become extremely demanding and HR folks need to prepare themselves for the future. We have seen in the past that the HR function has fallen behind in trying to catch up with the tech wave and has had a tough time catching up with business, this time around we need to be proactive in ensuring we are in sync with the business, that is in turn, continually evolving with technology.

For HR professionals, it is important to understand how technology can contribute to the success of the function and what it brings to the table. We do not need to implement all technologies within the organization, hence it becomes important for HR professionals to partner with business. To understand future requirement and use tech to accelerate the support.

According to a recent LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, nine in 10 executives agree that there is a skills gap issue in the workforce. What’s more, 90 percent believe that L&D programs can help close that gap. Organizations like Hayswatson Inc. design programs for the leaders and HR function to ensure that learning gaps are closed and are in sync with the organizations mission and vision.

There are a couple of organizations that offer programs that will cater to this specific need of the HR professionals, Hayswatson Inc. focuses on training and consulting HR professionals and CHRO on 5th generation technologies.

Automation has been the buzz word for the HR fraternity now the focus will and should be on Productivity as this makes the stockholder happy, ensuring that all the automation that has been put into the systems and processes yields better productivity, will become the key outcome. Gone are the days when implementing a good HRMS was considered to be a good job, now deriving higher productivity, efficiency and agile workforce will be the key to success.

With the increase in gig workforce, the talent acquisition will also have to realign their strategy to on-board the different but highly skilled workforce, the gig workforce continues to grow at an alarming pace, creating new trends in staffing, driving tech innovations and creating a different talent acquisition ecosystem. The HR team will need new models of engagements to ensure that this workforce remains engaged, the total rewards function will have to realign the way the compensation benefits works, the target based variable pay-outs will have to realigned directly to the financials. The mobility team will have to work out their task as the gig force is highly mobile and flexible.

HR professionals now realise that the gig economy is a reality, that they need to harness this talent pool, and have to create a strategy around acquiring this talent. The first step is to create awareness of this talent pool to the management, then making changes to the technology and processes, as this talent pool will need a different hiring eco system.

Currently organizations use MSP (Managed Service providers) for managing the admin workload of the GIG workforce, but days are not far off when you have models like the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) which is simply a relationship in which you select a provider to become your dedicated HR management and benefits administration partner and deliver a broad range of HR services through a “co-employment” model.