Because independent work does not fit neatly into official labor statistics, it tends to be an underreported and understudied segment of the economy. The last time the Bureau of Labor Statistics officially tracked workers with alternate job arrangements was in 2017. In McKinsey’s August 2022 American Opportunity Survey, 36 percent of employed respondents — equivalent to 58 million Americans when extrapolated from the representative sample — identify as independent workers. This figure represents a notable increase since it estimated the US independent workforce in 2016 at 27 percent of the employed population.
Many companies use contract and gig workers to fill staffing gaps during a labor shortage to expand and contract workforces to align with demand without reorganizing or redistributing their current workforce. According to CNN Business, workplace experts say the number of gig workers is growing, and their impact is felt throughout the economy. It could even be distorting government economic data – for example, easy-to-access work through mobile phones may be keeping the national unemployment rate lower than it would be without the rise of these workers.
We know that gig workers are in demand, which makes recruiting in this fluid workforce challenging. Many on-demand talent platforms offer flexibility and immediacy in hours, compensation, and communication that even the largest employers fail to provide. These platforms allow most companies to find top-tier talent for hard-to-fill positions. For highly skilled workers, these platforms will enable them to stay productive in the workforce while managing a work-life balance.
How Recruiting Technology Connects Companies With Skilled Gig Workers
Recruiting technology platforms make it easier for organizations to find, hire, and manage gig workers efficiently. These platforms leverage advanced technology to streamline the process of sourcing, engaging, and overseeing gig workers.
While we tend to think of gig workers narrowly – temporary entry-level office roles via staffing agencies, gig workers driving for Uber or Lyft or delivering DoorDash and Postmates, or freelance contractors (1099 workers) operating either on their own or via a platform for freelancers like Fiverr, the industries that are most popular for gig workers have expanded in unexpected ways.
According to research from The Gig Economy Data Hub, the top three industries for gig economy workers are Business Services (20.6%), a diverse category that includes accountants, architects, janitors, and administrative support workers; Construction (17.2%), and Education and Health Services (14.2%). Online platform technology has made new forms of work possible. As this and related technologies develop, they will likely continue to shape the workforce and contribute to changes in the gig economy.
There are four primary areas in which technology can support organizations in reaching gig workers, getting job postings in front of the right target audience, and streamlining the search for on-demand talent.
Centralized Talent Pools
Recruiting technology platforms allow organizations to create and maintain centralized talent pools of gig workers. This makes it easy to search for and identify qualified candidates based on skills, availability, and preferences. These platforms allow recruiters to post job listings, set qualifications, and collect applications, simplifying the sourcing process.
Enhanced Search and Matching
Recruiting technology platforms use AI and machine learning algorithms to match gig workers with relevant job opportunities. They analyze skills, experience, location, and other criteria to ensure fit. These platforms also offer scalability, allowing organizations to quickly expand their gig worker pool as needed during peak periods or for specific projects.
Communication is vital when it comes to candidate experience, and gig workers have their pick of roles, so candidate experience is crucial. Recruiting technology can facilitate automated communication with gig workers. They can send notifications, updates, and reminders, ensuring a seamless candidate experience. Many of these platforms also have features to facilitate remote onboarding processes. Gig workers can complete necessary paperwork, training, and orientation virtually.
Analytics and Reporting
Recruiting technology platforms offer analytics and reporting features that help organizations track the effectiveness of their gig worker strategies, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
In essence, recruiting technology platforms are reshaping the way organizations engage with gig workers. For example, Talroo has solutions for gig economy hiring that provide the tools and infrastructure needed to efficiently source, hire, onboard, and manage gig workers while ensuring compliance and optimizing the overall experience for both parties involved.