Will everyone be a gig worker in the future? With the rise of the gig economy it is becoming all the more common for people to take on several freelance gigs as opposed to looking for permanent employment. I have been an active part of the gig economy for the past nine years, starting my own company right out of university instead of looking for a traditional job. Today, I am an advocate for work life flexibility and a strong believer of that all the more people will turn to become ‘giggers’ in the future. That’s why it’s becoming all the more important for companies to have a gig strategy in place.
What is a gig strategy?
HR departments and recruiting managers should be aware of the gig economy and that more people are turning to freelancing. This means that a lot of key competences that you may have been hoping to recruit to your business may be more difficult to employ. At the same time, a study from Svenskt Näringsliv shows that 7 out of 10 companies are having a hard time recruiting the right competence. This is partly due to the digitization of our society, and that companies are looking for the same key skills to fuel their own digitization journeys. So how do they cope if they can’t recruit? This is where the idea of a gig strategy comes in.
A gig strategy means having a plan for how to engage gig workers at your company and also how to integrate them in your team. A gig worker can have the key skill set you need within communication, branding, video, HR, business strategy, law or any other fields. This is a person you can bring in quickly to work on a project or change process, or to support an existing business unit. You can use the person for a couple of hours, days, weeks, or months – it’s more flexible than employing. Plus you can get started straight away. A gig worker most often has vast experience from having worked with many different companies and industries, and can bring this experience with them to support your team from a new perspective.
It’s important to make sure the gig worker becomes part of the team. I don’t want to talk about inhouse personnel and external consultants anymore, I want us to talk about the team. A team can be a diverse group of people and perspectives that are involved with a company in different ways, but that all function together towards the same goal. By including your gig workers in your team, opening up internal communication, social activities like after works and Christmas parties, and including them in competence developing courses, you are creating a better ground to stand on where everyone is more keen on working together to delivering a better end-result.
Employer Branding – also in the gig economy
We’ve all heard the importance of employer branding when it comes to recruiting. But it’s actually just as important when i comes to attracting gig workers. As more people turn to freelancing, it will be difficult to attract the top talent to your company. This is why it’s important to have a strategy for how you actually engage and recognize the gig workers that are part of your team. Make them feel like part of success stories and include them in social happenings.
I’ve had some re-occurring clients myself for the past few years, and the reason I stick around is because they make me feel welcomed, appreciated and as if I’m part of the team. The fact that I invoice them instead of getting a salary makes no difference; and I don’t think it should either. I am also more than happy to recommend these companies to my other gig friends, and happily bring in other people from my network to support with web development, graphic design, business strategy or whatever it may be because I trust them and know that my connections will also have a good experience working for them.
As of the beginning of the year I’ve been working with the Jobtech Gig team, a part of the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen). The aim of Jobtech Gig is to work for a more sustainable growth of the gig economy in Sweden, by ensuring a more balanced gig economy market. I’ve been the host of the Jobtech podcast and so far interviewed representatives from Skatteverket, Unionen, AppJobs and NOX Consultning.
Svenska Nomader gig platform?
We’ve now been running Svenska Nomader – the largest network for Swedish digital nomads – since the beginning of 2017. One of the most common questions we are faced with from our community is how to actually find remote jobs that provide stability and fair pay. As a first step to promote a more balanced remote gig economy market we launched a beta of a job listing platform in the end of August. We hope to grow this platform to better support a sustainable remote working environment in Sweden, where we also think gig jobs will be more common than employments. However, I am also keen to see more companies offer a higher grade of flexibility to their employees – so maybe full-remote job roles are not too far off either.
Visit jobb.svenskanomader.se to check out the beta of our remote job listing site. Please don’t hesitate to give feedback, get in touch if you want to post a job, or to suggest any types of partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More thoughts on the gig economy
Interview with me from Wise Professionals on how the gig economy can affect you as an employer: Så påverkar gig-ekonomin dig som arbetsgivare
Podcast interview with HRforthewin with me speaking about the gig economy and digital nomads prior to my talk at HR Dagarna on October 8th: HR Dagarna 2019 Emelie Fågelstedt
Podcast interview with Teknikens Under where I spoke with Elin Häggberg about the gig economy: Teknikens under #007 – Gigekonomin
Interview with SVT Nyheter with tips to gig-workers about pension: Här är ”gig-jobbarens” bästa pensionstips
Interview with SVD about the rise of the gig economy: Fler väljer gigekonomi: ”Har blivit social grej”