Adilstone Answers: How Does the Gig Economy Affect Recruitment?

  1. Share
0 0

Adilstone Answers: How Does the Gig Economy Affect Recruitment?

As we get to experience today’s ever-evolving job market, a rising momentum in non-traditional approaches to employment has been dominating the playing field. We can only imagine and see so much in this lifetime the kind of momentous effect this has on companies, recruiters, and the workforce. Gone are the days of the typical 9 to 5’s and instead, we see a remarkable surge in freelancing and contract work, also known as the gig economy. 

In this new era of resourcefulness and flexibility, the road is continuously being paved for those who embody an autonomous and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s not only reshaped the way businesses and recruiters analyze their strategies but has also built doors of opportunity in the world of work for those in need of a job. Let’s delve into what exactly the gig economy is and what this means for recruitment.

How Can We Define the “Gig Economy”?

The term “gig” was initially coined in 1915 when jazz musicians would use this word to refer to individual performances. Nowadays, it is used by non-musicians in the context of a labor marketplace dependent on temporary positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers. 

Workers within this category are generally classified as “self-employed” because of the lack of benefits and for tax purposes. Depending on your skills and talent, the work can vary from short-term projects & tasks to hourly assignments. The primary objective, however, remains the same: to connect clients to customers via products or services. 

The frequent occurrence and participation within this so-called economy are hinged upon several factors. We can attribute technological innovations, unstable economic conditions (exemplified by events such as the 2008 financial crisis or the global pandemic), and lifestyle changes as some of the propelling elements to this increased engagement. 

Key Characteristics 
Flexibility - The appeal of this type of job sector is the emphasis on the ability to work how, when, and where you want. It doesn’t get any better than that. Gig workers have the freedom to customize their working hours and to select tasks that are most compatible and convenient to their preferences. 

Platform-Driven - There are a multitude of specialized platforms, generally digital ones, that act as channels through which workers can secure employment opportunities. Typically, these platforms allow for skill alignment, cultivation of relationships, and transparent payment procedures. Examples include Upwork, DoorDash, Fiverr, Airbnb, Uber, Rover, and several others. 

Independent Work - The gig economy is characterized by an independent nature because of its fundamental structure; it empowers individuals to foster a sense of ownership. This independence extends beyond flexibility and essentially allows people to define their scope of work. It enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to leverage their unique skills and abilities in a way that makes sense for them. 

On-Demand - The work being done operates with an on-demand model where it is requested and provided as needed. Because of this, we can highlight shared preferences for streamlined processes and timely outcomes which customers and workers value. This doesn’t automatically ensure business success, as retaining customers and expanding one’s reach relies heavily on relationship building. 

What Does This Mean For Recruiters?   

Recruiters hold a prominent role within the hiring process, from initial candidate selection to the entirety of the onboarding process. The integration of freelance or temporary work arrangements can definitely stir the pot and interrupt the entire process, both positively and negatively. As we explore this new avenue of work, it presents both opportunities and challenges for recruiters to address. 


  • Talent Pool - The candidates available possess specialized expertise that you wouldn’t readily find through traditional hiring channels. We also see that scalability is evident with a wider range of skilled workers.  They can meet fluctuating demands or project-based requirements without the complications of long-term employment commitments. 
  • Cost Efficient - Because employees are self-employed, this eliminates overhead costs associated with hiring for more permanent positions. For example, there is a decrease in costs because of the lack of benefits and retirement options.
  • Competitive Advantage - Utilizing the gig economy is also a way for organizations to fill unmet needs both quickly and efficiently. Being able to quickly adapt gives companies a competitive advantage in recruitment and talent acquisition. 


  • Lack of Control - Despite gig workers specializing in their field of expertise, recruiters have limited control over the quality and consistency of their work. Possible reasons for this hurdle include a lack of formality, different values/company culture, and emphasis on flexibility. 
  • Availability - Recruiters may encounter difficulties finding talent with the necessary skills for urgent or time-sensitive staffing needs. If it’s at such short notice, it’s especially challenging to find gig workers who don’t already have priorities with other projects or previous commitments. 
  • Limited Loyalty - Usually independent contractors engage with multiple clients and employers at a time, directing their attention and care to multiple areas. These relationships tend to be transactional rather than long-term. As the quantity of work opportunities increases for these workers, it can be a struggle to provide consistency without sacrificing quality. 
  • Legal Regulations & Policies - Depending on the classification of the people who work under this umbrella term, legal and financial complexities are prone to surface. Recruiters need to cautiously navigate this slippery slope to ensure compliance and mitigate potential risks for the company.
  • Communication - Short-term workers and freelancers operate on their own schedules, which, when coupled with varying communication preferences and technological capabilities, hinder clear communication. This poses a struggle for recruiters to effectively communicate if they plan to follow through with a decision. 

After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing gig workers, there seem to be more potential downsides. The more we think about incorporating this into companies, there are likely to be more drawbacks because of the untraditional nature. Regardless of the drawbacks, there are ways to use gig workers effectively and efficiently. 

The Bottom Line

Now that you have an idea of what the gig economy is, the next step is learning how to navigate this new landscape of employment opportunities. If done successfully, recruiters can gain the upper hand and maintain a competitive edge. Companies and recruiters, however, must tread carefully and establish as many parameters and guidelines as possible to foster healthy relationships despite the barrier that comes with time.  

Community tags

This content has 0 tags that match your profile.


To leave a comment, login or sign up.

Related Content

The Importance of Organizational Culture: Cultivating a Culture That Attracts and Retains Top Talent
The Importance of Organizational Culture: Cultivating a Culture That Attracts and Retains Top Talent You’ve done it! You’ve landed the perfect job at a company you’ve admired for a while. You're excited to start and can't wait to collaborate with your sharp new team members. Life is good, onboarding is smooth, and everything seems to be falling into place. But then, something unsettling happens. Maybe it's an odd question from your new supervisor or some strange behavior in the team chat. You feel a bit uncomfortable, but you brush it off, thinking you might be overreacting or that it was just a glitch. Fast forward six months, and nothing has changed. Is there anything worse than finding out your ideal job is located in a toxic work culture? No. So business leaders we have to ask:  Is there anything more important to attracting and maintaining transformational staff  than your organization’s culture? Let’s talk about it!  In today's competitive business landscape, the significance of organizational culture cannot be overstated. A company's culture shapes its identity, drives employee engagement, and influences overall performance. A strong, positive culture can attract top talent, foster innovation, and ensure long-term success. In this article, we will explore the importance of organizational culture and provide a guide for cultivating a culture that attracts and retains transformational talent for years to come. Why Organizational Culture Matters Attracts Top Talent: A compelling company culture serves as a magnet for top-tier talent. Candidates are increasingly prioritizing workplace culture when choosing where to apply and accept job offers. A positive culture not only attracts skilled professionals but also aligns them with the company's values and mission. Enhances Employee Engagement: Employees who resonate with their company's culture are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Engagement leads to higher productivity, better performance, and lower turnover rates. Engaged employees are also more likely to become brand ambassadors, promoting the company to potential hires. Drives Innovation: A culture that encourages creativity and risk-taking fosters innovation. When employees feel safe to express their ideas and challenge the status quo, they contribute to the development of new products, services, and processes that can set the company apart from competitors. Builds a Strong Brand: Organizational culture is a key component of a company's brand identity. A well-defined culture can enhance the company's reputation, attract customers, and build loyalty. It communicates the company's values, ethics, and commitment to excellence. Ensures Long-Term Success: Companies with strong cultures are better equipped to navigate challenges and adapt to change. A resilient culture can help maintain stability during times of crisis and drive sustained growth. A Guide to Cultivating a Transformational Culture To build and maintain a culture that attracts and retains top talent, organizations must be intentional and strategic. Here are key steps to cultivating a transformational culture: Define Core Values and Mission: Clearly articulate the company's core values and mission. These should reflect the principles and goals that guide the organization's actions. Ensure that every employee understands and embraces these values. Lead by Example: Leadership plays a crucial role in shaping and maintaining culture. Leaders should embody the company's values in their actions and decisions. By demonstrating commitment to the culture, leaders set the standard for the rest of the organization. Foster Open Communication: Encourage transparent and open communication at all levels. Create channels for employees to share feedback, ideas, and concerns. Regularly communicate the company's goals, achievements, and challenges to keep everyone aligned and informed. Promote Inclusivity and Diversity: Cultivate an inclusive environment where diversity is valued and respected. Diverse teams bring different perspectives and ideas, leading to better decision-making and innovation. Implement policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion. Invest in Employee Development: Offer opportunities for professional growth and development. Provide training, mentorship, and resources to help employees advance their careers. A culture of continuous learning not only enhances skills but also demonstrates the company's commitment to its employees' success. Recognize and Reward Contributions: Acknowledge and celebrate employees' achievements and contributions. Recognition can be formal, such as awards and bonuses, or informal, such as verbal praise and thank-you notes. Regularly recognizing efforts fosters a sense of appreciation and motivation. Create a Positive Work Environment: Design a work environment that promotes well-being and productivity. This includes physical spaces that are comfortable and conducive to work, as well as policies that support work-life balance, such as flexible hours and remote work options. Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork: Build a culture of collaboration where teamwork is encouraged and rewarded. Create opportunities for employees to work together on projects, share knowledge, and support each other. Collaboration enhances problem-solving and fosters a sense of community. Regularly Assess and Evolve Culture: Continuously evaluate the company's culture to ensure it remains aligned with its goals and values. Gather feedback from employees through surveys and discussions, and be open to making adjustments as needed. A dynamic culture that evolves with the organization is more likely to stay relevant and effective. Conclusion A strong organizational culture is a vital asset that can attract top talent, drive engagement, and ensure long-term success. By being intentional about defining, cultivating, and maintaining a positive culture, companies can create an environment where employees thrive and transformational talent is drawn and retained. Investing in culture is not just a business strategy; it's a commitment to building a sustainable, high-performing organization for years to come.  
Lifelong Learning: Upskilling, Reskilling, and Retraining in the Age of Automation
In an era characterized by rapid technological advancements and the ever-growing presence of automation, continuous learning has taken on an even more significant role. The job market is transforming at an unprecedented pace, and the key to thriving in this landscape lies in adapting and staying ahead through continuous learning. Maintaining high skills and developing new skills, particularly in the age of automation, becomes not just a choice but a necessity. In the dynamic landscape of the modern job market, adaptability is key. The skills and knowledge that once secured a job may become outdated, and professionals are finding that staying ahead often means learning new tricks. This is where upskilling, reskilling, and retraining come into play, offering valuable avenues to boost your career progression. Understanding Upskilling, Reskilling, and Retraining Upskilling is the process of enhancing your existing skill set, typically to keep pace with technological advancements, industry trends, or job market demands. It involves learning additional skills related to your current field or role. Upskilling allows you to remain competitive in your current job and open doors to new opportunities. Reskilling takes things a step further. It involves a shift in your career direction by learning entirely new skills, often transitioning into a different field or occupation. Reskilling is a powerful tool for career reinvention and adapting to changes in the job market. Retraining, in contrast to reskilling, usually refers to formal education or training programs designed to qualify you for a specific job. It's like hitting the reset button on your career, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter a new profession. The Benefits of Upskilling, Reskilling, and Retraining Future-Proofing Your Career: The job market is constantly evolving, and skills can become obsolete in a matter of years. Upskilling, reskilling, and retraining empower you to stay relevant and adaptable, reducing the risk of job obsolescence. Enhanced Job Opportunities: Learning new skills or changing your career path opens up a wider range of job opportunities. It can make you eligible for positions you may not have considered before. Increased Earning Potential: With the acquisition of new, in-demand skills, you become a more valuable asset to employers. This can lead to higher salaries and better job benefits. Personal Growth: Lifelong learning is a journey of personal growth. It enhances your problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and adaptability, making you a more well-rounded professional. Automation: A Paradigm Shift in the Job Market Automation, driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, is reshaping industries across the board. Repetitive tasks, once carried out by human workers, are now being automated for efficiency and precision. As a result, the employment landscape is undergoing a paradigm shift, with many traditional jobs at risk of being replaced or augmented by machines. While this may sound daunting, it presents a unique opportunity for individuals to redefine their roles in the workforce. Upskilling, reskilling, and retraining are pivotal in harnessing the benefits of automation while mitigating its potential negative impacts on job security. The Role of Continuous Learning in the Age of Automation Staying Relevant in Your Current Role: Automation often focuses on automating routine, manual tasks. For those in roles that involve such tasks, upskilling is crucial to transition into roles that require more complex and nuanced responsibilities. Learning new skills can make you indispensable in your current job. Adopting Automation Tools: Instead of competing with machines, consider learning to work alongside them. Many automation tools and software are designed to assist professionals in their daily tasks. Upskilling to become proficient in these tools can streamline your workflow and increase efficiency. Transitioning into New Roles: Automation doesn't just take jobs; it creates new ones. Industries like AI development, data analysis, and robotics maintenance are booming. Reskilling allows you to tap into these emerging fields by acquiring the skills required for these roles. Future-Proofing Your Career: Continuous upskilling ensures you remain future-proof. You're better equipped to adapt to new job market demands and seize opportunities as they arise. Ways to Upskill, Reskill, and Retrain Online Courses: The digital age has made education more accessible than ever. Online courses, often offered by universities and specialized platforms like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning, cover a vast range of topics. From coding to digital marketing, you can find a course to suit your needs. Webinars and Workshops: Webinars and workshops offer a focused, interactive learning experience. Many experts and industry leaders host webinars to share their insights, while workshops provide hands-on training in specific skills or tools. Professional Certifications: Earning industry-recognized certifications can boost your credibility and employability. Certifications like Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) are highly regarded in their respective fields. On-the-Job Training: Many employers offer on-the-job training programs for their employees. These opportunities are excellent for upskilling within your current role and gaining hands-on experience. Formal Education: If you're considering a major career shift, enrolling in formal education programs, such as bachelor's or master's degrees or vocational training, might be the right choice. Networking and Mentorship: Building a network of professionals in your desired field can provide valuable insights and guidance. Mentors can help you navigate your career transition successfully. In a world where change is the only constant, the path to career success lies in upskilling, reskilling, and retraining. The job market is continually evolving, and automation is here to stay. By proactively acquiring new skills and knowledge, you not only protect your job but also empower yourself to seize the opportunities presented by automation. Embrace upskilling in the age of automation, and navigate the future of work with confidence and resilience. The job market's ever-evolving nature necessitates continuous learning and skills development. Embracing upskilling, reskilling, and retraining is not just an investment in your career; it's a commitment to your personal and professional growth. As you adapt to the changing landscape, you'll discover new opportunities and unlock your true career potential. Your journey towards professional growth and a secure future starts with a commitment to lifelong learning. How You Can Respond: Can you think of a skill you would love to learn, but haven’t started working on? If so, how would you benefit from acquiring that skill? When can you start? How do you create a learning environment for yourself?