How Staffing Companies are Redefining Themselves for the On-Demand Economy

by Parker Saunders

A recent study performed by Intuit revealed that approximately 40 percent of all workers will be independent contractors by 2020. Workers who perform short assignments or “gigs” are expected to account for a significant number of these independent contractors. Staffing companies redefining themselves into the gig economy will need to understand what motivates these individuals if they are to continue attracting quality personnel.

Many who have made the switch from full-time employee to independent contractor have done so because they wish to maintain control over their schedules. Others are looking to supplement their main source of income by taking on occasional, short-term assignments. Individuals in both groups tend to be highly skilled, meaning that staffing companies will need to improve their methods of attracting and keeping top talent.

The fact that independent contractors are not tied to any particular client means that their availability often fluctuates. As such, temporary agencies must develop better ways of identifying qualified individuals as soon as an opening becomes available. New software programs that help agencies develop a “short list” of workers and communicate information to them in real time will help ensure the best and brightest are targeted for openings first.

Staffing companies will also find themselves interacting with a larger number of professions than ever before. Positions are no longer limited to factory or warehouse workers, as those employed in industries ranging from education to health care are now working gigs as well. This means that hiring managers may need to become more familiar with licensing and hiring requirements than they are currently.

Many business owners hesitate to use independent contractors because of a fear of losing control. Likewise, many employees are apprehensive about switching to “gig-based” work because they are afraid of losing benefits. Staffing agencies will play a role in educating both groups of people as to the advantages and disadvantages of such an arrangement.

The on-demand, or gig-based, economy is here to stay, and is something many people are currently finding very rewarding. As it becomes more common, staffing companies must be willing to incorporate certain changes that will make it easier for businesses and freelancers to help each other.

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