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5 Ways to Effectively Engage the Gig Economy Professionals? These professionals have specific skills and they can work at worksite or online as per the project requirements

By Ajay Sharma

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Gig Economy is growing very fast and people associated with this concept believe that it will further grow in next few years. In the US, it is estimated that one-third of the workforce will be from Gig Economy. Gig, as the name suggests, is a project and Gig Economy Professionals means a professional who works for a specific project within a specific time frame. It is not like contract employee or a temp employee. These professionals have specific skills and they can work at worksite or online as per the project requirements.

The rise in the numbers of Gig Economy Professionals started with the new age companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Ola, Oyo rooms, and new startups who need professionals for specific projects. The availability of many types of work also made it easier for freelancers or Gig Economy like Analytics, Risk assessment, HR, Sales, Graphics & Animation, Project Management, Digital Marketing, Reputation management etc.

Another reason for the rise of Gig Economy Professionals is the millennial community. They prefer to not to work under specific employment conditions and would like to have new challenging assignments as per their choice. The degree of freedom they get in the "Gigs" is much higher as compared to the standard employment contract.

For Startups or Entrepreneurs, it is a very important way to get their work completed by engaging Gig Economy Professionals. However it is not just engaging them as & when needed, it requires some planning at the Entrepreneur level to get the best out of this system

1. Clear Operational Plan

Entrepreneurs need to define their short-term project plan while making their business plan. The ratio of full-time employees and Gig Economy Professionals will depend on the operational plan derived from Business Plan. The gig does mean as & when required but the work planning should not be ad-hoc in nature.

2. Clear Project Plan

Many a time, entrepreneurs are themselves not clear what is expected from Gig Economy Professionals. The projects need to be defined well with clear deliverables, "success criteria" or milestones and the timelines. Without this, it will be difficult to get best out of them.

3. Cost Vs Expertise

Cheap is not always good while selecting the Gig Economy Professional, the focus should be on specific Expertise required not just the cost. With Global platforms available, the expertise can be sourced from any part of the world. If one can use a real business sense, then effectiveness and goal achievement should be given higher importance, which eventually may turn out to be a cost-effective solution.

4. Engagement

This is a dilemma with entrepreneurs who have reached at growth stage and their focus in now on both business goals and organizational growth. If the ratio of Full-Time Employee and Gig Economy Professional at any point in time is higher than 75:25, then it is important that adequate measures are required for effective engagement with the organization. A special induction for them to understand the broader picture is required. While the company may not like to invest money in their training, but helping them relate to a big picture of their project will bring effectiveness to their output.

5. Separation

Once the project is over, a proper Knowledge transfer of the project/set of tasks is equally important. These professionals may or may not be available later for KT. Proper documentation will help the company and also the next Gig Economy Professional if the project is to be taken up to the next level. Even if it is the same person who did the previous project, lack of documentation can create confusion later.

While most of the time, we think of Gig Economy professionals for some specific low-mid level projects but it is now becoming important to engage senior/board level. Entrepreneurs or Start Ups need senior talent also at the initial stage and also at the growth stage. It is not just the affordability, but also the nature and amount of work required as per business plan. That will decide the nature of engagement of senior people.

Even if Entrepreneurs are ready to pay a good salary to attract the Senior professionals, but they may not join on a full-time basis as they have their own goals of supporting multiple companies and/or to operate only at the strategic level.

This is another big opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap the international talent for any of the CXO roles with obvious 5 steps suggested above.

In a nutshell, Gig Economy Professionals are the best suitable option for entrepreneurs to start, initiate and grow their ventures.

Ajay Sharma

President - Abhinav Outsourcings Pvt. Ltd

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