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How to Effectively Utilize the Gig Economy for Business Efficiency A guide on how to identify the best candidates in today's gig worker talent pool and how leaders can successfully incorporate them into their workforce.

By Roy Dekel Edited by Chelsea Brown

Key Takeaways

  • The gig economy allows companies to tap into an expansive pool of highly skilled workers.
  • The best candidates are not only proficient in the fields but also excel in time management and growth orientation. They also possess overlapping industry knowledge, making them valuable assets for businesses seeking innovative solutions.
  • Successfully integrating gig workers into a company requires effective leadership.
  • The gig economy shouldn't be viewed merely as a cost-saving approach.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Today, many corporations are turning to the gig economy — a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work and less dependency on traditional full-time jobs.

While an immediate advantage of employing gig workers is cost efficiency, I think there is an often overlooked benefit — tapping into the unique set of skills possessed by the best gig workers found in this expansive pool.

Related: 7 Reasons Why the Gig Economy is a Net Positive

Identifying the best candidates in today's talent pool

Pinpointing what constitutes top talent, especially within the gig economy, has become crucial for businesses aiming to maintain competitive edges. Top talents exhibit several defining characteristics that set them apart from the broader workforce.

These individuals are not just exceptional in their proficiency but also in how they approach work, learn and collaborate across industries. Below is a closer examination of these quintessential traits.

Exceptional time management

The best talents possess an extraordinary capacity for managing time. This skill is not merely about punctuality but encompasses the ability to juggle multiple projects, meet tight deadlines and deliver quality work consistently.

For gig workers, who often manage several contracts simultaneously, time management becomes second nature. They have developed systems and processes that allow them to prioritize tasks effectively, ensuring each project receives the attention it deserves.

The ability to do so makes them invaluable, especially in fast-paced environments where time is of the essence.

Growth orientation

Growth orientation is another hallmark of top performers. These individuals exhibit a relentless pursuit of knowledge and skill enhancement.

They are always on the lookout for new trends, tools and methodologies that can help improve their output or offer innovative solutions to their clients. Because they have a continuous learning mentality, they can adapt to changes quickly, making them an asset in industries that are rapidly evolving.

Dedicated to self-improvement, they also inspire others within the organization to do the same.

Deep understanding of industry dynamics

The best ones should be capable of providing deep insights that can serve as the basis for making decisions that help organizations navigate complexities and leverage opportunities within their markets.

Having worked with a diverse array of clients within their fields has given them this attribute. Through such experiences, they are able to anticipate changes and identify emerging trends.

Overlapping industry knowledge

Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of top talents in the gig economy is their overlapping industry knowledge. By engaging in projects across various sectors, these individuals cultivate a broad perspective that transcends traditional industry boundaries.

This multidisciplinary approach allows them to draw parallels and synthesize ideas from different fields, leading to unique and innovative solutions.

For instance, a freelancer with expertise in both technology and healthcare can use their combined knowledge to create tech solutions tailored to healthcare challenges, thereby driving significant advancements in both domains.

Related: Why Small Businesses Struggling to Hire New Employees Should Embrace Gig Workers

Your leadership style has a significant role in employing gig workers

As a CEO or business leader, how you incorporate gig workers into your workforce can have significant effects on the agility and productivity of your organization.

Here's a more detailed take on the crucial aspects of your role:

Comprehensive onboarding

Implementing a robust onboarding process is quintessential. As a leader, you must design an onboarding program that:

  • Educates about company values: Your program should convey your company's ethos, values and long-term vision to the gig workers. They are more likely to work in alignment with your goals when they understand the larger purpose of their tasks.

  • Clarifies operational procedures: A step-by-step guide for common processes and a breakdown of the tools and platforms used in your company can empower freelancers to hit the ground running.

  • Sets clear expectations: Detail what you expect in terms of deliverables, quality and deadlines. Mutual understanding reduces revisions and increases efficiency.

Effective communication strategies

Strategic communication is pivotal, and as a leader, you can institute:

  • Single Points of Contact (SPOCs): Assign project managers or specific team members as SPOCs to provide clarity and prevent communication overload.

  • Regular check-ins: Schedule periodic virtual meetings to keep gig workers in the loop and feeling connected to the core team.

  • Feedback mechanisms: Create a system to both give and receive feedback, making it an iterative process that enhances the quality of work and the working relationship.

  • Tech-enabled collaboration: Use collaborative tools and project management software to ensure seamless interaction and progress tracking.

Fostering a culture of inclusion

The ultimate goal is to make gig workers feel as valued as full-time employees, and this can be achieved by:

  • Recognizing contributions: Celebrate the successes and contributions of gig workers publicly. Recognition is a powerful motivator and increases loyalty.

  • Encouraging participation: Involve them in relevant meetings and brainstorming sessions. Their unique perspective can be invaluable, and this also encourages a sense of belonging.

  • Building professional relationships: Encourage your team to build professional relationships with gig workers. This can improve team dynamics and create a network of talent that you can tap into for future projects.

  • Equal access to opportunities: Offer gig workers opportunities for training and development if it relates to their work with your company. This not only improves the quality of their output but also shows your investment in them as professionals.

Related: How the Gig Economy Will Impact the Future of Work

The gig economy is primed for business integration

When integrated properly, gig workers can become business catalysts. They provide innovative solutions, enable flexibility in scaling operations and offer a risk-diverse approach to projects.

The gig economy offers much more than just cost-efficiency. It presents businesses with an opportunity to identify and hire top talents with unique skills not always found in a traditional setup — individuals who can propel business growth remarkably.

The gig economy shouldn't be viewed merely as a cost-saving approach. Instead, see it as a strategic move for a more innovative, diverse and effective workforce. Cost-saving is just the icing on the cake!

Roy Dekel

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of SetSchedule

Roy Dekel, an American-Israeli entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, co-founded and invested in numerous business, including SetSchedule, Rentastic, and Taskable. With unwavering commitment, he pushes tech innovation boundaries, redefining possibilities in enterprise and consumer spheres.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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