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The Gig Economy and HR

gig economy and hr

The gig economy is defined by Google as “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.” From Lyft to Amazon, an increase in the number of freelance and contract workers adds new challenges for talent management and it’s vital that HR remains agile in response.  In fact, Adobe’s 2016 “Future of Work” report stated that one in three office workers has more than one job.

With the growing gig economy, here are a few ways Human Resources can respond to the challenges of a growing industry:

Increased Emphasis on Technology

As more workers work remotely, technology has become increasingly valuable to HR experts. From sourcing workers for a job to providing feedback to virtual reality tools for team collaboration, there are countless ways human resources professionals are relying on technology to respond to the needs of their freelance and remote workers. HR’s agility and independence from traditional tools will make all the difference in engaging this new workforce.

Increased Engagement Challenges

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? In the case of remote workers, this might not always be true. Engaging employees in their cars, homes, or other locations has proven to be much more challenging than HR anticipated. Agility expert, Nick Horney, says “that HR leaders should think about their workforce more broadly, using a “talent portfolio” that includes traditional and nontraditional employees.” Be cautious of “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome, and continue to focus on the whole of your talent, not just the employees you see on a daily basis.

Increased Evaluation Needs

Along with engagement is also the need for continuous feedback. Gone are the days where an annual performance review was enough. Revamp your performance reviews to fit with your workforce. Again, consider different technologies that can make this process easier. By providing continuous reports on performance and also asking great questions, HR can help these workers feel more engaged, valued and informed whether they’ve been part of the company for a month, a year or a decade.

What are some challenges you’ve faced with a mixed workforce? How are you responding to the gig economy?

2017 HR Trends to Watch

2017 hr trends watch

As little as ten years ago Human Resources was primarily defined as the department in charge of payroll and benefits. Thanks to technology,  these more administrative functions have been automated, making room for more innovation and putting the focus on the “human” aspect of this department.

As we await for the ball drop and the ringing in of the new year, here are a few HR trends we can look forward to in 2017:


In 2016, 60% of job seekers reported a poor candidate experience and 72% of these candidates shared their experience via Glassdoor.com or other employer review services. Companies like Virgin Media are paving the way for an improved candidate experience. When Virgin discovered they were losing an average of $7 million in revenue due to weaknesses in their recruitment process, they began to analyze what they could do differently. They created a better candidate experience and in turn, improved ROI. We expect to see more of this in 2017 as employers seek to create a reformed experience for job-seekers.

The Gig Economy

The blended workforce is becoming increasingly more common in the modern workforce. With 93% of companies hiring freelance workers alongside full-time employees, we expect to see an even greater increase in 2017. In fact, a staffing industry report shared that total spending on the U.S. Gig Economy is close to $800 billion. With our economy becoming even more contingent on these workers, this presents new challenges for the HR professional as they seek to make these employees more of a focal point for employee engagement.

Generation Z

2017 marks the first year Generation Z will enter the workforce. These Centennials will bring a new culture with them. They are known for being more diverse, resilient and open than their Millennial counterparts.

While 37% of Centennials fear they will not find a job that fits their personality, this presents a new challenge for human resources professionals. They need to understand this new demographic and reach them with strategic and relevant content.


In CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior study, they report: “Although 76 percent of full-time, employed workers are either actively looking for a job or open to new opportunities, nearly half (48 percent) of employers can’t seem to find the workers they need to fill their job vacancies.” Employers also stated it takes anywhere from 26-34 days to fill an open position. We live in a world where time is money. Therefore, it’s certain more employers will take more measures to decrease the time and energy spent to find qualified candidates.


In a study by Willis Towers Watson, 75% of U.S. employers state stress as their number one health and productivity issue. Unfortunately, employers and employees can’t seem to agree on its cause. Alleviating stress has become a top concern for many companies. The American Psychological Association, however, reports less than half of workers say their organization supports their well-being. In addition, one in three report chronic stress while on the job.  Evidence that we still have a long way to go in creating a more relaxed, stress-free environment in the workplace.

What are the trends you’re looking out for in 2017?

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