The on-demand economy has a number of obvious benefits to individuals who wish to make money on their own terms by creating their own hours and essentially being their own boss. Likewise, gig economy staples such as Uber and Lyft have seen they can effectively serve their clientele by utilizing such individuals in lieu of hiring employees. However, as the popularity of this relationship continues to increase, more and more “traditional” companies are discovering that they can, and should, likewise incorporate aspects of the gig economy into their own organizational structure.
Employers often find that their hiring decisions will either be the best or worst decisions they make. Hiring a problem employee can at the very least cost an employer time, money, productivity, and morale. This is especially true for startup companies, which can be devastated by making the wrong hiring decisions. By utilizing gig workers for certain time-limited projects, companies can avoid many of these risks. Companies also may be benefit by working with multiple individuals and discovering who is a good fit for the company if and when an employment position becomes available. While a job interview can only tell an employer so much about the applicant, an employer will learn much more from observing the dependability and work ethic of a freelancer.
While top recruits years ago may not have considered freelance or on-demand positions, today’s workforce certainly is. In fact, some studies show that a third of Americans have done some sort of independent freelance work in 2015. In fact, many Americans – particularly millennials who have grown up with technology and social media – actively seek out such flexible arrangements. Accordingly, even companies who don’t consider themselves to be members of the on-demand economy should not shy away from exploring how they can utilize this movement in their own business.