Recruiting and Retention in a Gig Economy: What to Expect in 2017 and Beyond

Entrepreneur Working on His MacBook

Independent workers, or freelancers, have always been part of most industries. For years, professional writers and coders have thrived off temporary positions with multiple organizations. It was simply a game of leveraging an ever-expanding network to find new opportunities.

But in recent years it has caught on like wildfire.

A 2015 Intuit study predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers, or an estimated 7.6 million, “will be regularly working as providers in the on-demand economy.”

While most of the country enjoys low unemployment figures, some questions linger: what will the workforce look like when more employees decide to work independently?

How will Human Resources technology adapt to as more workers turn freelance?

Most employers aren’t concerned with communication, expectation, and deliverables of freelancers. Recruiting and retaining top talent is, as always, at the top of their to-do list.

However, a recent Harvard Business Review article suggests that “Workers who possess strong technical, management, leadership, or creative abilities are best positioned to take advantage of the opportunity to create a working life that incorporates flexibility, autonomy, and meaning.”

In other words, the same top talent organizations are investing in securing.

From an Organization’s Perspective

Since its inception, independent contractors have been widely viewed as dispensable employees who work on one campaign and are then left to find new work. It had become an accepted form of management and, when needed, utilized to temporarily fill a gap in hiring or meet a deadline.

It was an agreement both parties had come to accept, if not begrudgingly on part of the contractor.

With steady-building numbers and a resounding voice, independent contractors are beginning to find themselves in a position to make more demands than ever before. The Wall Street Journal reports that “contractors and consultants… demand to be treated with dignity and almost as if they’re your employee,” vigorously shaking themselves of the former “disposable” identity they had come to loathe.

As more top talent takes the leap into independent work, organizations must reframe their perception of a contractor’s role within the organization—an interesting evolution to watch for in coming years.

An Overdue Evolution for Top Talent

Take the alarmist nature above with a grain of salt.

Employees who excel at their work are simply finding more opportunities; their energies focused on more challenging and interesting work benefits them—and it should.

Positioning themselves towards better financial tides, great talent receives the income, schedule, flexibility, and benefits they seek. In short: they’ve become entrepreneurs within their respected industries.

It may seem uncertain how organizations will grapple with the growing trend, however those who see the opportunities will benefit.

What Becomes of the Workforce?

There is still room for uncertainty, of course. The idea of a gig economy instills thoughts of empty offices, those left performing menial tasks while their contemporaries increase their personal value.

The simplest way to regard the consulting revolution is in terms of career advancement. The consultant has reached a new stage in their career and is flourishing.

Organizations will “expand [the] talent pool to incorporate gig economy workers on vital roles,” according to a recent HR Tech Weekly post.

This, of course, raises questions about benefits, employee relations, training, and more. Questions that HCM software will undoubtedly come to address as the gig economy continues its expansion.

Existing full-time employees will see benefits as well. As recruitment strategies begin to loosen, organizations will focus attention on retaining full-time employees they’ve already invested in. A recent Forbes article offers that “companies that invest as much time and resources in the development of their talent will be the real winners in the coming years.”

Likewise, candidates once overlooked by organizations will be reconsidered as their peers turn to consultant work. The gig economy can benefit every party involved, so long as organizations understand how to leverage the new workforce.

Let the Internal Talent Search Begin!

If the gig economy teaches us one thing, it’s that niche skills are sought by multiple organizations. Employees should (if they have not already) harness unique skillsets to gain from the new order—especially if they are full-time employees.

By harnessing known and new skill-sets, current employees may find themselves trained and nurtured to higher positions within an organization—especially as more and more explore independent work.

2017 inches us closer to before-mentioned Intuit predictions, and they are not likely to be off my much. Start the year off by refining crafted skills and exploring new ones.

Leadership is watching and determined to retain as many employees as possible.


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The Benefits of Employee Engagement

I Love My Job

Employee engagement is when employees act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. It is already clear, with this definition, that employee engagement is something that all the leaders would like to see in their employees, but let’s go deeper in our analysis.

Let’s look at the cost of a disengaged workforce to better understand the significance of employee engagement:

  • Effect on work: the disengaged employee tries to evade work, struggles to meet deadlines and is reluctant to accept additional responsibility.
  • Effect on co-workers: the negativity of a disengaged employee, demonstrated either through rants or complete withdrawal from participation, affects the team morale.
  • Effect on customers: every employee, whether an organization likes it or not, becomes its ambassador. And a disengaged employee either by actively de-selling the organization, or by complete apathy towards their work, product, process, organization, helps create disengaged customers.
  • Effects on productivity: disengaged employees seldom push themselves to meet organizational goals let alone contribute to innovative practices at workplace. Since they do not believe that their work contributes to the organization, they evade completing tasks thereby affecting team productivity.
  • Effect on personal life of employees: a disengaged employee is seldom able to shake off the lethargy and perform in the current organization or land a job of preference. This leads to pent up frustration which may ultimately affect his personal and family life.

Avoiding these costs should be already enough to make employee engagement a priority in any serious company, furthermore an engaged workforce will grant these benefits:

  • Employee satisfaction: if employees are engaged with the company their job satisfaction levels increase. Employees that are engaged and satisfied are very invested in the success of the business and have a high level of commitment and loyalty.
  • Productivity: engaged employees are often top performers, those committed to ‘go the extra mile’ to achieve business success. As an employee becomes more engaged their absenteeism lowers and their motivation increases leading to increased productivity.
  • Retention & recruitment: employees who are engaged significantly lower the company’s turnover. Simply put, when employees are satisfied and engaged they are far more likely to stay with the organization, plus, businesses that have a highly engaged workforce have an increased ability to attract new, qualified employees.
  • Innovation: engaged employees perform at a higher level and bring passion and interest to their job, which often leads to innovation because they strive to efficiently create new products, services and processes.
  • Profitability: companies with more engaged employees tend to have higher profitability rates. The more engaged your employees are the more efficient and productive they become, lowering operating costs and increasing the profit margin.

Clearly the organization benefits, but what about the individual? As an employee, why would you care about being more engaged if it only means you have to work harder and the company reaps all of the rewards? Fortunately, employee engagement is a win-win for the both the employee and employer. Here are a few reasons why you, as employees, should choose to be engaged in your work.

  • Safety: engaged employees have a decreased chance of experiencing an accident at work. When you are engaged in what you do you tend to follow safety procedures more diligently and don’t lose focus as often, thus leading to fewer safety incidents.
  • Better health: employees that are engaged have lower stress and higher interest levels throughout the day. Conversely, disengaged employees are more likely to be depressed than those who are engaged.
  • Happiness: employees can be happy but not fully engaged in their work, but those who are fully engaged in what they do are much more likely to also be happy.
  • Pay and advancement: engaged employees perform better than their peers.  Engaged employees not only work harder, but also work smarter and are able to produce better results. This helps them to earn higher wages, receive faster promotions, and market themselves for better career opportunities.
  • Better home life: if we are disengaged at work, it’s pretty tough to make the switch to an engaged home life. That’s why engaged employees are far more likely to be engaged outside of work as well.

One way to boost employee engagement is to foster real human contact between employees. The current most used solutions fall short as far as creating new relationships is concerned: in big events employees tend to regroup with their teammates. A really effective solution may be organising “micro-events” but for large corporates the administrative burden is often to high to bear.

Woobe makes organising a campaign of hundreds of micro-events not just possible, but even easy. The HR manager selects in few clicks the profiles and the period over which the events will take place and the invitation are automatically sent to the employees based on their agenda’s availability.

Source: The benefits of Employee Engagement – Woobe

HRs, Beware Of The Continuous Candidates

Split Shire

Loyalty is the quality which is most desirable by any employer. As an HR your motive is not only to hire the ideal candidate possessing impeccable skills for the job, but also retain him. Just imagine this situation, there is a vacant role which has to be filled immediately and you start exploring all the sources through you could possibly hire someone fit, you interview him, put relentless efforts in following up, take care of all the onboarding process, and then maybe a within a couple of months after joining he suddenly decides to leave!

running-men-business

And all your hefty efforts have suddenly gone into waste.

Yes, there is a rise of a new group of candidates termed as ‘Continuous Candidates’ who are always searching for the next job. Every one out of three candidates is a continuous candidate. Now there is a question, who are they and what are their attributes?

Profile Persona of a Continuous Candidate

1.AGE GROUP

Mostly it has been seen that the major part of these candidates fall in the age group of 18-34. They are the predominant job hoppers. This is the age when the zeal is utmost and the passion for growth is high. It has been seen that 70% of the job-hoppers’ age is in the range 25-34.

2.GROWTH

According to a report by Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision, job security is a major factor for the millennials, but their definition of job security is slightly different. They want a secure career first. Career growth is very important maybe not with the same employer. Unlike their preceding generation, they don’t take job security as the way to get married and settle down with kids.

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3.JOB SATISFACTION

They have a lower job satisfaction.They just view a present job as a means of gaining experience and increasing their compensation only because of the plan to move to a different company with a good hike on the existing package. Jobs, for them, are always temporary.

4.ACTIVITY ON RECRUITMENT SITES

Continuous candidates are more active in sites like Linkedin, Naukri, Monster etc. in search for their next dream job. They are knowledgeable indeed, mostly because of the desire to crack a new job. They are better informed about the job market than their non-continuous counterparts.

Now you know who are they, so what do you do? Keep away or analyse the ways to deal with them. Since the numbers of continuous candidates are growing you need to figure out a way to deal with them.They are talented with huge potential, so why not get into the source of their dissatisfaction and retain them instead! Well, we will be answering this in our upcoming article. Each human resource is special, even if they want to leave, you have to make them stay.

bangabdi-roy-chowdhuryHey there, I’m Bangabdi. I’m a Growth Hacker living in Bengaluru, India. I am a fan of dance, writing, and fashion. I’m also interested in politics, economics and travel.

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Source: HRs, Beware Of The Continuous Candidates

Salary Transparency is Coming Like a Freight Train… Get On Board or Get Run Over

Keep Salary Expectations on Track Through Transparenecy

By revealing company salary ranges and fostering a salary transparent society, companies immediately begin accruing both short-term and long-term benefits. Integral to the process is an introspective analysis that creates a greater understanding of what the company values and what they don’t. Companies with clearly defined parameters receive more targeted interest from candidates who have identified the company as being able to fulfill their needs. Interviewing and on-boarding processes are elevated by data-driven discussions. On the job, fewer doubts about compensation frees up employees’ mental energies to focus on the tasks at hand. Employees are also better able to visualize the long-term benefits of remaining with the company. A company opening its books and revealing specific salaries and salary ranges in terms of location and experience level may seem as if it is shooting itself in the foot in the short run, but, given the long view, salary transparency enhances productivity, retention, and quality.

Chris Bolte
Chris Bolte, CEO & Co-Founder at Paysa

While nobody expects companies to universally release every one of their employees’ compensation-related data for the general public to scrutinize, several companies are already doing so. Buffer, creator of a social media management tool, releases up to date salaries for each employee. Companies and individuals wary of an invasion of privacy will appreciate the middle ground Buffer took a stand on with a salary calculator it developed that incorporates factors such as a candidate’s role, experience level, desired location, and preference for higher or lower risk compensation package (equity vs. salary). There are a number of available options when it comes to salary transparency methodology.

Making Progress Toward Transparency

Regardless of the path a company chooses, the track leading toward long-term success involves several stops along the way that facilitate salary transparency and better-informed candidates. In any company, there will always be individuals determined to fight sharing salary-related data. Pushback from guarded employees and well-meaning human resources personnel may result in a temporary thinning of the ranks. The potentially painful transition to providing salary transparency is streamlined with thorough preparation involving organizational introspection and deep market research. First, companies must delve deep into their own needs to understand what skills, traits, and experiences are important to the company. Dissect these components to ascertain why they hold value. It should be apparent what each skill, trait, or experience adds to the company, leading to its continued success.

Before leveraging the benefits of salary transparency, companies must clearly define their compensation processes. Companies must determine the average salary for each position and clarify how those are established. Companies should be able to explain why an employee’s compensation falls at a certain spot within a range. What an employee needs to accomplish in order to move up within a pay range must be clear and transparent. Candidates approaching a company with well-defined values and needs should carefully assemble a portfolio that highlights their skillsets, character traits, and experiences as related to the value they will contribute to the company.

Salary transparency should inform the interview process as well. Those company needs should be juxtaposed against the backdrop of the broader market’s needs. Market research and analysis should lead to establishing updated benchmarks pertaining to skills and experience. Because market values change rapidly, especially in the tech industry, relying on dated benchmarking techniques with a narrow perspective cripples the hiring process and sets companies up for failure from the outset.

Salary Transparency Enhances Long-Term Productivity

The effort required, the difficulties to overcome, and pushback from both outside and within shouldn’t deter a company from achieving salary transparency. In addition to ameliorating conditions for employees, companies benefit in numerous ways from both individually and collectively enacting initiatives that promote salary transparency. Beyond simply staying relevant to the needs of the next generation of job seekers, companies that promote salary transparency have a better understanding of their own values in terms of desired skills, which makes hiring easier. Once an employee is on-boarded, conversations about their value to the company, as well as how to enhance it, are much more data-driven. Providing access to data on salaries, not only within the company, but across a market segment, also dispels any doubts regarding compensation. Rather than focusing on whether or not they are getting paid adequately, employees focus on doing their job and growing their career. This improves both productivity, as employees know what the company values and how they can impact that, as well as retention rates, as employees are more productive and rewarded, while less likely to leave looking for a better deal.

While salary transparency may result in companies losing control over salary negotiations and other minor aspects of candidate interviews, it generates real benefits that extend to employees, the company, and beyond. Salary transparency not only contributes to rectifying societal wrongs, such as gender and ethnic wage gaps, but also helps individuals both understand their present salary and see more clearly the track toward greater pay. For companies, salary transparency is an invaluable tool that enhances hiring, as well as long-term employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.


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3 Ways to Enhance Talent Attraction & Retention through Corporate Philanthropy

Millennials Valunteering

Deeply rooted in today’s society and demonstrated time and time again, Millennials and Generation Z is a need to give back in more personal ways, make a change and find meaning in their work life. Some of the world’s biggest companies like GE and Walt Disney are fulfilling that need through corporate, socially conscious giving programs. But, how does corporate philanthropy really impact attraction and retention?

Corporate philanthropy enhances the employer brand

Millennials make up 75% of the workforce making their needs and desires much more influential when it comes to employer branding strategy. Project ROI found 80% of surveyed Millennials want to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society. Over half would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation. Even from a consumer standpoint, today’s society favors employers that make corporate philanthropy a priority and a part of its core values.

Engagement has become more than simply donating to whatever cause an employer chooses. By taking a strategic approach to corporate philanthropy companies can fuel involvement, personal satisfaction and even grow employees’ skills. From giving employees the chance to choose which charities to give back to, to incorporating skills-based volunteer opportunities, involving employees in the philanthropy process will greatly impact the bottom line.

Corporate philanthropy enhances employee wellness

Every employer wants happy employees, but happiness isn’t the kind of metric you can track. What we do know is, whether happiness is caused by their work or not, happy employees are more productive, satisfied and engaged in their work.

A recent Robert Half survey found 61% of U.S. workers who are involved in philanthropic activities outside of work feel it positively impacts their overall wellness, allows them to find a better work-life balance and it makes them more effective in their work.

Employers can make these effects even more impactful by having a corporate philanthropic program that lets employees put in their social awareness time on the job. This is a precious engagement opportunity that clearly has the potential to increase productivity and satisfaction, ultimately leading to increased retention and a favorable EB.

Corporate philanthropy ties employees to the values of the company

72% of Millennials feel a job where they can make an impact is important to their happiness and 58% would take a pay cut to work for a company with values aligned with their own. When it comes to accepting an offer, candidates prefer to work for an employer that engages in cause work.

From recruitment to engagement to retention, corporate philanthropy marries social responsibility with talent attraction and retention and then some, providing employees outlets that allow them to contribute back to the world while developing their talents, with the support of their employer. Money is an important deciding factor in the career choices people make, but the true motivation lies in how connected they are to their job and the company they work for.

Time continues to change for the better in today’s workforce. By cultivating an environment that embraces a need to find meaning in their work, employers are forced to change or modify their corporate philanthropy strategies in a way that not only makes employees work harder and gets candidates more interested, but directly impacts core values and the bottom line too. How does your company’s philanthropic efforts enhance the talent lifecycle?

About the Author 

Nita KirbyAs Director, Client Solutions at CyberGrants, Nita Kirby is about providing philanthropic strategic development, creating management processes, troubleshooting and ensuring client satisfaction and customer relationship management oversight.

CyberGrants is a software company that provides employee engagement and grants management software to connect the world’s givers to those who can benefit from them the most.


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