The Gig Economy HR Challenges in New World of Work

The Gig Economy HR Challenges in New World of Work
Gig Economy welcomes the future of work. And challenges along. Gig economy is thriving.  How to thrive along? Gig economy, a free market system that is based on temporary relationship between  organisations and workers is an integral part of Indian economy. Now, more than ever before. It is witnessed more in seasonal industries like construction business, agriculture, and is now getting extended to sales and tech businesses.In fact, even the labour-intensive business process management industry is increasingly turning to this employment pattern, with ever increasing inevitability for customer service, involving both front and back office roles.

“According to a recent report, in 2018 70% of the organisations have engaged gig workers at least once or twice in a year”

Factors contributing to the Gig Economy are cost, nature of work and seasonality. Cost being the primary factor. Most companies hire or engage gig workers as it saves overall office cost that companies spend on full-time employees including training and development expenses. As much as the Gig Economy is gaining popularity amongst the millennials, for the flexibility, work life balance and entrepreneurial life it offers them, it brings along challenges alike.


1- Right talent for the right roles:

Identifying best fitand satisfactorily engaging roles  for gig workers is the biggest challenge for HR.

2- Skill Sets and Training:

Considering that critical and larger roles require broad skill sets and regular training, hiring gig workers for such roles could be cumbersome. However, the same looks more promising for easy to outsource tasks like basic finance processes, Payroll, L&D operations and IT. Especially because roles that are short-lived demand niche skills in specific areas that help save training costs, making gig workers fit the bill, perfectly.

3- Lack of committed performance:

Gig workers do not have organisation-linked goals and objectives and hence may not be aligned and committed to overall growth of the organisation. The challenge for the business and the HR teams is on how to align such employees to the overall ethos and culture of the organisation and have them exhibit behaviours in line with this.

4- Risk to business:

When hiring a full time employee, organisations conduct background verification but in case of gig workers, professional/ background checks are not done and this might put the organisation at risk. Gig workers are engaged by multiple organisations, as there is always a risk of confidential information being used for other organisations as well. For Gig Economy to work, forces of demand and supply in the market should be equally active. Indian population continues to have the challenge of economic security. This will influence the forces of supply in the market. On the other hand, start-ups inclined to try and encash upon gig workers are on the rise, thereby creating a pressing demand. But for the right equilibrium to prevail, it is important that even employers who have been around for decades, exhibit a start-up like mind set so as to monitor the demand forces in a better way, and create a healthy balance. Overall economic status of the country will also influence the success of this model; i.e. Developed market and/or Millennials from a sound economic background will react positively to such flexible employment opportunities, but a Developing market and/or Millennials from an emerging economic background may have inhibitions around such employment opportunities. But in the current scheme of globalisation where employment opportunities are not at the same pace as availability of resources, gig Economy will help skilled resources to stay contractually employed for few months of the year if not the entire year. Also if organisations are able to identify the right talent pools  for such assignments, it would have huge mutual benefits for both job seekers and employers. This is definitely the Future of Work that we as a country looks forward to. According to Forbes India, gig workers will comprise half the workforce by 2020, and as much as 80 percent by 2030. And there’s a fair bit of change that must be introduced in the way we think and work. Stay prepared!
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Tanvi Choksi, Head – Human Resources, JLL, Asia Pacific. She is responsible for leading the People Strategy for the business. She led the HR Transformation journey for JLL in 2018, enabling and strengthening the organizational culture. Tanvi joined JLL after a distinguished 10-year career at Johnson & Johnson, where she was the HR Head for Medical Devices, India and Diabetes Care across APAC. Tanvi is an MBA in Human Resources from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She completed her Bachelor in Management Studies from the SIES College of Commerce & Economics with a specialization in Finance.


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