The rise of the Gig Economy: The benefits of a short-term workforce

Share this article

The Rise of the Gig Economy: The benefits of a short-term workforce.

Economic unrest over the last two years has forced a relook at hiring and new work trends have begun to emerge. At the forefront is a marked rise in short term contracts and freelance jobs, otherwise known as the gig economy.

With new technological developments and an increased demand for flexibility in the workplace, the market had already seen signs of growth in the gig economy before the pandemic hit. It has since flourished into a trend which will have a significant impact on how businesses hire and manage their staff going forward.

If your business aims to compete in the current landscape, gig hiring will become a tool which can’t be ignored and here’s why:


Reduced Risk: High level of uncertainty, low level of risk

With the high level of uncertainty in the economic world at the moment, there is a reluctance to commit to permanent appointments. “Simply put, contract hiring is low risk.” Phillipa Geard, CEO of RecruitMyMom explains, “Contracting skills for a fixed period or defined project allows companies the flexibility to manage the impact of market uncertainties.” That said, it’s not solely employers who are driving the rise in contract hiring, as more and more employees, women in particular, are voluntarily relinquishing the benefits that come with permanent employment and opting for the flexibility of skilled contract work instead.


Scalability: From survive to thrive

To survive the last two years, businesses have had to be more agile than ever before. Many have had to transform their offerings and strategies and required new skills in order to do so. Gig hiring allows businesses to turn on the head of a pin: adapting to changes in the market within a matter of days when necessary. A scalable workforce is an agile workforce. One which can grow quickly when needed, and then deflate just as quickly to save on overheads when necessary.


Specialist skills: Hire for the job

Agile companies are prepared for a state of constant flux. As they adapt and grow, they may require specialist skills for a short period of time. Take the massive shift to a more remote working model witnessed at the start of the pandemic: many companies had to move and manage their entire workforce digitally in a short space of time which resulted in an explosion in the demand for short term digital skills. Rapidly hiring specialist digital gig workers aided many companies to successfully transition in a short space of time.

What’s more, with the current skill shortage in South Africa, the gig ecomony is a fantastic way of attracting the lost skills back into the market. “Particularly moms who stepped out of the workplace for a season,” Phillipa Geard, CEO of RecruitMyMom says, “they are so well placed with the rise in contract hiring and freelancing. They are serious about their careers and they are open to hybrid, remote, freelance and flexible work; they are skilled and ready to step up to the challenge in a digital world.”


Cost Effective: Decreased operational costs

Hiring remote or in-office contractors and freelancers enables businesses to cut costs on office space rental,equipment, as well as overall payroll costs associated with  employee benefits for permanent employees.


Increase productivity

During peak seasons, your core team members can become inundated with tasks outside of their usual scope which leads to a drop in productivity. The support of short-term employees as your company scales not only boosts productivity but employee morale. What’s more, when a company outsources the skills they don’t have, it means they can better manage their internal resources and focus on becoming the expert at what they deliver to the market.

Gig hiring is here to stay. As technology continues to develop at a rapid rate, more and more businesses will turn to contract and freelance hiring to create a scalable workforce which allows them to adapt and thrive as the market changes.

Written by the RecruitMyMom Editorial Team.
Visit RecruitMyMom, South Africa’s award-winning online recruitment agency specialising in skilled part-time and flexible work.