HR professionals and the gig economy
What does the growth of the gig economy and contingent workforces mean for HR professionals? That question can be taken in two ways, and thus has two answers.
The first applies to those who by choice or necessity are working as HR contractors and need to stand out in a competitive marketplace. Here there is no silver bullet; it essentially comes back to the fact that you are only ever as good as your last job, and what others thought of you while you were doing it.
Alongside professional skills, employers are looking for people who can come in and out of their organisation with minimal disruption and sensitivity to those around them. There is a unique skill set to being a contingent worker.
Always keep your CV sharp, get as much formal certification and accreditation as you can, and make sure your commitment to professional development is genuine and clearly apparent. This gives employers a reference point.
2. HR professionals who work in the employer organisations
The second answer to how the gig economy impacts on the HR professionals who work in the employer organisations and the three broad roles they play.
The first is to help attract the best possible talent then make them feel welcome so they want to return. Streamline your induction and contracting processes to suit this new world. Make sure that when temporary employees walk through the door they have a security key and computer, their email address and log ins are active and they meet the people they need to know, all of whom knew they were coming and why. Set clear goals and expectations and celebrate the successes of your temporary employees as much as those of your full-time team.
The other side of the coin (and the second role) is not to let that full-time team feel ignored, marginalised, undervalued or even threatened by this new world. It is not just about workers worrying that their jobs may be lost or turned into a contract role. They may just feel that the working environment they enjoy is changing.
The third role is to help management see the pros and cons of increasing the use of temporary workers and mitigate the risks. At an operational level that means protecting your IP and organisational knowledge as people come and go. More broadly, it is about ensuring that temporary workers are used at the right times and in the right ways to genuinely be of benefit to the organisation’s bottom line and its culture.