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The Evolving Role of HR in the Gig Economy

Whenever we think about the brand ambassador of any organization, we find ourselves visualizing a public figure in our conscience. But we forget the fact that public figures are the brand ambassadors for the consumers, whereas very few people know who is the real brand ambassador for the employers.

“Human Resource Management”

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No matter what part of the business you are dealing with, whether it’s figuring out where to construct the new plant, designing a new product, formulating a strategy, or designing a cost structure, every single business issue ultimately becomes a people issue. At the heart of it, you need to have people with the right skills, opportunities, and motivation to face those challenges and achieve business success. This is the essence of Human Resource Management.

They manage people in a way that drives business success. To strike glory, Human Resource Management involves a wide variety of activities that have developed over the years and are still on the path of progression.

“Our first internship in Human Resource Management would be in early childhood days when we were appointed as the class monitor to manage the whole division.”

Human Resource Management is such an important expression around us, let us look at its history of evolution.

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Human Resource Management has flourished and grown as a field since the previous century, but one would be very intrigued to know that the seed of HRM has been planted in India. The 8-hour work shift was originated in India in the year 1912 and Tata Steel became the first company to limit the number of working hours for the factory workers to 8. This practice was then adopted by Henry Ford in 1914 and now it’s been implemented by every organization in the world. The term “human resource management” is of recent origin. In its modern connotation, it came to be used mainly from the 1980s onwards.

The industrial revolution, World war I, and World war II have contributed significantly and accelerated the evolution of HRM.

In the beginning, the role of your HR team was largely functional.

It was centred around payroll, leave policymaking, and training. Recruitment generally meant putting an ad in the paper and hoping for the best or hiring a recruiter. Then things changed. Technology and social media happened and as a result, your role as the head of HR began to evolve. The employer brand was born. Recruitment began to change too. Technology opened up a whole new world of talent, it was a game-changer. As the head of HR, you now also need to be a communications expert and motivator.

“Today, the role of HR in an organization is no longer functional, it is transformational.”

En-routing to the evolution of HRM, the next run will be to assimilate gig workers and the economy to the ecosystem.

So, what’s the vibe behind this Gig?

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The gig economy has itself evolved exponentially in the last couple of decades. The days of being hired by a company and working there until retirement are long gone. Hiring people on a contract basis is now not only limited to the government sector but further expanded to the corporate world.

In the US over 1 out of 3 people are involved in the gig economy at this point and it is expected to rise more in the near future.

Essentially the term gig economy describes an environment where people work for others as independent contractors, they set their hours, choose their clients and usually work on a per-project basis rather than a monthly salary.

According to me in recent years every role is a gig and we are all part of the gig economy. Whether a person is on a salary or a freelancer, every role is a gigger. The following statistics will help me to support this statement. According to the bureau of labour statistics of US, the median tenure today is 4.2 years, and according to the Con Fairy Institute study the median tenure for CEO is 8 years, for the CFO 5.1 years, for the CHRO 5 years, for CIO 4.3 years, and CMO is at 4.1 years. Technological advancement and disruption have been the key elements in the rise of the gig economy.

The recent pandemic has also contributed to the boost in the gig economy. The economic survey of 2020–21 noted that “During the period of COVID-19 induced lockdown, the increasing role of the gig economy was evident with significant growth of online retail business”

The gig economy has been questionable concerning to the lack of basic rights and social security.

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This question has been momentous and is been addressed by many countries where the gig economy is boosting supremely. For example in 2020, a recent code on social security was introduced by the government of India. Inscribing further to this, the Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman provided a sigh of relief for the gig workers. “To further extend our efforts towards the unorganized labor force migrant workers particularly, I propose to launch a portal that will collect relevant information on gig, building, and construction-workers among others. This will help formulate Health, Housing, Skill, Insurance, Credit, and food schemes for migrant workers” Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed. “Social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers. Minimum wages will apply to all categories of workers, and they will all be covered by the Employees State Insurance Corporation” the FM said.

Noticing the recent significance and germination for the gig workers, HRM is all set to incorporate this evolution. HRM will be an inherent part of the growth of the gig economy.

So far in myriad part of the world, most enormous HR organisations have been centred on white-collar staffing, however, with the expansion in consistency for firms to use gig labourers, they could look towards outsourcing the executives to blue-collar workers as well. With the formalization of the ever-increasing gig market, the compliance levels will likewise go up, making more business for HR the board firms. The formalization of the gig force in India could likewise trigger an enormous move to re-evaluating by customary firms and not simply trendy organisations.

“The Next Evolution of HRM will be the Evolution of the Gig economy,”

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Harsh Agrawal

Harsh Agrawal

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