HR Professionals: What Does the Rise of the Gig Economy Mean for You?

Laetitia Vitaud
Nov 24, 2015 · 6 min read
The Garden of Earthly Delights, Bosch
Mr Anderson just doesn’t want to work in a cubicle
  • They need intermediaries like IT service companies or web agencies that will charge them a lot for people who are seldom the best and if they are (good), they’ll expect to be paid a lot in exchange for what they have to put up with (see this tell-tale story in French of a guy who endured the pain of an IT service company).
  • They acqui-hire the talent they want and buy entire companies they don’t need just to recruit a few of their employees. Needless to say, you need to be big and rich to be able to do that. Acqui-hiring is now quite common in Silicon Valley. It’s a little like bringing in an elephant to kill a mouse. Acqui-hiring is a good idea if you have hundreds of millions of dollars you don’t know what to do with.
  • They hire second-rate engineers (which a lot of companies do) who will execute what they’re asked to do (if they can) but lack the creativity and talent to do things at the highest level, which is why so many corporate apps and services are so average, or even terrible! Making do with lower-quality products in the age of winner-take-all is a very bad idea because in the end the highest quality wins.
  • They choose to be more creative in the way they recruit, pick unconventional profiles, train them, give them autonomy and trust them to accomplish great things. That’s where talented HR professionals still have a card to play.
  • They accept the fact that great talent can be found among freelancers and make the best of it. Employers already hire millions of workers to perform knowledge-based work through online marketplaces like UpWork or Hopwork in France, which focuses on high-quality talent. Even high-level work like financial analysis and strategic planning can be bought on marketplaces like HourlyNerd. Accepting that implies being ready for risk because freelancers do present a bunch of challenges for traditional companies— confidentiality, security, legal liability and management.
something for white guys, apparently…
  1. Ramp up your efforts to woo freelancers. If you want to seduce and keep top freelance talent, then you must be more attractive to them. The most skilled can work with anyone so why would they choose you? Building a long-term relationship is critical and bullshitting one’s way to a recruitment is no longer possible. Using the good old heaven/hell recruiting propaganda doesn’t work anymore — see this famous recruitment joke about heaven and hell (“because yesterday we were recruiting you, but now you’re on the staff”). Adapt and accept flexibility. Don’t expect your freelancers to be at your office all the time (it doesn’t mean they’re not working for you). Give them your trust.
  2. Break down siloes and share information. All talent within the company must be able to share information. Otherwise a lot of energy and resources will just get lost on the way. If a freelance worker must ask 10 people for some information and still can’t be sure the information is reliable, it means everybody’s time is being wasted. Agility is required, even if the cost is less security. Silos make the information safe indeed… but they also make it utterly worthless. What’s the point of having it in the first place if you can’t do anything with it?
  3. Analyse your data. This is not specific to HR or managing freelancers. Data intelligence is a huge differential whatever you do. Data intelligence can put you in a position to best attract and use freelance talent. (See 1. and 3.)
The kind of puke-provoking picture that can’t be used to illustrate HR work anymore

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Laetitia Vitaud

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I write about #FutureOfWork #HR #freelancing #craftsmanship #feminism Editor in chief of Welcome to the Jungle media for recruiters laetitiavitaud.com

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