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Are recruiters ready for the gig economy?

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

The world of work is changing, with contract, temporary and freelance work on the rise. More and more people are working in ‘the gig economy’, where, essentially, they are paid by task, assignment or ‘gig’.

We have always known that younger generations are more mobile in the way they work. The average tenure of those under 25 is 1 year and 8 months in a job, and that hasn’t changed since 1975. What has changed is the tenure of older workers.

It’s no longer just the under 25’s that are after a different way of working from the traditional 9am-5pm office hours. It seems more and more people are after flexibility in how and when they work; and now with COVID forcing so many to work from home, more people are realising the benefits of flexibility than ever before.

These changes aren’t just coming from workers either. We are seeing employers looking for and using short-term contracts for more skilled/specialised traditional full-time permanent roles like developers, designers and marketers. It is also a trend at the executive level, where businesses are looking for senior leaders with vast experience to take on short-term contracts, to help a business deliver a project or simply share their expertise with an organisation.

So, what does this mean for recruiters? How do you adapt to this new way of working? Well, for many recruiters filling temporary and contract roles is not new. However, for some, shifting from filling 100% permanent roles to now looking at filling short-term, temporary, or freelance roles might cause a bigger shift in the way you work. Here are three ways you can set yourself up to take advantage of this new way of working:

Build a solid candidate database

If you have always been focused on filling permanent roles, then your first challenge will be growing the number of candidates that are interested in short-term contracts or temporary roles. It is important to bring in new candidates but be sure not to overlook your current database.

Make sure you also are asking your current candidates if they are interested in applying for both permanent and temporary roles and talking them through the pros and cons of both. You may be surprised how many are open to temporary or contract roles.

The challenge will also be having enough candidates with the right skills to fill roles. Much of the growth in contract and temporary roles is in specific, skilled areas, so make sure you are across what roles are in high demand and build your database in these areas.

Keep your data up-to-date

It is always important to keep candidate information up to date, but when filling short-term or temporary roles it is even more important to know things like availability instantly.

This would be almost impossible to do manually. We suggest you get your candidates to update their information themselves through a self-service portal. This enables a candidate to directly update their availability, CV, contact details, skills, experience, photos and references directly into your Application Tracking System (ATS). This ensures the ATS is up to date, the candidate knows you have their current information and you are able to identify the best candidates for a role instantly.

Reduce administration with ATS automation

Firstly, not all ATS’ are built for both permanent and temporary recruitment services. So make sure your ATS allows you to customise process flows to cater for different types of roles. Often, temporary and short-term contracts require a much faster placement time for the candidate. This not only means finding the right candidate fast but also getting through all the administration that comes with filling a role in a much shorter turnaround time.

You can save significant time by automating the hiring process in your ATS, from posting job adverts to screening CVs, interviewing candidates, completing reference checks, and sending letters of offer.

With so many changes currently happening in the workplace and increasing unemployment rates, it has never been more important to adapt and diversify to changes within the recruitment industry and ensure you are set up for success.

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