HomeEvents & ResourcesHR BlogsGig workers: What is the Gig Economy? Trends, Gig Jobs.

Gig workers: What is the Gig Economy? Trends, Gig Jobs.

16% of Americans have completed a job via an online gig platform. The number of global gig workers is expected to rise from 43 million in 2018 to 78 million in 2023. The number of people who sporadically work a gig job rose 17% from 2017 to 2018. At 40% of organizations, one in four workers on payroll is a gig worker.

What is a gig worker?

A gig worker works for a short-term employment as a freelancer or independent contractor, usually in the service industry. For a task with a set duration, the slang term “gig” is used. The phrase has historically been used by musicians to describe a performance engagement.

Freelancers, independent contractors, project-based employees and temporary or part-time personnel are a few examples of gig workers. Customers and gig workers are frequently connected using digital technology and gig apps.

What is a gig economy?

A gig economy is a form of a free market where businesses frequently use independent contractors for brief assignments and where temporary roles are popular. The gig economy is a recent trend that has risen as a result of various circumstances. The following are the two most crucial aspects:

  • The workforce is more mobile now.
  • More and more people work remotely using digital platforms.

Jobs and locations are becoming less linked as a result. This implies that independent contractors can accept a position or project with an employer from anywhere in the world. The best candidate for a particular project can be chosen by employers from a wider pool than is accessible in any one location.

The sharing economy, gift economy, barter economy, and more adaptable occupations are all components of the altering cultural and corporate environment, which also includes the gig economy. The gig economy’s culture is ever evolving and effected by global circumstances; for instance, employment patterns have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Companies, employees and customers comprise the gig economy. Not every gig worker is the same. There are:

  • independent contractors who work and are paid on a contract-by-contract basis;
  • project-based employees who are paid by the project;
  • temporary hires who are engaged for a set period;
  • part-time employees who work fewer hours than full-time.
who are gig workers_ and what is gig economy
who are gig workers_ and what is gig economy

Customers have an alternative access to commercial goods and sectors thanks to the gig economy. In search of convenience, better service, or both, they resort to the gig economy. Both food delivery services like Grubhub and ride-hailing applications like Uber are examples of this. Gig apps have also satiated consumers’ needs in areas where service is pricey or in poor supply. In areas with a shortage of hotel rooms, Airbnb has served this function by increasing the number of temporary housing options offered, sometimes at reduced prices.

What is the difference between gig workers and freelancers?

There is a big difference between freelancers and gig workers. Freelancers are mostly one-man businesses who take on the role of their own manager and areresponsible for their customer acquisition, task management, submitting invoices, collecting and depositing money and paying income tax. Gig workers on the other hand are more like flexible employees, who find work by means of a gig application that doesn’t require customer acquisition and invoicing.

Freelancers must develop the ability to balance finding their next project while focusing on the one they have at hand. They generally start networking with past workers, colleagues and employers around 4 weeks before their current job expires in the hopes of securing their next assignment.

Is a freelancer the same as an independent contractor or gig worker?

The IRS classifies gig workers the same as independent contractors.

Independent contractors and gig workers frequently receive hourly or project-based compensation. Both offer independence and flexibility, which is one of the main reasons so many individuals are driven to self-employment in the first place. As long as it complies with the terms of their contract, contractors are free to carry out their task however they see proper. Mostly independent contractors work for a longer period of time on one assignment, while freelancers can combine multiple projects and clients at the same time.

However, despite enjoying a variety of liberties not typically afforded to employees, gig workers have very different obligations than those who have traditional jobs. They are entirely obligated to pay self-employment taxes and benefits (such as medical coverage, paid time off, and disability insurance), as well as preserve their equity to do the job. Independent contractors assume the roles of both employer and employee. As a result, they are in charge of everything else that keeps their one-person business going in addition to keeping up with their billable job.

freelancer the same as an independent contractor, gig workers vs self-employed?


Professionals who work with other businesses as independent contractors frequently have specialized trade or professional skill sets as well as a track record of success.

They are also more likely to:

  • Promote their abilities through advertisements or a company website.
  • Have a more complicated organizational structure,
  • Have a contract that their customer signs.

Benefits of gig workers in HR Management?

1. Time and money savings

The fact that businesses can save time and money by engaging gig workers is a huge advantage. Contractual employees mostly possess the necessary expertise for their job, but sometimes miss the competences do perform a different specialized taks. When hiring a gig worker, there is no need to spend a lot of money re-training staff for temporary assignments.

A full-time worker needs compensation and benefits. A significant financial investment is required for job advancement and training. Hiring an on-demand employee does away with all of that. For as long as you need them, you can pay them per job or hour. Typically, they can operate from home or just sometimes need to physically visit a workplace.

Do you know that traicie the best AI-powered talent sourcing tool for recruiters also can help you reduce in cost to hire, salary cost, but still raise performance level of new candidates?

Gig workers don’t need to go through the onboarding process because they are already skilled, which cuts a ton of time. The company only needs to hold an orientation program to introduce them to the work culture and define the organization’s mission statement.

Benefits of hiring gig workers

Because you only need to engage with contract workers when you need them, you can hunt for exactly what you need when you require one or two jobs to be completed by an expert in a particular field. Other then with full-time hiring, you don’t need to worry about the candidate having well-rounded abilities.

2. Flexibility

Because of their accessibility and telecommuting, gig workers are a great advantage to businesses. The fact that these individuals are constantly prepared to work and can easily fit in when needed by an organization is important to keep in mind. This is especially true when the existing staff is overworked.

On-demand hiring and freelancing allow for flexibility. Even though you periodically renew your contract with one of them and pay them for the task, you can still contact them when the job calls for further assistance or when their unique service would improve the results.

3. Strong Influence

The gig workers typically have a greater impact on their work and are more productive. They have a great deal of expertise in their field, which is great for businesses.

The gig workers and the company’s regular employees can both benefit from that experience because the latter can pick up certain tips and use them in their job, resulting in a collaborative workplace where ideas are exchanged.

4. No training needed

The gig workers don’t need the requisite training because they are already experienced and skilled in a variety of areas. They are already experts in their field and have plenty of suggestions for how to get the work done.

They can easily adapt to the situation and complete the assignment once the management has explained the criteria to them.

5. Skilled Workforce Source

Globally, the gig economy has grown quickly and so has the number of gig workers, resulting in a sizable pool of talented people with a variety of abilities, traits, credentials, attributes, and much more.

With so many unique individuals accessible, businesses may hire people based on their needs and take full use of the gig economy.

How does a gig worker get paid?

Some gig workers receive payment for each task or project. Some people get paid hourly. Additionally, a lot of them, such as ride-hailing drivers, are paid indirectly, so they frequently wait for the technology that their employers utilize to receive their cash.

Participating in the gig economy as a freelancer or independent contractor frequently eliminates the professional of employee rights because this person is typically a temporary worker rather than an employee of a corporation.

How a gig worker get paid and the law
Workplace Responsibilities
Gig worker in the gig economy frequently have the freedom to select the jobs they take on. Before accepting assignments and projects, these people secure contracts with clients. This is a crucial feature of the gig economy because freelancers have more freedom to work how they see fit than workers do.
If the client is unwilling to pay a higher price or eliminate the added stress of a project, there is no reason to continue with a lengthy business project. In these situations, the freelancer is better equipped to perform work that is both engaging and gratifying.
The Ability to Work
In the gig economy, the freelancer frequently has the flexibility to work from anywhere rather than being confined to an office all day. If they don’t have to talk on the phone, many independent contractors will work from home or bring their laptops to public spaces. Others might want to employ a standalone office that exudes a cozier and quieter vibe.
The gig worker can continue to be more successful and productive if no one else is moving around or speaking rudely on the phone. Many independent contractors value their freedom to choose and accept work from any location, which is one of the reasons they prefer not to join a company as employees.
Working on your own
Many gig economy employees can manage themselves without a manager or corporate employer keeping an eye on them. The person in these circumstances is free to choose which contracts to accept and which tasks to perform.
There is no need to be concerned about a supervisor telling the employee where to work or how to finish the task. However, many independent contractors put forth more effort while working for themselves as opposed to a business. Some people might even take on so many jobs that the outcome might not be of the highest quality. The gig worker must be aware of her limitations and know when to turn down new assignments.
Legal support
It is crucial to have the support of an attorney to help safeguard the customer’s rights whether the client’s rights are infringed or the person is terminated improperly.
To find the appropriate legal remedy, the attorney may need to examine contracts, comprehend categorization concerns, or decide whether the situation comprises discriminatory practices.

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How to find and hire gig workers?

1. Boost your employer’s reputation

To draw in the modern freelancer as gig worker, it’s necessary to build a brand image that positions your business as a pioneer in employee engagement. However, it’s even more crucial to back up your claims.

There is no denying the importance of image in the freelance economy. According to research, 35% of gig workers learn about opportunities from their peers. As a result, one traumatic image could cost you important recommendations. If companies in the sector want recruitment efforts to be more successful and to lower the cost of acquiring, they must do more for their contingency labor.

Creating effective measures with health insurance, sick pay, and concrete rewards will go a long way in demonstrating your appreciation for the capabilities that gig workers provide to your business.

Rewards programs are a fantastic method to engage high-performing employees and draw in new talent. The key to becoming a desirable employer in the digital economy is to have programs in place that recognize and reward the work that freelancers do for your company, whether it’s a driver loyalty card like Uber Pro or offering special partner discounts and chances like GrubHub.

The next stage is to explain why gig workers should work for you through multiple methods after you have these procedures in place. Having a strong online presence that is geared to your on-demand prospects and highlights the advantages of working with your organization should be a key focus. 57% of applicants use social media to assess a company’s employer brand.

2. Encourage learning and growth

The current professional seeks possibilities for growth and skill-upgrading in addition to employment. According to Deloitte data, continual development support is the top perk that millennial job applicants are seeking and the gig economy is no exception.

The belief that gig worker have limited room for advancement is precisely the justification for why on-demand businesses should provide more possibilities for learning and development. Establish a reputation as a company that supports its gig employees and gives them the tools they need to be successful.

But existing education and growth strategies will need to be updated. For this forward-thinking and time-constrained learner learning materials will need to be modified to meet the needs of a modern workforce. Although 59% of businesses still rely on face-to-face training, 74% of on-demand workers seek frequent training in digital skills to advance their job skills.

3. Invest in technology

Anyone interested in enhancing their high-volume hiring strategy will be aware of the value of using technology. However, recruiting in the gig economy necessitates a deeper comprehension of digital hiring practices.

While 65% of young individuals in the US use their smartphones to search for possibilities, 7 out of 10 gig workers claim that it makes it easier for them to find a job. Companies need to look beyond traditional hiring practices and adopt new avenues of recruitment if they want to draw in a demographic that is heavily reliant on technology. As more job searchers turn to social networking sites and business contacts rather than relying on conventional job boards and hiring firms, social recruiting is the newest trend making waves in the recruitment industry.

Choosing the appropriate platforms to use for your recruitment strategy is important, but using technology can also help you streamline operations and make sure you’re focusing on the correct kind of freelancer for your business. It can be challenging to maintain track of applications and stop qualified applicants from falling under the radar when trying to acquire a lot of new talent quickly. Sifting through hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of applications takes time and could be expensive.

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At all stages of the recruitment channel, automating activities by switching to recruitment software like traicie can save a significant amount of time. By handing off tedious duties to intelligent platforms, such as screening applicants or gathering documentation, you can concentrate on selecting the best freelancers for your needs. Hiring managers have the chance to become even more familiar with the requirements of their potential hires and adjust their strategies as a result of the development of big data and AI-driven technologies.

By 2023, it is predicted that 55% of the U.S. workforce will either be gig workers or will have worked independently at some point in their careers due to the gig economy’s rapid growth. Furthermore, 45% of millennials use platforms for gig jobs to locate employment or do business with customers.

With that increasingly strong development, it will not be difficult for businesses to find gig workers for themselves. There are lots of freelance job sites and apps that are classified as career or job focus, ease of use, and cost, namely:

Website Best Features
Upwork Upwork is a sizable marketplace that links freelancers with short- or long-term contract tasks; it is free to register as a freelancer;and it manages all facets of a contract.
Toptal A tough selection procedure offers possibilities for talent.It is free for independent contractors.Freelancers must pass comprehensive skill evaluations.
Freelancer The world’s largest marketplace for freelancers and crowdsourcers, Freelancer manages all contracts;and creating a freelancer account is free.
Guru Targets independent contractors with more experience.Offers nine different types of freelancing.Manages all facets of a contract.
FlexJobs Access to the employee database is unrestricted, and members also get access to tools for their portfolios and resumes. Job search engines are curated for remote-only positions.

Do you know that traicie the best candidate screening tools for recruiters adds both strategic as operational value in the hiring of contractors and gig workers:

  1. Cost of assessment tools – Reduce the cost of surveys.
  2. Objectify wanted traits – Know what skills you exactly need
  3. Internal mobility – Fill more skilled candidates among internal staff
  4. Time to hire – Reduce the number of days a role goes unfilled.
  5. Salary costs – Reduce overall salary costs
  6. Attrition – Reduce the rate of turnover
  7. Recruitment cost – Reduce the general recruitment cost

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