By LAY HSUAN, LIM and SIAW MEI LI
The gig economy has been gaining global traction as rising access to Internet and cloud technology blurs geographical and demographical boundaries.
In the future of work, young talents look for flexibility and total control of their professional lives.
Often, they shrink from being tied to conventional nine-to-five full-time employment.
The mushrooming of various talent platforms in the digital space like Fiverr, Upwork, Topcoder and Tongal are testament of this disruptive trend in the labour marketplace.
It’s an ocean out there!
Organisations traditionally recruited from limited talent pools, i.e. small and isolated groups of candidates in the market, via conventional talent recruitment methods.
They would wait for candidates to send in their applications and portfolio before an interview is scheduled. But while this might still work for certain industries, many others are going digital to address their human resourcing needs.
These organisations have realised that there is a vast ocean of unlimited talent from around the world.
These talents, also known as free agents, offer their services in a transparent and level-playing field through these online talent platforms. They are out in the open for companies to engage their services based on deconstructed work, as and when it’s needed, and not through full-time employment.
It’s not all fun and freedom, though, for freelance talent bidding for jobs in this virtual open global market. One United States-based online freelancer observed wryly that with overseas competitors underbidding him by so much on platforms like Upwork, he would be earning more working at a fast-food joint.
In Lead the Work: Navigating a World Beyond Employment by John Boudreau, Ravin Jesuthasan and David Creelman, the authors note that some companies are slowly embracing this idea, while others are sitting back and watching from a close distance to test the effectiveness of these platforms.
If you are a company seeking to work with fresh talent pools at competitive rates, are your human resource team and project managers equipped with the digital literacy to evaluate, engage and manage these talents effectively?
If you are a freelancer looking to be the proverbial big fish in a small pond, but in a strategic niche that sets off your unique work experience and skillsets, how are you making sure you stand out to potential clients in a crowded virtual labour marketplace?
Take heed Creelman’s wise words:
Get some low-risk pilots started now so that you don’t fall behind.
As business leaders, how would you respond today? Let us know how your organisation is keeping up with change at email@example.com. To engage us for change management training programmes, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.