The gig economy has been growing worldwide for several decades, and is set to grow exponentially, propelled by technology and a growing preference for working from home (WFH).

The Covid-19 lockdown has been the latest stimulus driving the change.

Companies globally are turning toward this agile staffing option. In fact, companies that embrace the gig economy have a competitive advantage over those that don’t, says Diane Mulcahy, author of The Gig Economy and a consultant to Fortune 500 firms.

“Businesses that are open to incorporating independent workers into their workforce are better positioned to recruit the talent they need, build a more productive workforce, and create a corporate culture focused on performance,” Mulcahy adds.

Traditional recruitment and talent sourcing will have to adapt. “We need to completely reinvent the way we acquire talent – strategically, quickly, completely,” says Sjoerd Gehring, global vice-president of talent acquisition and people experience at Johnson & Johnson. He adds “we need to drastically reduce the recruiting cycle [with] a better recruiting process and technology.”

Jeff Schwartz, Deloitte’s global leader for human capital marketing, eminence and brand, agrees: “Businesses today expect agility, scale and the right skills on demand.”

This imperative was foreseen by Dynamic Talent’s Managing Director, Candice Clark, who launched her gig-model business in 2016, and subsequently sold 51% shares to software and technology group Dynamic Technologies in 2019 at the age of 31.

Clark explains their recruiting model as occupying the space between recruitment agencies and internal recruiters, while allowing clients control of the extent to which they outsource their recruitment and HR functions.

Some organisations have turned to online platforms to connect with freelancers. However, sourcing from online platforms disrupts traditional recruitment practices, which requires new strategies for sourcing and onboarding, cautions Mulcahy.

Clark agrees: “If remote recruitment is to work, expert selection tools become pivotal. The appropriate selection methodologies, as well as recruiters with a sound knowledge of remote recruitment models, are critical.”

If your company is moving with these winds of change, what is the best way to tap into these on-demand workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and consultants – including outsourcing your talent acquisition specialists?

Firstly, your company will need to quickly ramp up the use of video-call technology for remote recruitment, as well as customised applicant tracking systems, explains Clark. Secondly, resources and skills need to be accompanied by high-quality KPI scorecards and competency-based interview questions tailored to organisational goals and culture. With this in place, your business will be set up for quality candidate selection – and lead the way into a new era of talent acquisition.