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Gig economy remains strong, though in-demand skills shift

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Dive Brief:

  • The freelance economy enjoyed a stronger start to the year, as compared to Q1 2019, Freelancer.com’s May 14 quarterly report showed. The job site saw a 21% year-over-year increase in job postings, with the total rising from 410,000 to 497,000.
  • The platform observed a shift in requested skill sets between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. “Whereas in the latest reports we saw a surge in the need primarily for online content, there has been a growing demand in Q1 2020 for other skilled labor such as programming skills, coding, web development, social media development and online marketing, mobile application design, legal-related jobs and home-related skill,” Freelancer.com CEO and Chairman Matt Barrie said.
  • The shift in skill preference may be due to companies’ reassessment of skill utilization or year-end reviews of business practices, the report said. The increased interest in legal writing and advice specifically is thanks to companies’ need to ensure compliance with laws and regulations “related to human resources, consulting agreements, and changing government regulations,” the report concluded.

Dive Insight:

These findings mark somewhat of a turn in organizations’ use of freelancers. A February 2020 report from the Business Talent Group found that project management was the most in-demand skill among independent workers. Rounding out the top five skills were market analysis, process optimization and transformation, advanced analytics and change management.

Freelancer.com also rounded up the five most popular skills, with coding in the lead, followed by building architecture, legal, home design and YouTube. The demand for management fell 30% between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

Regardless of the change in skills requested, the report’s conclusion that use of freelancers remains high may come as good news to gig workers, and to others, as well. Half of respondents in staffing firm Rose International’s February survey said contingent work opens the door for those looking to re-enter the workforce. Given the stark condition of the current employment market, it follows that a strong gig economy could benefit those looking for work.

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Employee retention in the age of gig economy: Organisations need to go the extra mile to make employees feel valued

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With talent pools today becoming more diverse in their age composition and with Gen Z entering the workforce, many prefer to turn gig workers.

By Vipul Singh

The current pace of economic transformation, due to the adoption of newer technologies, has reshaped how people interact with organisations. This, in turn, has relaxed our structured work opportunities, contributing to the furthering of the ‘gig economy’.

According to a research by Intuit, the gig economy constitutes about 34% of the current workforce. The forecast is an increase of up to 43% by the end of 2020. The size of the gig economy is projected to grow by a 17% CAGR and generate a gross volume of $455 billion by 2023.

With talent pools today becoming more diverse in their age composition and with Gen Z entering the workforce, many prefer to turn gig workers. Considering these trends, it is important for an organisation to keep the workforce engaged with multiple programmes and initiatives.

Growth opportunities: A LinkedIn survey of 32 million profiles suggested that there is 62% chance of an employee staying after moving internally, as compared to 45% chance when someone stays in the same role. Another survey suggested that internal opportunities increase the chances of the employee continuing for another 12 months by 48%.

These trends suggest that providing career paths internally boosts employee engagement, which translates into retention.

Employee training and development: Organisations offering training and development to the employees have a 20% lower turnover rate than those that don’t. A designed development programme that focuses on technical and individual development can result in strategic motivation.

Flexibility and work-life balance: Incorporating technology in daily processes gives employees more autonomy over their work and provides the organisation with access to global talent. This results in greater work satisfaction and decreased chances of employee turnover to the gig economy.

Technology for productivity: When partnered in the right way with employees, technology can improve the overall efficiency, while helping create more bandwidth for them to do more meaningful work. By doing work that adds value, employees can test their capabilities, come out of their comfort zone and accelerate their growth. Encouraging employees to leverage such opportunities will build trust and accountability amongst the workforce.

Competitive benefits: The prime advantage of having a traditional job on a permanent basis is the benefits that come along with it.

Family health cover with an option to add parents/parents-in-law, child care, infant care, higher education assistance, transport during maternity are some of the benefits organisations must consider. A comprehensive benefits package will be hard to give up for many.

Gig economy will continue to expand due to the ever-growing opportunities and the rise of platforms that facilitate personalised remote working. Hence, organisations need to go the extra mile to communicate, engage and make employees feel valued to retain them.

The author is vice-president & head of HR & Communications, ADP Pvt Ltd

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Gig workers face shifting roles, competition in pandemic – Fox11online.com

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6 Gig Economy Jobs Perfect for Military Spouses

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The gig economy is an area where military spouses can thrive. For all of the reasons that the rest of the world shy away from Independent Contractor jobs, military spouses rush towards them. Flexible hours? Yes, please. Work from anywhere? Sounds great. No benefits? Don’t really need those.

For the past few years, the military spouse employment issue has been offset just a bit by the gig economy. Companies like Instant Teams and Wise Advise + Assist have made it their mission to connect military spouses with jobs in the gig economy. And it’s working.

While a gig economy job may not be the long term career solution you ultimately want, it’s great if you’re looking to make some cash while staying flexible.

Interested in a gig economy job? Here are six of them that military spouses should consider.

Millie Scout

If you’re a military spouse with some experience moving and a desire to help other spouses iron out the details of their next move, you may enjoy becoming a Millie Scout. With an average pay of $50 to $75 per job you can put your social media and tech skills to work performing tasks like reviewing houses and neighborhoods, checking in on rental properties and walking through properties for your fellow military spouse. This gig economy job can move with you and you’ll be connected with over 130 other Scouts to help you grow your professional network.

Virtual Assistant

Many military spouses have discovered the potential for jobs as a virtual assistant (VA). What does a virtual assistant do? Almost anything, but typically the time-consuming and sometimes tedious tasks that business owners and other people are too busy to do well. These tasks range from data entry to answering emails to transcription.

If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant, there’s a free online class designed by military spouse Esther Inman. Inman’s website also has tips to land VA jobs, and she adds resources via social media almost every day.

Online English Teacher

The option of teaching English online has made its way through all of the military spouse groups, but it is still a good option. From VIPKid to Cambly to Boxfish, there are many options. If you don’t have a degree or experience, Cambly is the one for you. They pay $0.17 a minute and you can work as much as you want. (Hourly that comes out to about $10.)

VIPKid, where you can teach one-on-one or group lessons, pays from $14 to $22 an hour, based on your availability and experience within the company. Of course, you’re teaching children in another time zone, so this may not work for everyone.

Boxfish is another option for teaching English to Chinese students. You can teach on-demand or scheduled classes with up to four students and each $10 per 25-minute session. Both VIPKid and Boxfish require a degree and some teaching experience.

Freelance Writer

There are varying degrees of freelance writers, some who freelance full time and some who write just a few pieces a month. Either way, if you’re interested in writing within the military spouse community, check out newly revamped NextGen MilSpouse.

NextGen focuses on the challenges of today’s milspouse entrepreneur. They are looking for the best of the best within the writing community as they are a trusted resource. They pay $50 per guest post, which is pretty standard within the milspouse community. Check out what they’re looking for specifically on their website.

Delivery Driver

One new(ish) gig economy job is driving for Shipt or Instacart. Just like the other jobs, you can set your own hours, choose when and where you want to take orders. Veteran spouse Shauna Hill says it’s a great way for her to get out of the house when her husband is home and still make some money. Hill drives for Shipt.

“The pay is pretty decent too, the more work you put in the better you get paid. You will start to gain “regular” customers based on how they rate you as a shopper. The better your rating the more orders you are offered. It’s hard to put an average rate on it, but I typically get about $15-20 an order and it takes about an hour to complete most shops and deliveries.”

PCS Mentor

If you are looking for a way to help military spouses during their PCS, another option is to become a PCS Mentor with MilHousing Network. By connecting with spouses throughout the PCS process, you’ll be able to help them with things besides buying or selling a home. This position is great for the military spouse who likes to connect with others, makes friends easily and has personal experience with finding a rental home or buying/selling a home.

Gig economy jobs come in all forms. Some of them may lead to longer, more permanent jobs and some may be good just for a season. Just like some houses and some duty stations.

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–Rebecca Alwine can be reached at rebecca.alwine@monster.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebecca_alwine.

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