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Managing your workforce within the new gig economy
As contract workers become a vital part of many organisations, it’s important to get the management of this workforce right. There are some slight differences in the way those in the gig economy should be managed, versus the more traditional full-time, permanent positions.
Joshua Wrafter, Managing Director for PageGroup contracting advises organisations of these pointers to manage this evolving workforce.
1. Consider a minimum term of 3 months
A three-month term is probably the minimum contract period you would want to consider. For all the administrative tasks that are involved in onboarding contractors, you probably don’t want to have a contract that is shorter than three months. The industry standard, he said, is between six months to a year although at Michael Page, three-month contracts are possible.
2. Strengthen your backend team
From interviewing contractors to orientating them once you’ve taken them onboard, the administrative tasks can be significant. Joshua advises organisations make sure their administration teams are strengthened and ready to take on these tasks of managing a transient workforce.
3. Be aware of regulatory framework
Companies who are taking on contract workers need to be fully aware of the country’s regulations on transient labour. For instance, what are you are obliged to provide to contract workers with regards to insurance and other work benefits? In Hong Kong, said Joshua, the country’s Labour Department regulates this sector of the workforce quite stringently, cutting out any grey areas and doubts, or potential labour disputes with contract workers.
4. Education is a process
Companies must be prepared to go through the process of education about this new gig economy – its upsides and downsides, learning how to manage it, within the organisation and even outside of it: “Although it is picking up in this part of the world, contracting is still not as accepted as it is in Australia or Europe – so there is still a lot of education to be done,” said Joshua.
The face of the future workforce
Even just another year down this road, the complexion of the global economy could look very different still. The number of contract workers is definitely growing, and the average tenure of full-time workers is falling considerably. While contracting may currently be more pronounced in some industries and not others, bets are on contracting becoming more prevalent across industries and across regions of the world.
Even governments are getting into the game. Beeline, which defines itself as the “world’s largest independent provider of solutions for sourcing and managing the complex world of contingent labour”, recently announced a contract win from the New South Wales government in Australia. Under the contract, Beeline is expected to “deliver an end-to-end solution covering contingent workers and statement of work (SOW) based services, along with volunteer placements.”
“Permanent employment — there’s no such thing anymore. The line will get blurrier and blurrier,” noted Beeline’s senior vice president Brian Hoffmeyer.
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