Working in the gig economy is a popular career choice, particularly since COVID. Why? Ultimate flexibility, choosing who you work with, and being in complete control of how much money you’re making — to name a few. Workers enjoyed the flexibility that COVID offered, working from home became more attractive, no commute, money saved on lunches, midday showers — the list goes on.
And after the great resignation, employers are starting to turn to gig economy workers. And why not? They can access global talent quickly, and there are many freelancers to choose from. According to a survey by Upwork, 10 million people are considering joining the already 57 million strong freelance community in the US.
But the power lies with the casual worker; why should they bother working with you when there are so many organizations out there?
This blog shares four tactics to help you recruit (and retain) gig economy workers.
#1 Improve your employer brand
According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research report, 80% of workforce leaders agree that a strong employer brand significantly impacts their ability to hire a great workforce. 80% is pretty significant, so improving your employer branding should be high on your priority list.
So how can you improve? You can start with an employer brand audit to understand gaps and identify any areas for improvement. Because before you can improve how your brand is perceived, you need to know how it’s currently performing — what do staff, prospective employees and other stakeholders think about your brand?
Encouraging honest and perhaps anonymous feedback can help you re-shape your employer brand from the ground up.
#2 Use chatbots to answer candidate questions
The average gig worker doesn’t work a solid 9-5; they might work early mornings, evenings, and weekends. This means you need to be available when they’re looking for answers to recruitment questions.
Using chatbots means you’re open 24/7, mimicking human phrases; the bot makes the candidate feel like they’re talking to a real person. This way, they can get answers to questions about your hiring process quickly.
Chatbots can also help you with unbiased pre-screening of gig economy workers; 21% of Asian candidates got callbacks after they’d whitened their resumes. Familiarity is comfortable, but it’s not a key indicator that they’ll perform well at the job. You need to eliminate this kind of thinking when hiring. You’re hiring someone to do a great job, so your biases need to be put aside.
#3 Invest in automation
Poor client communication is a common gripe for many gig economy workers. But, understandably, you can’t keep in touch with each prospective hire personally, and that’s where automation is your friend.
Build comms automation strategies and candidate pipelines to engage and nurture your talent pool in your CRM. This way, you’ll become more familiar with all potential hires, which means you can fine-tune your hiring strategy in the future.
#4 Improve and refine your freelancer process
Only 50% of freelancers say clients know how to work with freelancers effectively [PDF], and to retain the best talent, you need to refine and improve this process; otherwise, word will get around. From onboarding to giving clear feedback, you need to learn what they want from you and deliver it.
Talk to freelancers on your books, learn what they’d find helpful from your processes and build it into them. The gig economy is a close network where freelancers share stories about clients and discuss projects they’re working on. If you can give them a superior experience with your organization, there’s a good chance your reputation for hiring gig economy workers will become well known.
If you’re feeling daunted at the prospect of hiring gig economy workers, don’t be. It’s pretty much the same as hiring for any new position; casual workers are looking for reliable clients with clear communication, interesting projects, and good pay.
And just like when you hire an employee, you need to understand what they want out of a freelance gig, so you can tailor your job advertisements and build automated communication for all points of the talent acquisition process.
Looking for more free recruiting tips? Download our e-guide: High volume recruiting strategies to secure casual workers – fast.