Gig economy will grow, say half of HR leaders

The use of gig workers on projects and short-term assignments is set to grow, according to the research
The use of gig workers on projects and short-term assignments is set to grow, according to the research

Nearly 40% of companies hire staff on a temporary or project basis, and “gig economy” working is set to grow, according to research from software company Oracle.

Half of HR decision-makers said they will hire more workers on a project basis by 2020, Oracle found, as they opt for greater flexibility and a more specialist range of skills.

Opinion was split, however, as to who should manage and pay for gig economy employees’ training: 40% said it should be the responsibility of the worker, while the same percentage felt the company should pay.

Only 11% of workers felt it was their responsibility to fund and manage their own training and development, while 50% wanted the hiring company to take this on.

More than half (56%) of HR leaders thought one way to support a freelance workforce would be to make training materials publicly available so that they can develop specific skills aligned to open roles.

Andy Campbell, strategy director for human capital management at Oracle, said: “The way we develop talent needs a rethink if UK businesses are to stay on top of their projects and recruit skilled candidates on shorter notice.

“HR leaders who are already playing a more strategic role in the boardroom will now be tasked with finding new ways to match the right people to the right jobs at the right time.”

He added: “Companies need a more fluid talent pool as new technologies disrupt their business models and the way people work. Equally, they need to make it easy for contract workers to add value quickly and collaborate with permanent team members.

“’An open-source approach’ to training for contractors would make it easier to effectively onboard new people so they hit the ground running.”

Companies need a more fluid talent pool as new technologies disrupt their business models and the way people work” – Andy Campbell, Oracle

Some employers, such as consulting firm PwC, have already launched their own talent communities where freelancers can register for upcoming projects.

Oracle’s research was conducted among 250 HR leaders and 1,500 employees across France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UAE and the UK.

A report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation last summer predicted that gig work would add £45 billion to the UK economy and create work for 766,000 people.

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