It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say the role of today’s hiring managers has changed since the onset of the 21st century. What was once a fairly straightforward position has been complicated by a rising ‘gig’ economy—highlighted by the explosion of interim and contract-to-hire positions, and tools and technology tied to telecommuting jobs.
As this is a topic that could be analyzed ad infinitum, for these purposes we’ll narrow the factors affecting modern hiring down to three of the most crucial influencers.
The Rising Gig Economy
Also dubbed the Freelance Nation and the On-Demand Economy, the Gig Economy describes a labor market that is no longer affixed to permanent life-time careers and instead reacts to new opportunities and burgeoning industries. Think, for example, of someone deciding to drive for Uber rather than driving for a cab company for two decades; or a couple that rents their guest house out on AirBNB rather than working for Marriott or Hilton.
Many workers enjoy the freedom and flexibility of this new dynamic, and it also works well for companies seeking to fill part-time and interim positions where they might not have a permanent need for full-time staff.
Tied to this gig economy is the rise of interim workers and contract (and contract-to-hire) employees. Flexibility has replaced permanence in the workforce. While there are some possible negative perceptions to this, many workers seem to enjoy the freedom of working ‘gigs’ and numerous companies appreciate the money they save on benefits, paid vacations and so forth. Organizations also appreciate the chance to check out a worker’s skill set before committing to them full-time, something that remote, interim and contract-to-hire positions provide.
Additionally spurring the move to a gig economy is the never-ending and quickening rise of technology that makes working remotely much easier than it was even 10 years ago. With countless platforms aimed at improved long-distance communication—such as videoconferencing—as well as document and information sharing, there isn’t much difference in having a co-worker working across the country rather than just down the office hallway.
This improved connectivity has removed the geographic restraints from the hiring world and made it possible for essentially any organization to consider remote employees. Many of these types of workers are hired on a ‘contract-to-hire’ or interim basis, further catalyzing the gig/on-demand job landscape.
What does it all mean?
Most experts foresee an ongoing rise of the gig economy, meaning hiring managers and others in the recruitment field will implement a staff that is at least partially on-demand. As technology improves and more and more workers embrace the freedom of a gig-driven working world, we are likely to see even more office positions shifting from permanent, full-time on-site roles to far-more fluid positions.
While the positives and negatives of this constantly influx hiring landscape could be debated forever, it is clear that both companies and workers will need to become more flexible with their demands—and that companies agile enough to adapt quickly will have a clear edge when it comes to recruitment possibilities.