Recruiting gig workers for the front line – possible or not? 

09 May Recruiting gig workers for the front line – possible or not? 

Whether we are talking about in-person customer service, call centres, or remote IT support, your front line employees are the face of your company. These workers are the cornerstone of your business as their keen social skills and flair for customer service contributes to the continuous delivery of exceptional service. However, as a 2015 study by freelancing platform Upwork found that almost one-third of the Australian workforce is comprised of freelancers or ‘gig’ workers [1], how does this affect your front line? 

The ‘Gig Economy’ is the result of a generational shift from full time employment being the ‘ideal’, which has seen a greater emphasis on flexibility while at work. Short-term ‘gig’ work is typically enabled through apps and technology platforms such as Uber or Airtasker that see people engaged in work through online platforms. 

However, there are no limits to what the Gig Economy can encompass, and we argue that gig work can be just as beneficial to the front line than to app- and technology-based work that gig work originated from. The Gig Economy is disrupting traditional industries, and now is the time to think critically about gig work in your organisation. In this way, let us consider three advantages of incorporating the Gig Economy into your front line, as well as some of their potential drawbacks. 

1. Scalability 

There will always be an ebb and flow in business, with peak periods driving the need for extra staff at certain times. Hiring gig workers for your front line can help to alleviate particularly busy periods from holiday seasons in retail, to short-term projects and campaigns, thus making it easy to adjust worker payroll with the business. 

But as front line staff are often a customer’s first impression of an organisation, equal care should be made to as their manner should reflect the professional nature of the business, company values, and training. 

2. Cost 

While a gig worker’s hourly rate may seem higher, there is the potential for employers to save on an array of costs usually attributed to hiring permanent staff, such as sick leave, benefits and training costs. 

However, employers should avoid a complete cost-cutting mindset when hiring gig workers. While working remotely or receiving less benefits than their permanent counterparts, your gig workers are still extremely invaluable assets to your business.  

3. Sourcing talent 

It may be the case that gig work can be utilised to hire permanent staff down the line. So if you’re implementing gig work into your business, make it a ‘good’ gig by maintaining good relationships with your gig workers, and let them know if there is a permanent position available if they are the right fit. 

The Gig Economy is here to stay and utilising it for the front line can be achieved to great results. Organisations must make sure that they continue to nurture staff and invest in their talent, to get the most out of their front line workers and give the best possible experience to customers. 

For more ways in which the Gig Economy can benefit your workplace, you can download the full Recruitment Trends Report here: http://futurepeople.com.au/recruitment-trends-report-20172018/ 

 

References  

[1] https://prwire.com.au/pr/55370/nearly-4-1-million-australians-now-freelance-new-survey-finds