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Thursday, 11 April 2019 23:28

Global, Australian employers increasingly using ‘gig economy’ despite concerns: report

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Global, Australian employers increasingly using ‘gig economy’ despite concerns: report Image courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With the growing acceptance of the so-called "gig economy" workforce in Australia, newly published research reveals that Australian hiring managers predict a 70:30 split between permanent and temporary workers by 2023.

But the predictions don’t only apply to Australia, with the research, commissioned by recruitment firm Robert Half, revealing that a further survey of more than 3800 businesses around the world found global employers were aiming for almost a third (66:34 split) of their employees to be temporary workers in four years’ time.

According to Robert Half, the rise of Web-based platforms, such as Freelancer and Airtasker, in sourcing temporary resources in the professional gig economy has made it easier to find the talent that businesses need, with 94% of global business leaders (and 90% of Australian businesses) sourcing contract workers from online job platforms.

But, many of those polled cited several perceived problems with the new online platforms. The most common concerns include no guarantee of the standard of work (41%), a lack of alignment/understanding of the company (38%), concern on their eligibility to work (37%), unclear expectations of the service (28%) and the perception that contract workers are only freelancing because of their inability to find a permanent job (28%).  

Robert Half says it is essential for companies to find solutions to alleviate these concerns and secure the best candidates as 95% of global hiring managers (and 93% of Australian businesses) expect to hire a freelancer or temporary professional for projects using an online platform by 2023.

“During times of economic uncertainty, organisational change or during peak workloads, hiring temporary workers is an effective short-term solution to filling critical skills gaps,” says Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia.

“As the world of work continues to evolve and skilled professionals seek out greater flexibility in their roles and careers, businesses can this to their advantage and build up their contingency workforce to fill essential skills gaps.

“Hiring managers still need to be cautious when sourcing talent from online platforms as not every online recruitment platform is the same, and it pays to research any recruitment partner very carefully.

“The hiring process should not only evaluate a candidate’s skill and experience level, but also whether or not they will make a good cultural fit – something that can be achieved through a rigorous sourcing and hiring process where human expertise continues to play a vital role.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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