The supposed gig economy is beginning to change the way in which we think about our workforce. As the world of the labour force becomes more flexible, an increasing number of professionals are opting to become freelance contractors who market their skills to businesses, for as long as they are needed.

This new type of worker creates a totally new set of challenges for businesses to manage. These professionals tend to require more versatile working arrangements and work-life balance. They are agile and don’t wish to be tied to the traditional 9-5 operating day. As such, employers will have to change how they think about their HR policies.

Planning ahead
If you want to use contractors and flexible workers you should create a plan for how you intend to allocate costs associated with them. In addition, you should agree a process by which you can set objectives and track deliverables and achievement of key milestones

Work with the right partners
If you are going to use a recruitment agency to help you to employ contract workers, look for those agencies that truly understand the flexible employment market. Do your due diligence and make sure they have experience of working with businessesoperating  within your industry.

Cost drivers

Contract employees can help you to reduce talent prices. As well as employment agencies, there are various online resources available such as Freelancers and Upworkers that allow independent contractors to put forward their services and costs to your firm to work on your projects. This can help give you access to some of the best talent around albeit at a lower cost.

Utilise technology
Technology plays a key role in managing the versatile and mobile workforce that will be required by the gig economy. Contractors will need to be provided with access your systems and data. The business must consider whether they will use their own equipment or whether its best that they are allocated  company-owned equipment such as a laptop for the duration of their contract. The business should also consider security and ensure that company data held on any contract worker’s devices can be managed remotely if required.

The companies which are best able to plug into this rapidly expanding talent pool will be able to access skills that may previously have been inaccessible to them. As an example, some contractors may have broad experience gained from working on projects at several international companies that can be of great benefit to your firm