Businesses in nearly every industry have come to rely on contingent talent as specialists and flexible experts rather than temps who fill vacant seats during absences, seasonal demands or personnel transitions. With increasing frequency, we’re integrating these skilled contractors into our primary workforces. Yet, we still haven’t integrated them into our internal knowledge systems. And that’s a missed opportunity to tap into their intelligence and ideas, especially as the sharing economy’s[...]
Ah, the side hustle. It’s a buzzword we hear quite often today. A preliminary Google search will bring up hundreds of hits; articles describing how to find new opportunities, testimonials from hustlers that made it big and paid off their debt, even suggestions for finding the best gigs based on your astrological sign (I’m not kidding). The side hustle has become the waving flag of the gig economy, a battle cry shouted from mountain tops and touted as the only way to break free from the 9 to 5. It’s also become an annoying trend, and I’ll tell you why.
Millions of young Americans are experiencing a “quarter-life crisis.” They understand that the economy and the nature of work have changed forever. Economists and researchers continue to wag their fingers at the grim specter of recession, yet I believe something more substantial is taking shape. Workers today seek a calling more than a career. They crave purpose, autonomy and exploration. Managing one’s vocation successfully is no different than managing a business. And that’s why the contingent workforce has the power to help modern talent evolve and achieve their aspirations. As we’ll see, even temporary gigs can forge the foundation of permanent accomplishments. In fact, it’s possible that the Great Recession has spawned a Great Progression in hiring, entrepreneurialism and workforce development.
Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), in its recent tally, projected the number of active U.S. contingent workers to have reached 44 million. In 2015, said SIA President Barry Asin, companies spent upward of $792 billion on non-traditional professionals. The contingent workforce won’t be “temporary” much longer, or even complementary. In many ways, on-demand work will become the norm, especially as Millennials continue to stream into the market. Yet businesses are failing to respond fast enough, even though they champion the use of contingent talent. Contract work is no longer a luxury or a cost-savings strategy for organizations. It’s the new way of business. And companies really aren’t prepared. Contingent workforce program leaders are more essential than ever before. They can’t be considered afterthoughts or support resources or vendors. They are emerging as the key executive figures in the era of agile employment. The notion of a traditional career is becoming a quaint tale we’ll read to our children. If you don’t want your company ending up as a page in that bedtime story, it’s time to partner with these contingent workforce experts.