The gig economy, also sometimes referred to as the freelance economy, is among the most rapidly emerging trends in job markets across the globe. And the Canadian job market is no exception to this trend. According to a study, the gig economy in Canada grew from constituting 5.5% of the total workforce in 2005 to 8.2% in 2016. And, experts predict that it will continue to grow to contribute 45% of Canada’s workforce in 2020. But, why is this trend of the gig economy gaining so much traction? The answer lies in the benefits that the gig economy provides both gig workers and employers. For instance, workers get the benefits of flexible work hours and variety of work. And for businesses, it provides benefits like specialized talent and cost advantage.
What is beneficial for candidates and employers mostly has the same impact on job boards. Thus, the growing gig economy also has a lot in store for Canada’s job boards. And job boards should grab all the opportunities provided by the gig economy with both hands.
What Canada’s job boards can expect from the gig economy
The freelance economy has created a shift in the job markets that has led to the growth of on-demand services, which are increasingly impacting the global workforce and thereby impacting job boards.
Increase in the hiring frequency
The gig economy has become the buzzword in job markets. It primarily works on project-based hiring of candidates. Gigs are short term tasks, assignments, or jobs that can vary anywhere from hourly work or contractual projects spanning multiple months.
It has been a long since candidates have started working as full-time freelancers. They work on a variety of tasks for different employers, and their cumulative earnings can be equal to that of full-time employment or at least enough for their expenses. And there are some others who take short term gigs for additional income on the side along with full-time employment. No matter how candidates are approaching gigs, whether as full-time employment or short term work, it increases the hiring frequencies. Also, candidates who leverage the gig economy often cite flexibility and independence as their biggest appeal. And that clearly shows that workers want to have a shorter contract with employers so that they can work on a variety of projects. And, that increases the frequency of workers changing their jobs which further increases the hiring frequency.
Businesses are segmenting their operations into several smaller tasks so that they can hire highly specialized candidates for every task. The gig economy also provides an opportunity for employers to rapidly scale their business without a huge investment. For instance, they can hire gig workers for less frequent tasks like database management, blogging, website design, and logistics, instead of hiring full-time employees for these tasks. And, employers prefer hiring new individuals for every gig so that they can get the best talent for every task, which increases the hiring frequency.
Since the gig economy means shorter tenure and increased hiring frequencies, it results in more influx of employers looking for workers and vice versa. And job boards can take this opportunity by incorporating features that can help both these stakeholders. For instance, they can add a resume or portfolio builder on their job boards. Employers can proactively find resumes based on the skills required, instead of waiting for job seekers to apply. Thus, job boards can help reduce hiring time for employers.
Possibility to generate more traffic
Gigs provide an opportunity for businesses to hire the best talent for a specific task at a low cost. And, this has encouraged employers to hire gig workers for achieving their business goals. The majority of businesses are embracing remote freelancer teams. The gig-based hiring of individuals is contributing to more and more availability of jobs. And this ever-increasing availability of jobs has an opportunity for job boards to increase the traffic on their websites. Job boards can scrap all the available gig jobs so that candidates can find all of them in one place.
Job boards will also have an opportunity to gain candidates’ trust and ensure that they apply for other gigs through their websites. A small part of the salary of a full-time employee is deducted by employers to help them comply with tax regulations. But, freelancers receive direct payment for their skills. Hence, job boards can help candidates track the wages they received for gigs applied on their site and help them comply with tax laws that are applicable. Thus, job boards can build candidates’ trust in their websites, ensuring long-term relationships with them.
Opportunity to build exclusive partnerships
Along with many benefits of the gig economy come a few drawbacks. For instance, all the gig workers are not reliable. And, that is one of the biggest challenges that hold back some businesses from hiring gig workers. Since gig working is a short term contractual work, some freelancers might put less hard work as compared to a full-time employee. And that’s where job boards can come into the picture and create an opportunity for an exclusive partnership with some employers and proactively do some checks about workers’ previous gigs and help them find reliable workers. Also, more contracts mean more paperwork to be handled by employers. Some contracts require written statements for ending them, and some others are “at-will” contracts, which means either employers or workers can terminate the contracts whenever they want. Thus employers might need partners who can handle all the paperwork for them, and job boards can be that partners for them.
Some candidates also include extra skills in their resume to get more gigs. According to a survey, eight out of ten employers find resume fraud instances. Job boards can conduct pre-tests to reduce instances of resume fraud. Thus, job boards can help businesses to reach out to specialized talent.
Opportunity for increasing revenue
Businesses hire specialized talent for gig workers as they want to get the most specific skill set for a gig. Candidates are, therefore, learning specific skills and getting micro-credentials. Micro-credentials are certifications for small skills that are provided on completing a specific learning course for that skill. Job boards can leverage this increase in demand for micro-credentials and partner with some of the micro-learning providers to increase revenue. If candidates want to apply for a gig but do not have the skills and want to learn them, then job boards can redirect them to micro-learning providers. Thus, job boards can partner with micro-learning providers and grab this opportunity to increase their revenue.
What Canada’s job boards need to do to leverage the gig economy
The gig economy is here, and it is here to stay. Current trends point out towards a job market dominated by freelancers. And, although typically, freelance jobs may be perceived as being limited to writing, graphic design, or other types of creative work, freelance work is expanding to more sectors. Also, the younger generation is actively becoming a part of the gig economy. Based on a study, 40% of Canada’s millennials are part of the gig economy, which means that the trend will intensify in the near future. Hence, Canada’s job boards should adapt to the growing gig economy and account for it while developing strategies. But to adapt to the gig economy and grab the opportunities, they need the most premium job board software in Canada so that they can help them keep up with the demands of the gig economy. For instance, premium scraping tools like the ones developed by Propellum can help them auto-scrap and post all the available jobs at once, allowing job board owners to focus on more important tasks.