Should employers worry about the Gig Economy?

New data from Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends Study has found that despite the fact that the majority of full-time employees (77%) said they would consider working on a contingent or contract basis, both the C-suite and HR leaders reported that they do not expect the gig-economy to have a major impact on their own business in the next two years.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, over the last decade the number of self-employed workers in the UK has surged from 3.8 million to nearly 4.7 million. The figure has risen by 174,000 in the last year alone with 15% of the entire UK workforce now self-employed.

Employers must recognise the rise of the ‘gig-economy’ – and implement strategic workforce planning strategies to reflect this shift. Lisa Forrest, Global Head of Internal Talent Acquisition, at Alexander Mann Solutions, said;

“As Mercer’s study shows, the disconnect between the intentions of employees and business leaders around the rise of contracting as a career choice is stark. Consequently, organisations which do not recognise the rise of the flexible workforce risk finding themselves in a situation where they are unable to access the skills their business needs to thrive.”

“The rise of the ‘gig-economy’ is encouraging a more ‘Uber-esque’ approach to recruitment – and workforce planning strategies must respond to reflect this. Employers who embrace the rise of the flexible workforce will benefit from being in a position to bring on board specialist skills to help manage demand without the burden of permanent headcount costs. Those who ignore the rise of the gig-economy do so at commercial risk.”

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