The Rise of the Gig Economy: How Recruiters and Job Seekers are Learning to Adapt

The future of work is changing. On-demand work in which employees find isolated work (or “gigs”) through online platforms is gradually encompassing a large part of our ever-shifting economy. While primarily associated with ridesharing apps such as Uber, job-seekers can search for, and find, a whole host of temporary job opportunities.

It’s not only job seekers who have to adapt to the way that the gig economy has changed labor. Recruiters and employers also need to shift their mindset to include, and embrace, gig economy culture.

Gig economy - white desk with items

The gig economy for job seekers

If you’re actively searching for employment, you are likely no stranger to the gig economy. Even if you have never used an on-demand platform, you probably know somebody who has. Here is what you need to know about how the gig economy can shape your job search.

  • It allows you more flexibility. Finding work through the gig economy allows you to fully weigh and consider your career options. It allows you to work for the companies you like while simultaneously making your own schedule.
  • You can expand your talents. If given the opportunity to work in more industries and for more companies, you can gain new skills and contacts.
  • You have to be good at marketing your skills. If your primary income comes from the gig economy, you can only really make good money if you can successfully market yourself and your skills. There are so many people and so many profiles, that it’s necessary to create a profile that stands out.
  • Your taxes get a little more complicated. As a contract worker, your taxes are not withheld. This means that come tax time, you may be responsible for paying a fairly large sum. Most contract workers have to put money aside for each payment that they receive.
  • You have to buy your own health insurance. You do not receive company-benefits; which means that you are responsible for purchasing your own healthcare.
  • Working with a recruiter can be a real benefit. While many freelancers do not consider working with recruiters, they should. The recruiter can help them make contacts with companies and secure work.

What do recruiters and employers need to know about the gig economy?

The gig economy is changing the entire job market, which means that people are searching for careers differently. Traditional hiring practices, while far from growing obsolete, are constantly changing. While workers themselves are not necessarily different, their demands and career paths often are.

For example, potential employees are more frequently skipping out on scheduled interviews. This isn’t necessarily because they’ve grown less responsible. Jason Hamilton, who is the general manager and co-founder of the online marketplace SnagWork, says that workers are simply “coordinating a lot of different things, so whatever job got back to them first, they responded to.”

As a recruiter, you can benefit from better understanding the gig economy, allowing you to better integrate your company with the current economy.

  • You can expand your company’s talent pool. Working with on-demand platforms will allow you to gain access to workers you otherwise would not have. You have easy access to a diverse array of employees.
  • You should prepare your full-time and permanent employees to work alongside temporary hires. While online hiring platforms started by working with small businesses, large corporations are increasingly turning to them to fill their staffing needs. This means that hiring temporary staff is an inevitable part to most companies’ futures. As a result, permanent employees should be able to work alongside gig employees with few difficulties.
  • Workers desire more flexibility. While it was once common for employees to look for a stable company to stick with, workers now crave flexibility in their lives and careers. Hiring through on-demand platforms can allow recruiters to indulge this desire while filling their staffing needs.
  • Your company needs to be more competitive in order to attract full time employees. With the rise of gig-based work and the benefits it provides, competition for top talent is greater. Your company needs to have an attractive culture to attract those who may otherwise opt for the flexibility that on-demand work offers.
  • You can work with freelancers to help them find different positions, or to secure something more permanent. Recruiters can play a vital role in helping freelancers to secure clients and build portfolios. In the future, freelancers may also be looking for something more secure. As a recruiter, you can help them make that transition.

Gig economy - smartphone timer

A traditional 9 to 5, 40 hour work week is no longer the desired normal for many workers. In addition, traditional employment opportunities have decreased. As a result, the gig economy has filled this void in the current economy and is meeting the new worker’s lifestyle and demands. Both job seekers and recruiters will likely need to engage with on-demand hiring practices at some point. If they can more seamlessly integrate with this new work model, workers and employers alike will benefit.

Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon offers Human Capital Strategy Serviceto both individuals and corporations. Our staff is dedicated to our clients’ success via innovative job search processes, employment management strategies, and state-of-the-art technologies. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200