Along with that flexibility and freedom, gig workers often bring specialized skills. Many times, they've worked on projects, applications and new technology or taken the time to learn skills independently because it will help them advance their career; a "luxury" some full-time workers don't have the time for or aren't provided access to.
"A lot of times, people available and looking for work in the gig economy have skills, experience, knowledge that in-house teams don't have, just by virtue of the fact that they've been out there in a different way. And a lot of ways, those skills and knowledge are going to be more advanced than what's found in a traditional enterprise," says West.
Of course, workers in the gig economy who don't have traditional full-time jobs are giving up some stability and security; paid sick leave, a 401K, paid vacation time and the like.
And there are horror stories, of course -- gig economy workers being overworked to the point of burnout, or being underpaid, or expected to shoulder burdens they're not contractually obligated to carry. "This is a problem. There are going to be companies who don't understand that employees -- gig economy or not -- are not just cogs in a wheel, not just gears to grind down; they're people, making a living and supporting their families. But those companies won't stay successful for very long if they treat their people that way, and they certainly won't be an employer of choice for anyone," Miles says.
A crowdsourcing approach offers a fresh approach to talent management and closing the IT skills gap, and can benefit both businesses and IT workers. Much of your workforce may already be in the gig economy -- shouldn't you give it a try?
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