Research from Robert Half has suggested the growth of the gig economy is making businesses realise the benefits of temporary staffing. Global research by the company reveals business leaders aim to achieve a 66:34 split between permanent and temporary workers by 2023, highlighting how the professional gig economy is transforming traditional staffing and recruitment strategies.
It appears Australia is following a similar trend. With the latest ABS statistics confirming more than one million Australians are classified as independent contractors, Australian hiring managers predict a 70:30 split between permanent and temporary employees by 2023 – a strong indication of the future direction of Australian workplace dynamics.
Robert Half’s research polled over 3,800 business leaders in 12 countries worldwide, and the research found that 97 per cent of business leaders identified benefits of adopting a more flexible approach to recruitment in the years to come, including more control over staffing and recruitment costs (36 per cent), support for long-term absences, such as parental leave, secondments or sick leave (34 per cent), and better management of workload fluctuations (32 per cent).
This compares to 31 per cent who respectively referred to access to new ideas/initiatives to support innovation and providing a stop-gap when permanent hiring takes too long. Furthermore, 30 per cent respectively said flexible recruitment would provide access to technical/niche skillsets and knowledge transfer to existing employees.
The increasing adoption by employers of the gig economy and a flexible workforce is being driven by several factors, mainly by new technologies that allow for greater workplace flexibility such as collaboration tools which offer businesses a more flexible approach to how they manage key project initiatives and workload fluctuations. Other contributing factors include the difficulty of acquiring specific skills on a permanent basis owing to the worldwide war for talent, and the evolving complexity of traditional job roles.
“The gig economy is crucial for addressing businesses’ demands for greater flexibility, both today and in the future,” said Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia. “Growing technological complexity is changing businesses, requiring more specialist and hard-to-find skills, and with traditional job roles evolving rapidly, businesses need to adopt more flexible approaches to recruitment to find the right balance of skills.
“Contract workers are essential for scaling any business and ensuring a contingency workforce,” added Morris. “With the growing split of permanent and contract workers, employers need to ensure they are maximising the benefits of the professional gig economy and embracing the long-term strategic gains that temporary workers provide, such as increased staffing flexibility, access to skills, and better management of workload fluctuations.”