MSP / Contingent Labor

The Rise of Gig Work in 2023

Seamless onboarding processes are a must in a gig work world. 

By Zee Johnson 

Gig work has taken the workforce by storm. According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, 36% of respondents, or 58 million Americans, are independent contractors, a 9% increase over six years.  

Now that more people are turning to non-traditional work, companies need to polish up on their onboarding and background screening strategies to meet the needs of a new workforce. 

Joy Henry, head of technology and business services at Sterling, says that recent global disruptions have attributed to the rise in gig work and have largely impacted the way candidates view career opportunities. Workers worldwide are rethinking how, where, and when they want to work due to the greater amount of remote work possibilities, the growth of the gig economy and contingent work prospects, and the effects of pandemic-driven disruption,” she says. 

But a recent survey by Sterling found that this freedom hasn’t come without issue. Thirty-three percent of hiring and onboarding professionals said that hiring contingent workers is more complicated than hiring traditional workers and 32% said they’re now competing with other/new types of work. 

Henry says that it’s important to sort through these concerns as contingent labor is just as important for workers as it is for businesses. “Employers benefit from gig labor by having access to a qualified talent pool that allows organizations to embrace flexibility and meet customer demand [and] gig workers gain access to new options and flexibility that may not have been previously available,” she says. 

Sterling’s report detailed some key process adjustments and investments organizations are making, including:  

  • 48% are using technology to enhance or simplify the candidate experience; 
  • 41% are integrating background screening and identity verification into their hiring workflows to create a more seamless experience; and 
  • 40% are using technology to further automate their process. 

Henry adds that another key reason for revisiting and investing in onboarding is to keep as many candidates engaged throughout the process as possible. Since the survey found that 85% of gig work candidates either considered dropping out or did drop out of their most recent hiring experience, she advises making the process uncomplicated or risk losing qualified talent. “An easy-to-use and responsive hiring process is important to prevent candidate drop-off. Candidates considering quitting the onboarding process typically think it is too difficult,” she says. “As a result, the background check process must be a seamless element of the hiring process to help avoid losing quality workers in the race for talent. 

She also says that utilizing mobile-friendly, straightforward, and accessible tools can help create a strong candidate experience, too. 

Gig work is the future, and organizations that recognize this and create stellar onboarding processes will establish themselves as industry leaders. “It’s my belief that gig is driving the future of what background screening might look like in five to 10 years from now,” Henry says. “[And] the efficiencies that are driven inside of the gig market are actually helping to develop what the future of background screening will look like for all companies.” 

Tags: MSP & Contingent Labor

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