Startup News Magazine

3 reasons why the gig workforce is integral to new-age internet companies

By: Ms. Kajal Malik, Co-Founder and CSO at PickMyWork

The gig workforce is the culmination of many new-age internet companies breaking away from traditional hiring variables in which qualifications and expertise used to be the most critical requirements. However, the modern gig model shatters non-contemporary talent acquisition and management approaches. Most freelancing employees may not have conventional degrees but possess native skills and can perform their jobs exceptionally well. As per the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020, millennials and Gen Z value job experience over monetary perks. The data projects that 53 per cent of Gen Z (people between the ages of 18 and 22) and 40 per cent of millennials choose to freelance.

India is the new frontier of this revolution, with all the ingredients required for the gig economy to thrive: the world’s youngest population, rapid urbanization, widespread adoption of smartphones & associated technology and inexpensive internet. The gig economy is expected to employ 77 lakh (7.7 million) people in 2020-21. By 2029-30, the gig economy is expected to grow to 2.35 crore (23.5 million) workers. In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the gig economy has proven its adaptability and prospect by continuing to unveil millions of jobs to help businesses survive and grow sustainably. Here are 3 reasons why the gig workforce is integral to new-age internet companies:

Formal Contract

Despite the fact that gig work has proven to be a profitable business model for new-age internet companies, the rise of the gig economy has voiced doubts about how workers should be treated, and not everyone believes that gig workers are an essential part of the hiring company. Many fail to understand that gig workers sign contracts with on-demand new-age internet companies to assist the company’s clients. The potential client requests the services or solutions offered through a website or in-house application that helps them find service providers, i.e. gig workers. When the gig workers service the request, they perform the service on behalf of the company and are paid for it. This leads to reduced admin costs and efforts in the organisation’s people management. It provides a compelling reason to ensure that the gig workers in the organization are heard and treated well. This, in turn, manifests in reduced exploitation and normalizes the imbalance of power (to an extent). Over time, this can only improve, which will power the flywheel to bring more gig workers into the ecosystem.

Performing specialized task

Gig workers are an essential cog in the wheel of new-age internet companies, contributing specialized skills when needed. Companies value them since they are available to perform tasks efficiently and even fill temporary positions without the obligations towards a full-time employee. Gig workforce, in conjunction with the WFH model and internet technologies, is assisting organizations in supplementing their existing channels of talent and increasing business traction, particularly in light of the Post-Covid-19 pandemic. As traditional jobs are replaced by newer forms of labour utilization and job type, quick skilling of the gig workforce is also crucial in facilitating the excellent ROI for the gig workers and the organizations employing them.

Capacity to Scale Quickly

The gig economy is the best route for many startups and small & medium enterprises to scale operations. As many startups can’t afford to buy office space or hire a human resources department, the decision to deploy hundreds of gig workers with the click of a button becomes a natural choice. Gig workers keep overhead costs low and productivity high so that new-age internet companies can quickly scale or enter new markets. In addition, new-age internet companies in the e-commerce, food-tech, pharma-tech and fintech sectors are increasingly utilizing gig workers to expand deeper into tier 2 and 3 markets which offer new business opportunities. The other alternative: to hire and maintain full-scale teams on fixed costs would be a non-starter for many companies looking to scale up.

There is no denying that the new culture of the gig workforce is metamorphosing the way people work. As gig workers play a vital role in assisting organizations in charting their growth trajectory, new-age internet companies must ensure that gig workers’ rights are protected and respected. While the policy framework will take time to catch up, all companies connected to the gig ecosystem must realize that it makes good business sense to spend resources on keeping the gig ecosystem free of exploitation and inequalities. Not only will it keep regulatory interference at a minimum, but it will also ensure that the gig way of life continues to grow and become an established way of earning a living in the digital era.