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Hiring Gig Workers in a High-Volume Recruiting Environment – Are You Prepared?

October 9, 2021

By Sheila Hoover, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

What are ‘Gig’ workers?  And what is a ‘Gig’ Economy?  New trends in the business world? Maybe; however, it has actually been a thing since 2009 when New Yorker editor Tina Brown, defined the “gig economy” as knowledge economy workers pursuing “a bunch of free-floating projects, consultancies, and part-time bits and pieces while they transacted in a digital marketplace.” With the holiday season approaching quickly, many organizations are facing a need for high volume recruiting in a highly competitive job market.  Gig workers might be an important part of the solution.

According to Recruitics, “Today, 59 million Americans performed some level of freelance work in 2020, representing 36% of the U.S. workforce, an increase of 2 million freelancers since 2019.” 

Between COVID changing the workplace landscape to more remote and hybrid schedules, to Gen Z seemingly preferring part-time or full-time freelance opportunities, it doesn’t look like the gig economy is going away. Instead, it will most likely continue to grow.

High-volume recruiting is a monumental task for human resources teams.  Whether you are hiring call center classes of 20 every 2 weeks, or a few thousand seasonal employees, there are many challenges to overcome.  Gig workers, and technology, can provide solutions to make these challenges easier during the recruiting process.

You need to strategize how to fill a high number of positions with quality candidates. The number of applicants in high-volume recruiting can be very overwhelming; however, it is imperative that HR teams take the time to recruit the best candidates for the positions.  If you settle for a body, there will be challenges throughout their employment including turnover.  These challenges and turnover end up costing the company more money in the long run. 

Gig workers can be a temporary solution to fill positions quickly, with qualified candidates.  HR may contract with an agency who specializes in the skillset you need, and they might have a large pipeline of available candidates.  Another solution is to hire gig workers to complete urgent tasks while you take the time to find the quality, direct hire candidates your company needs.

ATS platforms can make the tasks of identifying, screening, scheduling, and communicating with candidates and hiring managers more efficient.  As you strategize your process, ensure the job postings are accurate and simple.  Be sure to include company benefits, compensation, flexible work options, and any other perks candidates will find intriguing about your company.  Also, if you are targeting gig workers, ensure to include that information in your postings.

Quick communication is imperative in today’s market, and competition is fierce.  Make sure you follow up promptly, using your ATS automated response options.  Ensure your ATS is mobile friendly.  This way your candidates can quickly respond no matter where they are.  ASE has found that candidates respond faster with a text versus an email or telephone call.

“Having a strategy is essential. Multiplying human efforts with technology is as well. But, neither will make your high-volume hiring process seamless while producing the desired results, unless you stay consistent through the year,” says Recruitics.

Most likely, based on your company’s past recruiting seasons, you know when your typical high-volume recruiting season begins.  This means HR teams must be working on building their pipelines throughout the year.  Build relationships with the agency you will need.  Conduct a passive search for gig workers and let them know approximately when you will need their services.  Consistently conduct talent screens and encourage applicants to apply to your website.  Completing these practices throughout the year will enable you to skip this step and immediately start the hiring process when the time comes.

During your process, ensure you are documenting metrics on what strategies are working and what may not be working.  You may need to tweak your strategy as each high-volume recruiting season begins, to ensure you are using the most effective methods you learned from past efforts.

As Recruitics says, “Having a strategy, the right technology, and staying consistent in your recruiting efforts can help you conquer high-volume hiring roadblocks.”  Being open to gig employees can help fill your positions quickly with qualified candidates. Give it a try!

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