Is On-Demand Work Right For Your Business?

Talent Acquisition

Hiring decisions can make or break a business. Talent acquisition needs to find the right candidates with the right experience to fill key positions, yet in a world of continuous innovation, how can they account for the skills needed in the future?

This dilemma is what accounts for a surge in companies hiring on-demand workers like freelancers, temps, consultants, and contractors. These types of workers are typically experts in narrow fields like Google Ads or video production.

Employers don’t want to commit to something expensive that isn’t providing the services they need. This is the same reason millions of cable customers cut the cord and start streaming their favorite movies and television shows online. They don’t want or need the total package. Instead, they opt for paying a lower rate and getting specialized services.

READ: The Great Resignation: How to Get Women Back to Work

Learn about the rise of on-demand work and the advantages and disadvantages of using it for your business:

Job Hopping Is the New Normal

Long gone are the days of employees dedicating their working lives to the same company. Today, most workers plan on finding new positions every two to five years. They job hop to receive higher salaries, more senior level positions, and to learn more cutting-edge skills.

Another reason is that Millennials saw the effects the 2008 Great Recession had on the Baby Boomers who lost their jobs within a few years of retirement. Many of them no longer believe in the notion of job loyalty.

One survey found that 64% of workers favored job hopping, which was a 22% increase from 2014.

Here’s the problem for companies: how can they invest in equipping junior staff with the latest skills if it’s clear they’re going to jump ship in the next few years?

Enter, on-demand work. If a company needs someone to develop a mobile app or optimize its search engine optimization (SEO), it can hire freelancers or contractors who specializes in that field.

Their rate will ultimately be cheaper than hiring a full-time employee with benefits. If things aren’t working out, it’s much easier to show them the door.

READ: A Solution for the Talent Shortage

Pros and Cons of On-Demand Work

This type of job market is also known as the “gig economy.” It may sound like the solution to all of your troubles, but nothing is perfect. On-demand work has its own limitations and disadvantages that you need to consider before moving forward.

The benefits of using on-demand workers include:

● The costs are lower working with a freelancer or contractor.
● These workers are highly specialized versus in-house workers, who likely possess a generalized knowledge of the skill you need.
● They can be onboarded quickly with the right management software in place.
● The number of on-demand workers can easily be scaled up or down depending on what’s happening with your business.

The two biggest challenges with on-demand workers is project quality and reliability. It’s easy to hire people who appear skilled and experienced on paper, but they may not meet expectations. After all, freelancers work outside of the company culture. They may not gain the institutional knowledge or understanding to produce as well as someone who gets fully immersed in the business. 

Still, the good news is that if the you’re unhappy with the freelancer, then you can end the arrangement any time. That gets trickier with contracts.

Reliability is another complaint. Companies may discover that an on-demand workers aren’t turning in work on time, not communicating effectively, or essentially ghosting them. If your company is considering on-demand work, keep in mind you may have to try out multiple people until you find the right fit.

Where To Get Started

There are a number of professional agencies that can help you connect with temporary workers. Some may be located in your city. Others are available online. More specialized services are also available for hire on freelance websites like UpWork, Fiverr, or Thumbtack.

Some platforms charge a minimal fee for using their service, but they can help find the right person for the job, streamline the work process, and protect both sides until the job is complete.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba for Pexels

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