This article was originally published in Forbes on January 4, 2017.
The gig economy isn’t just for ride-sharing services and odd jobs. Smart leaders are taking advantage of it to source highly qualified knowledge workers — and, with a little preparation, you can too. Here’s how.
The first step is to learn a bit about the gig economy.
The freelance economy grew to 55 million Americans this year — 35% of the nation’s workforce. This trend doesn’t just exist among service workers. We also see it among professionals who have been trained at tops schools and firms. Why? There are a few reasons:
The second step is to ask yourself: What’s in it for me?
The most immediate benefit is to shift labor costs from fixed to variable. But there are other less quantifiable and possibly even more valuable benefits:
The third step is to prepare your organization to effectively use freelance labor.
There are several aspects to consider, ranging from the pragmatic (budgeting) to the emotional (organizational culture).
The final step is to access the freelance labor market.
Historically, this market has been opaque and fragmented. If you didn’t already know someone, the cost of finding, vetting and contracting with a freelancer was high. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. There are a few strategies you can use to make it easier: