We’ve written a lot on the changing landscape of our job marketplace, but we’d like to dive deeper into one unique facet of this shifting environment: the increasing presence of and interest in freelance work. The “gig economy” is comprised of opportunities involving a fixed-term contract or pay-per-project situation that allow workers to more easily control their schedules, projects and income potential.
Why are employees expressing increased interest in freelance and contract work? Because working for yourself is flexible; you can work from anywhere, anytime, and can pick and choose the types of projects you take on to match what interests you. About 50% of millennials, 30% of Gen Xer’s and 25% of Boomers are interested in this type of work and may consider leaving their conventional positions for the gig economy.
These opportunities are becoming more readily available due to the mutual benefits gained by not only the employee, but also the employer. Hiring contract workers can be cost-effective and reduces risk for an employer. According to a study titled, “How High-Performing Organizations Compete for Talent,” 42% of organizations are planning to increase the number of gig/freelance workers hired over the next two years. But not all employers want to be a part of the gig economy; and some will need to find ways to mitigate the risk of losing critical staff to arising gig opportunities.
According to a 2019 US Employee Benefits Trends Study, a top stress and concern for employees considering gig work is protecting their financial stability. Being your own boss has plenty of perks, but one clear downfall is having to source your own benefits package. So, what is one way to discourage valuable employees from choosing to go the independent route?
Offer custom, personalized benefits that meet their individual needs. When surveyed, employees in all generations identified better benefits as a top factor that would persuade them to stay at their jobs instead of leaving them for freelance opportunities. Offering customized benefits also proved to be within the top five drivers of employee happiness at work.
It is of the utmost importance that employers take the threat of the growing gig economy into consideration when making decisions on how to entice talent. Employers can offer a solution to employee fears regarding financial stability by not only increasing salaries, but also implementing competitive benefits packages that gig jobs can’t compete with. Because of their ability to ebb and flow with various life stages, ArmadaCare’s expense reimbursed insured plans are a turn-key solution to this dilemma and could be the factor that moves the needle in attracting and retaining your best workers.
 How High-Performing Organizations Compete for Talent, Kronos.