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The Gig Economy: How to Stay Competitive in Talent Selection

The Gig Economy: How To Stay Competitive In Talent Selection

With the rise of the Gig Economy, it’s more critical than ever to understand the job competencies that lead to success.

Job competencies are key to putting the right people in the right roles. When you know the traits and behaviors that lead to strong performance in a job, you can create a success profile, or predictive model, to identify your top candidates. That’s why leading companies like American Airlines, 7-Eleven, Panera Bread, and countless others have made job competencies a crucial part of talent selection.

How do job competencies change when the nature of work changes?

Job competencies evolve as jobs evolve, and right now, the entire workforce is changing. We’re seeing a momentous shift from traditional employment to ‘gig’ work. Gig workers are a new kind of employee—they’re agile, independent, and their jobs range from ride hailing and service delivery to specialized jobs in IT, engineering, creative fields, and beyond.

According to a recent webinar, the gig workforce is adding $715 billion annually the economy through freelance work, and researchers project that half of the working U.S. population will move into the gig economy within the next five years.

The rapid rise of the Gig Economy is a result of low unemployment, an increasing desire for flex work, and technology that makes gig marketplaces easily accessible. But, it takes a certain type of person to thrive in a gig environment. As you can imagine, someone who enjoys structure and stability will struggle with gig work. On the flipside, someone who craves flexibly and autonomy will be drawn to it.

What makes someone a successful gig worker? Top 5 job competencies

Whether you’re a traditional employer, a gig employer, or somewhere in between, you need to be sure you’re putting people in positions where they’ll be most successful. That means adjusting your success model for gig-style work (when that’s what your hiring for), or incorporating gig perks into your traditional roles to mimic a gig environment.

These 5 job competencies will tell you if someone is a strong candidate for gig, freelance, or contract work:

1. Adaptability. Gig workers live in ambiguity. They’re often thrown into different situations, and to be successful, they have to continuously adapt to different companies, different jobs, and different managers.

2. Planning & Organizing. Time management is critical for gig workers, who must balance various projects at once, manage competing timelines, and carefully consider their bandwidth before taking on additional work.

3. Relationship Management. Gig workers aren’t always brought ‘into the fold’ like traditional employees, so their ability to build relationships quickly and efficiently will have a big impact on their success.

4.  Communicating Effectively. Being able to communicate the expectations of the job, ask the right questions, and check in on a regular basis will boost a gig worker’s productivity, which in turn will help them secure more work.

5. Learning Agility. In gig work, you need someone who has an agile mindset and a desire for continuous learning. High learning agility will boost a gig worker’s self-reliance and empower them to figure things out on their own.

Also, keep an eye out for these competencies in your traditional employee population. If you have employees who would thrive in a gig environment, consider offering flex time or greater work autonomy to keep them engaged.

To learn more about the changing nature of work, and what to expect from the Gig Economy in the next 10 years, watch our on-demand webinar: How to Stay Competitive in the Gig Economy.

The Gig Economy

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