Total Business Magazine

Here’s How Businesses Can Attract the Best Gig Economy Workers

The benefits for employers in the hospitality sector of being able to grow or shrink their workforce according to demand are clear.

An estimated 1.1 million people now make up Britain’s gig economy. To put this figure in perspective, it is almost as many people as the entire NHS employs in England. The majority of these workers are in the hospitality sector which, while not surprising, given the constantly shifting needs of the industry, comes with its own set of challenges. Below Florent Malbranche, CEO and Founder of Brigad, explains for Total Business some of the ways businesses can continue to attract the best gig worker talent.

For many hotels and restaurants, it is custom to employ a changing number of staff throughout the year due to external factors or seasonal changes, such as Christmas gatherings in the busy holiday season. By having access to short-term or freelance staff, these businesses can capitalize on busy periods without having to employ more staff than they need during the leaner periods.

A duty of care

But this renewed profitability doesn’t come without responsibility or duty of care. These ‘gig’ workers are often self-employed and unlike full time employees don’t receive standard benefits. Furthermore, they’re usually left to source their own insurance which, if not handled properly, could leave them financially exposed following accidents. This situation does not benefit either party in the long run.

Looking to the long-term

For the gig economy model to work, employers must resist the temptation to shirk their responsibilities by pursuing profits above all else. By helping freelance employees to manage key processes such as their insurance and supporting them where needed, employers themselves will actually benefit in the long-term.

By behaving in this way, they are more likely to attract good employees who appreciate professionalism and value workplace wellbeing.  This approach also creates a pool of talent to draw on during busy periods, as even freelance and transient workers tend to return to employers who treat them well.

For the gig economy model to work, employers must resist the temptation to shirk their responsibilities by pursuing profits above all else.

This raises another, equally important, point. As the economy continues to shift and reliance on freelance workers grows, competition for the best workers will increase – just as happens in any labour market. Companies who routinely treat their temporary staff poorly or who fail to acknowledge their rights may not only find themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits and bad publicity, but may also struggle to find good staff as a result.

Playing to your strengths

Creating the right environment for gig economy workers needn’t be expensive or onerous. This means that employers don’t need to concern themselves with all the details, but at the same time they know the correct paperwork is in place to cover all their freelance staff during their shifts.

Outsourcing and automating these elements of the employment process may, in itself, seem very ‘gig economy’. The fact is though, most of these processes are traditionally handled by the HR department in the case of full-time employees and this is really no different. By trusting elements of their employees’ welfare to professionals, regardless of those employee’s status, business owners are free to focus on what they do best – taking care of customers and ensuring that the workplace environment is the best it can be for all concerned.

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