What is the Gig Economy and the Human Cloud Landscape?

You’ve probably heard the terms “gig economy” and “human cloud landscape” bandied about everywhere from trade publications to the nightly news. Understanding these concepts will be crucial for long-term recruiting success. If you’ve been struggling to figure out exactly how to define these terms, let’s take a moment to examine each one closely.

“The staffing industry is doubling in market cap every 10 years! Our industry is booming because the workforce is demanding flexibility, so they can have work family balance. The Gig economy and the human cloud landscape are the future!” says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

The Gig Economy

“Gig” work describes small, freelance projects. People who have specific skills join websites to showcase their talent, and employers needing that specific skill for a specific project hire a freelancer through the website. Typically, the website takes a cut of the money before releasing the funds to the freelancer.  Some experts are also beginning to lump traditional temporary work sourced through staffing agencies as part of the “gig economy,” since the work is short term and sourced through a third party.

The Human Cloud

Similar to the gig economy, the human cloud allows employers to take jobs and break them into specific tasks or projects. Independent workers tackle the tasks and are paid through the platform, which takes a cut of the final fee.

There are a few models for the human cloud:

  • Crowdsourcing: Sites like Mechanical Turk, Gigwalk, Crowdflower and Applause.
  • Online Work Services: Companies like Uber, Lyft. Visual.ly, and LiveOps.
  • Online Staffing Platforms: Upwork, People Per Hour, and Shiftgig.

Is This the Landscape of the Future?

The gig economy and human cloud are an attractive option for many people who dream of working independently. However, only a limited number of people are actually making a full-time living off such platforms.  Currently, these options are most utilized by people looking for a second income stream, and a vast majority of “gig” workers have full-time jobs.

While gig-based platforms have been disruptive in some industries, they haven’t yet turned traditional employment on its ear. It remains to be seen how the gig economy and human cloud will impact employment as a whole, especially as platforms continue to evolve. Employers would be wise to keep an eye on the growth of the gig economy and the human cloud and look at ways of leveraging new working models to give employees what they want in this modern landscape.

By opening yourself up to things like contracting, project-based employment, and other flexible options, you can tap into additional talent pools and secure the best people for your needs. However, it is important is to test new methods and measure success over time, in order to truly control costs and measure ROI.

Are You Looking for A Better Way to Manage Your Contingent Workforce?

If you are ready to work with an experienced MSP who can help you control costs and access the best contingent workers in your market, the team at CSS vSource is here to help. Call us today at 856-222-0020 to learn more about the ways managed services can help you achieve your contingent hiring goals.