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In the past, we all ran to seek full time employment, with full time employees being the main source of talent in organisations. Employers looked for a fixed set of skills and the career ladder was the foundation of the career journey. In looking to the future, the way in which work will be sourced, sold, evaluated, and remunerated looks to be very different. Companies will have particular tasks which need to be fulfilled and individuals will come in on a needs basis to fulfil these. There will be a demand for a continuum of talent; contractors and part-time employees who will be required to work on a project or assignment basis as organisations look to constantly drive innovation in a rapidly changing market.

The new rules of employment are being influenced and driven by the flavour of digital – enter the rise of gigging and the development of a gig economy. Imagine a world where one can, at the click of a button hold a full complement of staff to deliver on projects whilst simultaneously minimising on office space, training, and employee contributions. The gig economy is a labour market where short-term contracts or freelance work are common place as opposed to the traditional nine-to five or permanent job.

The gig economy has been on the rise for several years and many reports point to a continued trend in the rise of gigging. According to a Senior Associate at Bowmans, around 15.6% of the UK’s workforce make up the gig economy, the figure is 34% in the US and expected to rise to 43% by the year 2020, with South Africa silently following suit. With South Africa’s economy battling with growth and the unemployment rate sitting at 27.7%, market conditions in South Africa are ripe for gigging. Despite the economic challenges, companies need to find ways to digitize, evolve, and innovate without the risk of taking on full-time resources.  The benefits for corporates and SME’s are plenty obvious but it is worth noting that this environment provides very little security for giggers. South Africa’s labour laws haven’t been adapted to accommodate the gig economy, making giggers very vulnerable. One only must look at the case of Uber, where the drivers were up until recently not considered employees of the company. It is all too easy for organisations to take advantage of loop holes in the legislation. Amendments need to be made to the Labour Relations Act to accommodate this shift in employment conditions. Over and above this giggers need financial skills and discipline to ensure long-term financial planning. In the past for full time employees, corporates structured medical aid, pension and provident fund into employee packages, additionally there is no security in the pipeline of work which could affect one’s bottom line.

The outlook isn’t all bad though, gigging can have a positive impact on individuals overall quality of life, as it allows one to cherry pick their projects – creating room for additional income and a more flexible life style.

How to get gigging, create marketing collateral, reach out to your networks, and connect to individuals on social and technological platforms. Gigging allows one to take on jobs on their own terms, a benefit worth taking a leap of faith on.

This article was written by Zanele Luvuno. Should you require more information on contracting services as well as our other service offerings, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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