White-collar workers laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic might find more opportunity in the gig economy, according to Joe Mullings, CEO of an executive recruitment firm that works with Google and Siemens.
The term “gig economy” was originally meant to describe white-collar workers selling their expertise without going through a third party, like a consultancy.
Though the gig economy ended up mostly comprising low-wage jobs over the last decade, the pandemic may have created a perfect storm for the “gigification” of white-collar labor.
Mullings recommends the best way for white-collar workers to find a new job in the post-pandemic gig economy, which he calls the “interim economy.”
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White-collar work may become gig work following the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the global coronavirus outbreak, an astronomical 40 million-plus Americans filed for jobless claims over 10 weeks. And many jobs in transportation and hospitality might never come back, economists say.
Layoffs have also hit white-collar workers in tech, as Airbnb, IBM, and Tesla announced they would cut jobs and reduce pay. Many of these specialized, well-paid tech workers may have worked at their companies for years without ever considering their jobs were in jeopardy, said Joe Mullings, CEO of an executive recruitment firm.
Mullings’ company has worked with companies including Google, Siemens, and Johnson & Johnson to recruit and hire for C-suite and executive-level positions.
Mullings said the coronavirus pandemic might bring about a period where employers need highly skilled workers, but won’t have the resources to bring all full-time employees back to work.
The resulting “interim economy” will therefore comprise once full-time consultants or engineers working multiple contractual “gigs” for different companies, Mullings said.
“You’ve got tens of millions of people who are highly skilled and have a specialized skillset employers need, but can’t bring them back at full compensation,” Mullings told Business Insider. “Some employers are going to take advantage of this, they are going to bring in flexibility you’ve never had before.”
How the coronavirus pandemic is pushing white-collar workers into the gig economy
Many Americans understand gig economy as a pool of jobs accessible to anyone who can drive a car or delivery groceries at a moment’s notice. But the gig economy extends beyond delivery apps. Veteran journalist Tina Brown first devised the term “gig economy” to refer to white-collar workers who could charge companies fees for their expertise without going through a third party. A consultant could charge a company for her own knowledge directly, eliminating the need for a consultancy.
“These new alternative workers are not overwhelmingly low-income. They’re college-educated Americans who earn more than $75,000 a year,” Brown wrote in the Daily Beast in 2009. “Welcome to the age of Gigonomics.”
But specialized, high-paying jobs haven’t transitioned to the gig economy because the cost to recruit, coordinate, and build contracts for individual engineers or consultants is high. The Harvard Business Review postulates that if an individual needed to hire two experts well-versed in Singapore and US tax law to help her business, she would …read more
Source:: Business Insider
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