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News Article

How to Manage Talent in the “Gig” Economy

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 14:29

The “gig” economy is not a new trend but contemporary components are transforming the way talent is recruited and trained and how that talent engages with companies, panelists at Mexico Talent Forum 2018 told the audience on Wednesday at the Hotel Sheraton Maria Isabel in Mexico City. 

“The workforce is increasingly more mobile and technology is allowing people to do any type of job from anywhere in the world. Companies must work with the advantages and disadvantages that come with the new talent environment if they are to be part of this cultural transformation in the way business is done,” said Alberto Mondelli, Director of Global Services and Solutions for Latin America at Willis Towers Watson.

“The gig economy will become the new normal in the industry. One of every three workers currently participates in this scheme,” said Gabriel Aparicio, Country Manager of Kelly Services Mexico.

In this digital era, one part of the job is being transformed and the other has disappeared with automatization technologies, which has pushed people to seek different ways to participate in the labor market, said Jaime Morfín, Partner at CD Consultores. Roberto Miramontes, Director of Operations at Easy Mexico, highlighted the differences at his company to illustrate the new market. At Easy Taxi, he said, “there is no more face-to-face customer attention because we provide contact centers where everything is done on our digital platform.

The gig economy is also shifting the way talent management works. “Gig talent must not be thought of as a temporary component of the economy because it is here to stay. It is creating professionals who have an advanced education, outstanding competences and expertise to fill the gaps in different sectors of the market,” said Gabriel Aparicio, Country Manager of Kelly Services Mexico. “Companies are using gig talent to fill their talent gaps, grow their global reach and differentiate their products and services.”

An example is the Mexican energy sector, which acutely feels the challenge of acquiring talent in each segment of oil and energy production. “Outsourcing and modernization trends have both benefits and obstacles, where one of the biggest challenges of the future is going to be retaining talent,” said Guido Van Der Zwet, General Manager America of IPS Powerful People.

For this reason, companies need to generate engagement beyond their formal employees and work more closely with collaborators, associates and those people who work as gig talent to maximize performance, says Morfín. Added Aparicio: “This evolution is changing who holds the power in the market; it is shifting from the employer to the employee. As a result, it is necessary for companies to have good marketing because gig talent chooses the companies and not the other way around.”

One problem lies “in the attraction and engagement of people in a gig economy when the company is non-gig oriented because employers must offer the necessary incentives to appeal to the talent and retain it,” said Mondelli. Also, companies must be “conscious about the impact that social media and other technological tools have when employees communicate their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, which ultimately can become a threat or an advantage depending on how companies deal with these platforms,” Miramontes noted.

Morfín added that HR departments must be key participants in the active process of recruitment in this gig economy and gig talent environment. Communication between departments is also vital. “The operational divisions of the companies must be in constant communication because there is going to be a need to include both formal talent and gig talent,” said Miramontes.

The question for the economy is not going to be whether or not the gig economy is permanent or not but rather, “how the rules are going to work in Mexico regarding this trend and how will they change the way business and talent work together in the market,” said Van Der Zwet.

Mondelli was more direct: “Mexico’s laws are not made for temp jobs,” he said.