The gig economy, and the millennial workforce that fuels it, is a hot topic on employment blogs and in business-related discussions and think-pieces.
Some believe that the gig economy is liberating the workforce in the United States and across the globe. Others believe the system of gig-based employment has driven down wages and is exploitative of workers.
The truth is, there both are at least partially true. Millennial Americans have much less job security than past generations, but much greater personal freedoms. Proponents of gig-based employment present images of “digital nomads” earning six figure incomes while working from a Thai beach resort. Opponents would rather focus on the “self-employed” delivery driver logging 80-hour weeks for less than the hourly minimum wage.
We prefer to focus on less extreme examples, as both of these scenarios are drastically different from the reality for most American workers. On the whole, millennials have traded long-term job security for short-term contract-based work. They often prefer paying for experiences rather than material goods and rank flexibility over security.
The gig economy isn’t just freelance creatives and uber drives – increasingly, we are seeing tech workers and engineers look to flexible, contract-based work, but have trouble managing the business aspects of their business.
That’s where engineering recruiters can help.
In many ways, recruiters act as a bridge between the gig economy and traditional 9-5 employment. Engineering recruiters provide the perfect balance between engineers looking for flexibility and employers looking for reliability.
Working while sipping cocktails on the beach is a great dream, but the reality is that it is mostly unattainable (and that, if you are working, the beach isn’t really the beach). Similarly, while employers would surely love to pay employees only for the exact work that they do, this is often difficult to measure.
Contract work is a happy compromise between the two.
For a set period of say 6 months, an engineer will be placed with a firm that requires his or her services and will be treated like an employee. In exchange, the engineer gets paid…and in 6 months can travel to the beach for a week without their computer.
The engineer gets the flexibility, the employers gets 6 months of reliable work they needed and engineering recruiters put it all together.
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