Before I get into the topic and my opinions about what the future of education and doing business might look like I would like to mention up front that I am and have always been a firm believer that there is clear and undisputed value in the gig economy for both the business and the human resource perspective. In the past 5 years I have had roles in the public sector, in the NGO sector, I have been and am a business consultant and lecturer. I am also the Pavilion Director for Armenia for the Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as the commercial director for DANZ eyewear brand.
As you can imagine I am a very good example of what the gig economy has to offer. There are always downsides and upsides; of course my time management skills need to be increasingly evolving to keep up with the pace or else some items might start falling through he cracks (happy to say that has not happened yet); on the other hand my experience with consulting an entertainment giant in Armenia helps me solve issues in the eyewear industry and vice versa. And because my “cost” is split between different gigs everyone gets more bang for their buck
Whether you are a manufacturer or in the entertainment services industry or even in agriculture there is value you can gain from accessing and using the gig economy. That being said just hiring a freelancer is not going to cut it. You need to be prepared to work in this field so you are not left with a bitter taste in your mouth (which is the experience of many companies that dove in). Before you jump in here are some quick tips
Before you start working with any consulting firm, freelancer or any other party from the gig economy make sure you are super clear and what exactly you want. This seems like a trivial point, but I can’t tell you the amount of times I have taken meetings where the other party did not know what they want. Make sure you have a clearly defined set of functions you want to be executed and know what kind of timeframes you are expecting. If you find that you are unable to source partners for that scope, reassess your scope!
You need to define success criteria up front. When the scope is over and the project/function is complete on what set of perimeters do you say, “This was successful” or “this went horribly wrong”. Those parameters need to be as objective as possible, thus the needs for them to be measurable. Now I understand there are cases where the output takes the form of a more subjective element, such as branding, but even then the rules of engagement should be predefined so that at the end both parties walk away satisfied
Always bear in mind that although you can and should be demanding when it comes to the scope you defined and the results you expect you do not own their time. That is the beauty of the Gig Economy; you are paying for scope and results not for time. Answering the phone on demand, taking quick meetings, being physically present, reporting the day to day operations are not within the “job description”. You gave that gig to that person/company because they are experts; trust them to do their job.
When used correctly the gig economy can be a great place to source talent for a short term fix you might need or a fresh perspective of a certain business issue or you just need to mix things up in your company, because things have gone stale. Don’t be afraid that it might not work; trust me, the up side is worth it!