Is the ‘Gig Economy’ just a gear going nowhere?

CapturePeter Cappelli thinks employers' fascination over the "Gig Economy" is an illusion. He believes they are forgetting that workers who choose to work 'on-demand' are actually living 'on-call' and the number willing or wanting to do so is more limited than the pundits' dreams of a workforce that shows up only when you need them and stays home, unpaid and w/o benefits when you don't.

His column this month, "Controlling the Workforce Like a Faucet?" is spot-on detailing the unintended consequences for individual engagement, retention, company performance, and rising costs.

While he accurately takes on the clueless leaders (who are unlikely to get any help soon from their HR counterparts), he also surprisingly does little to connect the changing forces in our society that are (cost of affordable health care, $15/hour minimum wages, new overtime rules , etc) keeping employers up at night and causing some to turn back the clock to the piece-rate mentality of the industrial revolution. It is true that work needs to be redesigned and classes of worker will certainly shift from embedded

While it is true that work,  organizational structures, and jobs need  to be redesigned. Classes of worker will surely shift from embedded F/T salary men and women w benefits to new models but, the benefits for both employer and worker will need to be more deeply thought through and better balanced.

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Gerry Crispin
Gerry co-authored eight books on the evolution of staffing and has written 100s of articles and whitepapers on similar topics during a career in Human Resources that spans more than 40 years from HR leadership positions at Johnson and Johnson; to boutique Executive Search firms; a Career Services Director at the University where he received his Engineering and 2 advanced degrees in Organizational/Industrial Behavior; and, GM of a major recruitment advertising firm even as he launched CareerXroads 20 years ago.

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