So much of what we read these days about the gig economy is Uber-specific. Truly Uber specific.
There’s this perception that Gig is synonymous with the Millennial generation. That it accommodates their need for flexibility and freedom. And also, the current interpretation simplifies the gig workforce, puts it in a nice box of people looking to be drivers or daycare providers.
I daresay that’s spin…PR…convenient generalizations.
For Sourcers, the gig economy has been part of our way of life for 20 years.
Early on, HR realized it could make sourcing a scalable and on-demand function, probably from a self preserving perspective, wanting to allocate FTEs to work always in demand for Generalists, Compensation and Benefits. Having a dedicated sourcer… full time… on your team is a luxury, because truly, unless you are opening req after req, day after day, you’ll need to find other things for them to do. You’ll ask them to pipeline and create competitive intelligence. You’ll ask them to train your recruiting team. You may flip them into a 50/50 role, tasking with sourcing and recruiting. Or sourcing and project management.
And, sourcers that have taken gigs, i.e. working on a short term basis, tend to be some of the best in the business. They can easily acclimate to a variety of business models, be responsive to all types of recruiters, interact with candidates at all levels and are highly organized. They’re exposed to a variety of technology and know how to manage a dollar. Often they land in gigs with no sourcing budget so they become adept at scouring information and extracting it quickly with freeware. When they do have a budget? They choose wisely, often seeking access to information first and tools second. They operate in a world of billable hours, so they’re conscientious of producing end results. Sourcers also gain an incredible breadth of knowledge on how to source, where to source and dare I say it….they tend to know everything about your company as well. They get to leverage the knowledge they bring in and the knowledge they take out. Getting a gig sourcer after they’ve done it for a number of years? That’s priceless.
How are you, Joe HR or TA leader, going to find one of these sourcers? LinkedIn. They’re legion there. The good ones know how to scrape together a personal brand. No time? SearchWizards is the agency if you can’t find a sourcer on your own. And often, the reason you need a sourcer is because it’s not your strength, and SearchWizards will rescue you. If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, you’ll drop into SourceCon, this mega sourcing conference running in Anaheim in 2016 & 2017 is a mecca for sourcers, gig or perm.
Sourcing, as a profession, is one that benefits greatly from this gig economy because of its flexibility and genuine drive for diversified knowledge. The question is, are you ready to have your company benefit from a gig sourcer?
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.