Talent on Demand: How the gig economy is disrupting the C-suite
When it comes to the labour market, there are few buzzwords as hyped as the term “gig economy.” From Jiffy to Uber, the disruptive effects of work on demand are widely recognized, making it easy for individuals to earn extra money outside of the parameters of traditional employment, while providing key services at optimized speed and cost.
All the promise of the gig economy, however, has yet to net out as expected. According to a 2019 study, about half of New York’s Uber drivers are supporting families with children, yet 40% depend on Medicaid and another 18% on food stamps. From The Economist to The New York Times, countless thought pieces online lament the failed potential of this disruptive new economic sector. But it may yet be that the greatest disruptive potential from gig work lies in one of the last places that comes to mind when you think of temp work: in the uppermost levels of the corporate
Whether it is competition from emerging markets, disruption from new technologies, or other unprecedented factors like the current COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are facing greater volatility and leaner outlooks than they are used to. At the same time, 79% of business leaders say leveraging top-level contractors can yield key competitive advantages, citing an increase in agility as the primary
benefit. Business leaders are waking up to this potential, as well as to the notion that skilled contract executives can help them upskill/enhance their executive team, with 94% planning to continue using or expanding their use of skilled contract executives.
The concept of project-based employment is hardly new. Historians tell us that prior to industrialization, the vast majority of people worked multiple jobs to make a living. And from sectors such as trial law to the Hollywood movie industry, it’s long been the norm for top talent to pick and choose the projects that offer them the most interesting and unique challenges. What’s changing in the corporate world is the market forces that require businesses to both act and respond to opportunities and challenges more quickly than ever before, as well as the pool of talent that is available to help them do so. Interim executives can be the key to bridging this make-or-break gap.
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