The Gig Economy is Still Alive and Kicking, Thanks to Millennials and Gen Zs

The youngest generation arriving in today’s workforce now includes Generation Z professionals who prefer a much different way of working that’s entirely separate from the typical 9-5. The sharing economy and digitization are responsible for this new workforce, which is connected in an entirely different way than what previous work models allowed for, and it’s becoming rarer to stay in the same occupation for life. 

Many Young People Prefer to Work in the Gig Economy

Freelance work in America is becoming so popular among Generation Z professionals entering the workforce that 46% of them are freelancing. Those who are included in Gen Z are those born from 1997 to 2000.

Since approximately 61 million individuals will likely enter the workforce in the years to come, it seems numerous young people will choose a freelance job rather than a traditional in-house position.

The research found that Generation Z professionals who are deciding to freelance are choosing to work this way instead of doing it by necessity. For comparison, 64-66% of Millennials and Baby Boomers are choosing to work in the gig economy.

Since Generation Z workers have grown up in a digital world, they’ve become accustomed to being connected. The study revealed that they aren’t even worried about becoming phased out if the workforce were to become too automated. Plus, they want to do things they feel fulfilled in doing while also staying flexible and achieving the freedom that they prefer.

How Companies Can Keep Up

Businesses will need to adapt their hiring methods to gain top talent. Since the individuals who have top talent want to do the things that they are passionate about doing, many office jobs won’t be sufficient for millennials and Gen Zs. 

Companies should avoid choosing to look only at how applicants appear on paper because those who spent time in a prominent university might not have the day-to-day experience necessary for the role. “Alternative methods of hiring can be a smart and efficient way to hire a team because it unlocks a team of skilled talent. Often, this can be where companies will find the best talent,” remarked Paul Michaels, founder and CEO of National Bartending School

Businesses that are interested in switching over to the future of the gig economy should get familiar with various collaboration or freelance platforms. They should identify which skills are already accounted for as far as current talent goes and should make a plan to fill in any gaps. Then, after freelancers are hired it will be important to also integrate them adequately by providing support internally with other employees. 

In short, Millennials and Gen Zs tend to prefer a vastly different type of work that incorporates their skill and passion and allows them to work on a freelance basis. The traditional 9-5 is not much of a baseline anymore as companies can gain access to top talent by hiring from the freelance workforce.

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