As the economy ebbs, flows, changes and evolves, both employers and consumers must keep abreast of how to best manage their interactions with it. One of the most noteworthy economic changes of the current decade is the emergence of “the gig economy.”
“The gig economy” refers to a growing segment of the workforce that now earns a living through providing multiple services. Mobile apps are often used to manage gigs; Uber, Taskrabbit and Thumbtack are just a few examples. A Penn Schoen Berland Research study initiated by TIME magazine this year found that 44 percent of American adults participate in the gig economy.
Like any economic model, there are pros and cons, and the gig economy requires an awareness of how to navigate it for an optimal experience.
Arising From Economic Need
The seeds of the gig economy were likely sparked in response to the economic downturn of 2008. With so many people finding it difficult to get a job, many were open to temporary work to help fill the gaps, sometimes through a variety of short-term “gigs” in differing fields. Consumers looking to save money were grateful for the cooperative and “a la carte” nature of paying for goods and services in this way.
The rising popularity of freelancing and telecommuting since the advent of the Internet has fueled the gig economy. Mobile devices and apps make gigging on the go easier than ever. Today’s freelancers may earn their income as an Uber driver, a host on Airbnb, or an errand-runner through Taskrabbit – or a combination of apps like these.
Staying Safe in The Gig Economy
However, the rise of this unique economic model calls into question the safety and reliability of those being represented and hired through these apps.
While the gig economy is revolutionizing how Americans work and find key services, attention should be paid to safety considerations. Just who is being hired? Have they been appropriately screened for the job they will be doing? This is an issue that had always dogged the freelance world, and it now stands to get even larger as the gig economy grows.
Insist on Professional Background Screening
One of the best protections employers, app makers and consumers have against negligent hiring is the screening of workers before doing business with them.
A professional background screening service can check for criminal background records, employment history, and verify credit history to ensure reputation and reliability. As for consumers who use gig apps – they should check to make sure that the parent company has enacted a policy that all of participants have been appropriately screened.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.