The Gig Economy: How Agile is your HR Team?

Does your human resources team have the agility required to address the challenges of "The Gig Economy?"

If you haven’t yet heard about The Gig Economy, it refers to a growing challenge to HR professionals and people managers now faced with a portfolio of workers, some full time while others are contract or contingent workers.

A growing segment of the workforce now work “gigs” where they are employed on a particular project versus having a full-time job. The word “gig” had it origins in the music industry and now can be applied to all sorts of contingent employment (e.g., adjunct professors, contractors, consultants, etc.).

The Gig Economy has grown primarily because of employers’ drive to lower costs, especially during economic downturns.

Gig workers have the advantage of enjoying greater flexibility in their work assignments but have greater insecurity than workers in full-time jobs. At Agility Consulting and Training, we use the framework of "HR Agility Fitness" as a way to encourage balancing the five key drivers found in The Agile Model®. It's an open-systems model, taking into consideration a rapidly changing environment. Such environments are characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). 

The amount, volume, velocity, and intensity of “noise” encountered in a VUCA environment creates the business imperative for agility.

How well HR teams anticipate change, generate confidence, initiate action, liberate thinking and evaluate results will determine their Agility Fitness Level for the challenges of the Gig Economy.

Future blogs on the topic of the challenges of "The Gig Economy for Human Resources" will feature interviews with HR and talent management executives.

About Nick Horney
Nick Horney, Ph.D. is The Agility Doc. He first discovered the value of agility during his 23 years of service as a special operations naval officer responsible for diving and explosive ordnance disposal teams. In these rapidly unfolding and changing circumstances--and now, as an organizational psychologist--Nick discovered that the key ingredient separating good leaders from best leaders is agility. After serving in a senior role at the Center for Creative Leadership, he founded Agility Consulting and Training in 2001. Learn more about Nick at