Their work may be project-based, hourly or part-time. A majority of the employers surveyed (58%) estimate the gig workforce to grow to 9 – 11 million, or even exceed this number, by 2025.
Indeed, showcased that a 9-11 million strong gig workforce is in the making in the next three years. Gig workers are freelancers or contractors who work independently, typically on a short-term basis for multiple clients.
The gig economy has been one of the most pivotal economic shifts in a long time. People choose gig jobs for different reasons: because it works with their lifestyle, they can choose when and how much they work, or it allows them to earn money between jobs.
Companies have also started investing in gig work platforms and processes, highlighting how integral they are to the future of jobs growth in India. Given the importance of the gig economy, Indeed commissioned this study to understand the rise of the gig economy, challenges gig workers face, and how they can be empowered by employers.
“With the emergence of app-based models for roles like delivery and home services, there has been some degree of formalization in this sector. In the coming years, we foresee this segment to grow exponentially. said Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, Indeed India.
In terms of job roles, door delivery is the most prevalent gig role employers are hiring for currently - 22% for food and 26% for other delivery. In addition, 16% of the employers surveyed are hiring gig workers for household/vehicle repairs and maintenance and for cab/cwo-wheeler driving, 10% are hiring for cleaning and 7% for personal care service roles.
Challenges for gig job seekers
The study shows that the biggest barriers for gig workers are lack of access to job information (62%), not knowing English (32%) and not knowing the local language (10%) for workers who have shifted outside of their home town for work. Challenges in language also result in other difficulties with 14% of the gig workforce respondents reporting a lack of awareness of their jobs' skills and abilities.
From an employer point of view, the top 3 challenges faced in hiring for gig job roles are resume and interviewing skills (52%) and poor awareness of required skills and abilities (51%) on the part of jobseekers, and the screening and assessing of jobseekers (37%). In addition, about one out of four employers feel language inadequacy is a concern and report this as an issue (24%). In contrast, skill awareness seems to be a significant challenge for employers (51%) compared to employees.
Earlier gig workers would be hired by middlemen or consultants who would provide job opportunities. However, the challenges from both employers as well as jobseekers indicate the need for a democratic, accessible platform that provides all information at one place to both stakeholders.
The need to empower gig workers
Nearly three out of five gig workers (59%) find their jobs uncomfortable (46%), if not hard and risky (13%). These factors could be pivotal in deciding whether an employee would prefer to stay in their current role or not, depending upon how satisfactory their experience was. Overall, the findings suggest that more employees are not particularly fond of their work – feeding the notion of gig jobs being a short-term occupation.
Given the importance that this niche segment is expected to have in the coming years, the imperative is on employers to make these job roles more attractive and satisfying for jobseekers.