As a direct result of large corporations trying to maximize their future through a digital presence and reduce operating costs through a reduction of full-time staff, demand for technically trained gig jobs has increased. Gig workers are freelance workers who work for a particular time on a contractual or temporary basis.
Demand for technical gig employees increased by 20 percent -25 percent between April-November this year compared to pre-Covid peaks, according to staffing company TeamLease Services. Business manager Sudeep Kumar Sen of the company said that this development has also provided an incentive for female gig staff. “In the white-collar gig worker sections, we saw an increase of 13 percent-14 percent of women.”
Gig workers may operate from their hometowns with the inherent benefit of freelancing and earning from several industries at the same time. We have the authority to determine what to operate on, from where, and for how long.
For example, Kochi-based Sushmita (28), a Ruby on Rails (RoR) tech specialist in web-based software development, was hired by a fintech company for a period of six months as a consultant.
Being a freelancer helps during this pandemic as I can prevent travel and danger. “It also helps to save on rent and travel costs,” she says. Between March-November this year, Awign Enterprises, a job fulfillment network based on gig workers and last-mile distribution, has on-boarded over 90,000 such workers.
It has seen a 40 percent rise from pre-Covid levels in the monthly total number of gig staff on its website. His co-founder Gurpreet Singh said, “The share of technically skilled gig employees was up 65 percent from March levels, compared to field gig employees, which was up 25 percent.” Earlier, 70% were field gig employees and just 30% were digital gig employees.
Enterprise digital standards have increased the need for content planning and curation. With the increased use of AI and ML-driven technology by corporations, there is a rising demand for staff to build AI image-recognition databases.
Online proctoring firms see greater demand for human remote proctors from large evaluation sites with assessments being performed in virtual classrooms. “In order to avoid malpractice, respond to queries and provide technical support, they help monitor the candidates taking the exams in real-time,” Singh added.
The upskilling of gig staff has also expanded. This year, online digital technology training provider SimpliLearn has recruited 2.5 times as many trainers. “The frequency of weekend classes has increased from 3-4 to 7-8,” Founder & CEO Krishna Kumar said. Employment offers have also risen from 2-3 positions per applicant to 5-6 jobs now.
Over a dozen gig staff engaged in remote work have been employed by the payments and data company Zaggle. Raj N, its founder, and chairman said that working with freelancers, it saved 25 percent of employee costs.