Variable Compensation and the Gig Economy

The Gig-Economy is the unique convergence of technology and talent, allowing the individual to participate in productivity. In 2018 the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that roughly 16.5 million participants in the workforce are part of this "alternative work arrangement." In the U.K., the number looks to be around 5 Million.

We see enterprise and mid-sized organizations growing a workforce inclusive of alternative work arrangements. Some of the most talented minds today want to balance work with lifestyle choices. Amazon, Uber and LegalZoom are some of the most notable names.

Talent sourcing and talent development are two areas that Human Resources is focused on currently. Once this talent is mainstream, as many indicators point out, the next area of concern will logically be rewards and talent.


How will rewards change in the Gig-economy?

Fortunately, our good friends in Finance have some great concepts they've been using for the areas of Channel and Roster Management, which apply here.

For many of the Gig workers, the hourly grind at a desk or traditional doesn't apply. Still, the results are needed. Productivity must be reached. To drive date sensitive programs, an "Early Delivery Bonus" might be the accelerator that recognizes Gig staff for faster work. Alternatively, when efficiency is something to consider, a "Cost Control Commission" might be applicable for delivering under budget, with acceptable quality. Finally, think about the "Retention Bonus" that is also a traditional tool from Finance that can be applied in the new paradigm. Trusted, repeat participants, supporting your business may be recognized at a lower total cost for selecting you than a full-time employee.

While the Gig-economy is relatively new, the fundamentals of business still apply. Lessons from other verticals such as Financial Services show that independent brokers sell lines of business with the providers that pay best and are easiest to work with. Similarly, Gig-economy workers are looking for those who are going to treat them better than the alternative.


Why should I consider Gig workers?

The 2017 report, Platform Sourcing How Fortune 500 Firms are Adopting Online Freelancing Platforms, by the University of Oxford shows the growing adoption of this practice. The motivations they identify include easy access to scale workforce, skills, and expertise. They also show an ability to reduce costs and remove hiring barriers. These areas show an improvement to the flexibility to address the changes to a market, and the speed to spin up new products or pilot programs. If you are part of high-tech or business-minded with a focus on speed, the Gig-economy may already be part of your practice. Other forward-leaning organizations should take note of what's next.


How can I manage so many variables?

It's time to start to think of those advantages in your market. What will help to pay your workers accurately and on-time? What will make you the preferred vendor? Consider Sales Performance Management through Varicent. Complex and highly variable plans are where our clients find our "sweet spot." Organizations from sizes of Enterprise to Boutique use our application to make sure everyone on a variable pay plan is paid correctly. With full transparency, each employee, full time or Gig, is allowed to see just how much they are paid, for which line of business, and when the money is transferred into their account. Take a look at our Solutions to learn how Varicent can help your organization.