Global gig economy at record level, staffing platforms next big trend: SIA conference – Staffing Industry Analysts

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The global gig economy reached a record level, and staffing platforms rank among the next big trends. Workers are also demanding more and more flexibility.
Those were some of the messages during the keynote presentation today in Dallas at Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2022 Collaboration in the Gig Economy Summit.
SIA President Barry Asin and Research Director Brian Wallins cited 35 trends and innovations shaping the gig economy.
A key trend is that the gig economy is growing  globally. The keynote speakers noted it reached a record level of $5.2 trillion. Revenue in the US was $1.7 trillion.
SIA’s gig economy definition includes temporary workers from staffing firms, directly sourced temporary workers, platform-related work, statement-of-work consultants and independent contractors.
Another notable trend, Asin said, is the continuing platformization of everything, and the next big platform trend is staffing platforms. These are two-sided marketplaces that connect workers directly with clients (and use an employer-of-record model).
Temporary staffing platforms grew 190% in 2021 alone. However, healthcare staffing platforms have seen intense growth, a possible harbinger for other segments.
“Is healthcare just in a unique place in the staffing industry, or is it the canary in the coal mine?” Asin asked. “It’s certainly true that in healthcare staffing, the platform models have grown significantly faster than the traditional model. They’ve also grown really fast during the pandemic, let’s not mistake that at all.” The pandemic served as a catalyst for healthcare staffing platforms because recruiters couldn’t meet the heavy demand, he said. “The platforms met that demand. They grew over 317% in 2021; they’ve got 22% of the healthcare staffing market now.”
In other trends: Talent remains in the driver’s seat, remote work is here to stay and workers want flexibility. A McKinsey study found the No. 1 reason among those returning to traditional work was workplace flexibility.
“Study after study is showing us that, above all else, workers prefer flexibility in the new work environment,” Wallins said. “And workers are getting what they wish right now. They have the leverage with the current talent shortage, so it’s critical for organizations today to adapt to this new environment and engage with workers the way they want to be engaged.”
This year’s Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference, which has more than 880 attendees, continues through Thursday.
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