The flexible workforce is here to stay, but developing worker retention strategies for independent contractors and freelancers is a new challenge.
Workers are increasingly opting for the freedom that the gig economy offers, which means employers can be selected on a day-by-day or even shift-by-shift basis. While companies benefit from having a flexible workforce by improving the ability to scale and manage costs, they must also sufficiently invest in worker retention strategies to succeed.
How do you retain workers?
Our 2021 Gig Worker Survey, which includes responses from over 400 independent contractors, shows that today’s worker is taking advantage of being able to work for who they want, when they want. In fact, 59% work for more than one company and 24% work for three or more companies.
Just like the regular workforce, keeping your company attractive to contract workers in a competitive market should be a top priority. Use the following checklist to ensure you’re implementing worker retention strategies for your flexible workforce.
Worker retention checklist
🔲 Review your pay plans regularly to ensure you’re offering competitive wages
Competition for reliable and capable workers is high. And these workers are keen to make themselves more available for lucrative clients and projects. What motivates workers to choose one company over another? Not surprisingly, 83% indicated that higher wages are a leading factor in their decision.
🔲 Offer simple, same-day pay for contractors and gig workers
Workers’ appreciation for flexibility also includes how and when they’re paid. In fact, 91% would like a pay frequency other than bi-weekly (the most common payroll frequency today) and 36% would choose daily pay.
Faster pay cycles indicate a ripe opportunity for companies to reimagine options and freedom around pay frequency for their contingent workers. On-demand pay, for example, could help cover emergency expenses, which can keep workers from showing up for shifts.
🔲 Streamline other processes that make things easier for flexible workers
As the flexible workforce grows, so does the demand for better services to support them. A range of tools are now available to help keep flexible workers productive, minimize administrative time and costs, and streamline the way work gets done. Additionally, they are increasingly mobile, to give workers the same ease of use that they have in their personal lives.
To build a more sustainable gig economy practice, review your tools and ask yourself if they’re effective in managing and servicing your contingent workforce. These tools include, but aren’t limited to:
- Project tracking and job costing
- Time clock
- W-9 and 1099 compliance and filing with the IRS
- Geotagging or geofencing
- Payroll and flexible pay
- Asset management
Worker retention: Proactive is the best policy
Current trends indicate that the gig economy will continue to undergo change as regulation like AB5 becomes more common and companies prioritize meeting workers’ wants and needs in order to attract talent. Businesses that deploy proactive strategies to attract and retain independent contractors and other flexible workers will best position themselves to benefit from and grow the gig economy.
Want to understand what gig workers want? Get your free download of our 2021 Gig Worker Survey Report.