Mitigating recruitment risks in the gig economy
The advancement of technology, the pandemic, and the economic recession have become the main drivers of the gig economy. From ride-hailing online drivers and package and food delivery personnel to freelance software developers, more and more individuals are working outside of the typical nine-to-five workday.
While employing gig workers can bring a range of benefits, such as flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and access to specialized skills for organizations, there are also some inherent risks that should be heeded.
The inherent risks
The following are a few inherent risks that organizations must consider when hiring workers in gig economy:
- Data Security Risks. Gig workers may have access to sensitive data and information, which can give rise to the risk of theft, loss, or unauthorized disclosure if proper security measures are not in place.
- Quality and Reliability Risks. Since workers in the gig economy work remotely and are not under direct supervision, there is a risk of poor quality of work delivered or missed deadlines.
- Communication Risks. Communication can be more difficult with remote workers, particularly if there are language or time zone barriers. This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications, which can impact the quality of work delivered.
- Compliance Risks. Depending on the nature of the work, there may be compliance risks associated with employing remote workers. For example, if they are working on a project that involves handling personal data, legal and regulatory requirements may need to be met.
- Intellectual Property Risks. Gig workers may create intellectual property (IP) for companies while working on a project. There is a risk that they may claim ownership of these IPs if it is not addressed explicitly in their contract.
- Reputational Risks. If a gig worker delivers subpar work or engages in unethical behavior, it can negatively impact your company’s reputation.
To mitigate these risks, it’s important to have proper processes and procedures in place when employing freelancers, such as conducting thorough background checks.
Screening gig worker candidates
Here are a few essential steps in employment screening of gig worker candidates:
- Identity Verification. This is important to ensure that you are not dealing with impersonators.
- Employment History. Ask them for a list of past clients or employers and contact them to verify their work history. This will give you an idea of the freelancer’s experience, work ethic, and quality of work.
- Assess Their Communication Skills. Since candidates work remotely, it’s important to assess their communication skills. Consider having a video interview with them to evaluate their communication skills to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you and your team.
- Reference Check. Ask the candidates for references and contact them to get a better understanding of the freelancer’s work style, personality, and how reliable they really are.
Social Media Check. Take a look at the candidate’s social media profiles to see if they have a professional online presence and if there are any red flags that may indicate potential problems in the future.
To carry out these checks, organizations require the involvement of professional and competent third parties in the field of background screening. These third parties have qualified methods and resources to verify data with relevant agencies, access public databases, and conduct interviews with referees to gather information about candidates objectively and comprehensively. Integrity Asia is one such third party.
Integrity Asia has developed an employment screening application, Prisma, which is a one-stop channel for managing prospective employee screening requests submitted by your company. Prisma facilitates updates in real-time, making it easier for clients to check the ongoing screening process of their candidates. Background check results are then presented in a complete and accurate analysis report.
In every aspect of business, balancing the risks and benefits is essential. Should they not be effectively managed, the costs will significantly outweigh the benefits.
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