Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: gig economy

The Talent Development Centre includes advice for independent contractors in IT from one of Canada’s top staffing and recruitment agencies. See all posts about the Gig Economy.

The “Taskification” of Work


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Cameron McCallum By Cameron McCallum,
Regional Vice President at Eagle

“My father had one job in his life, I’ve had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time” – Robin Chase, Co-Founder of Zipcar.

The “Taskification” of Work It would seem that up until recent times, human ingenuity focused mostly on increasing the efficiency of work. Improvements of basic tools and machines, completely new inventions and the change from mostly rural, agrarian economies to large-scale, urban-based capitalism changed forever the kind of work we did and how we did it. And through all these changes, workers have had to adapt. Globalization, free trade, off shoring and automation have all impacted workers.

So what are the new or next big disrupters? Lots has been written on the future of automation and the outsourcing of work to machines. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is fascinating. And the “Gig Economy” is already here. Studies vary but some are saying that by 2020, upwards of 40% of Americans will be involved in some sort of freelance or contracted work (a “gig”). Uber is a great example of that new model. But this model is being refined even further. “Crowdworking” refers to websites or “apps” where users/employers can advertise simple or repetitive tasks and gain access to thousands (millions?) of potential “employees” around the world who undertake the tasks advertised. Sites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Microtask act as the gathering point for requestors and workers. Instead of hiring employees or negotiating complex freelance contracts, anyone who needs a job done that can be done on a computer can simply go to the market and instantly pick from any number of willing workers. Need a group of photos labelled “Scotland”, or the contact information for businesses in a specific area confirmed or a set of images described in French, there are countless workers who will do it.

The idea of breaking down a job into simple or micro components is not new. Think of the classic assembly line with each station responsible for a specific repeatable task. Off-shoring used this logic to remove the more “mundane” tasks of customer service and call centers or even computer programming from high cost labor centers to countries with a well-educated and populous workforce where wages were low. And while these workers were expected to learn about and be connected to the task owners business, in the case of crowdworking, the workers have no relationship with the task owners at all, except as a point of revenue.

The success of the model means that larger businesses are investigating the usefulness and utility of posting jobs to these sights. The “taskification” of jobs might mean that companies start looking at any number of simple tasks that make up a full-time or part-time employees’ day which could more economically be carried out by a worker in Bangladesh who has a master’s degree and is chronically underemployed vs the North American worker earning $50,000 a year.

And as was demonstrated by off-shoring even traditional knowledge worker roles can be “taskified” into smaller fragments. This on-demand, task-based approach offers companies the ability to tap into an unlimited network of resources including technical experts, seasoned professionals, robots or simply human labor to complete a wide variety of tasks. What this means for the future of work will be played out soon and one thing that we can count on is that new generations of workers will once again, be forced to adapt.

2016 in Review: Business of Independent Contracting


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2016 in Review: The Business of Independent ContractingIt’s well-known that successful independent contractors are hard workers, experts in their field and know the best ways to keep a steady flow of work. Something often over-looked by an outsider is all of the extra work an independent contractor has to do just to manage their business. Since we know that IT contracting goes beyond searching for jobs and working on projects, the Talent Development Centre is filled with helpful business tips and contracting advice.

Taking the Leap into Independent Contracting

Just getting into contracting can be a scary endeavor, which is why we posted these articles to help IT professionals in that situation:

Managing Your Independent Contracting Business

We also shared these posts to help manage the business once it’s moving:

Inside Scoop from Eagle’s Executive Team

One of the greatest benefits of the Talent Development Centre is the inside scoop we provide from our executives, who work closely with industry associations. As a result, 2016 also saw these policy-related articles:

What did we miss in 2016? Use the comments below to tell us what you want to learn more about next year.

The New Gig Economy for Baby Boomers


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Frances McCart By Frances McCart,
Vice-President, Business Development at Eagle

The New Gig Economy for Baby BoomersThe Globe and Mail recently published an article about all the buzz around the new “gig” economy, and how it is not just for millennials.

A ‘gig economy’ is defined as “an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent work for short-term engagements.”

This article highlights the fact that senior level resources and recently retired executives are now realizing the opportunities that are now present due to the “gig” economy and how they may benefit from them.

Eagle began to see the need to provide clients with access to senior resources (on either an interim or consulting basis) who have left their traditional roles in industry.  Over the past 5 years, since launching the Executive and Management Consulting (EMC) division, we have seen the talent pool of industry experts and former management consultants virtually explode.

Clients are realizing that they can now access these subject matter experts and strategic resources without going the traditional route of engaging a consulting firm.  The resources that we work with bring a depth of expertise and professionalism to a client that often exceeds what they can access through other consulting and sourcing channels – and at a fraction of the cost.  These resources typically bring at least 15-20 years of hands on experience managing large business transformation related projects, or have deep subject matter advisory expertise.

Clients have started to understand the large untapped talent pool of resources who are keen to work and have discovered what an asset they are to their organization.  These resources not only bring in-depth expertise to the client, but an incredible work ethic.  The baby boomer “gig” economy is a fast growing demographic with thousands of people entering the economy every year.  Most candidates that we have spoken to are excited about the opportunities in the market, often not limiting their work to their home city or country.  The key to anyone entering the next stage of their career is to take the time to plan what is most important to you and how to market your new brand into the marketplace.