We know just how much the concept has taken off in the UK. We also know just how much it has taken off in the US – except of course they continue to use the awful title of ‘Slash careers’. We also know that in Europe generally it is also increasing but not apparantly at the same rate. You can speculate on this!

However, I have just come across a most interesting input from a conference in New Zealand.

“We’re seeing more people with ‘portfolio careers’ across a diverse range of skills. Attitudes towards careers are changing with more New Zealanders seeking variety in their work life, and opting for ‘portfolio careers’ which enables a person to have a series of jobs over shorter periods of time, rather than permanent employment,” says James Fuller, CEO.

The (RCSA) held the inaugural Tech Xpo last month for members to showcase the latest tech innovations and insights for the recruitment, staffing and workforce solutions industry. James says the RCSA TechXpo was a great chance to see how digital platforms are really pushing the industry forward, and recruitment firms are rapidly becoming big adopters of smart tech that makes their lives easier.

Ian McPherson, Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise Recruitment and People and Vice President, RCSA Board of Directors said that James Fullers’ presentation was a great overview and reminder of how the gig economy is well entrenched and ever-present at all levels of the workforce.

“Flexible opportunities and the ability to create multiple ways of earning that suit the lifestyle of gig workers never ceases to amaze me and the way businesses respond to this could be a big factor in their ability to attract and retain the right people at the right time,” says Ian McPherson, Vice President, RCSA Board of Directors.

James says it’s about having a core of permanent staff supported by shorter term specialist resources. This means that getting a good mix between permanent and contract recruitment is going to be a really important factor for future organisations.

“The ‘gig economy’ isn’t just Uber and Airbnb – it’s actually independent earners and is a much larger group than people think i.e. around 15% of the NZ population earn independently. They could be freelancers, contractors, consultants, sole traders or self employed. We have eight full time staff, and probably another six or seven contingent workers that work for us on demand, some for just a few hours a week. This means that we can get the value of their experience, at a price we can afford. These specialists don’t want a permanent job, and there’s no way we could afford their skills full time. Leveraging specialist on demand resource can provide organisations with the opportunity to experiment, get external experience and to innovate,” says James Fuller, CEO.

The growing number of independent earners in New Zealand has seen a rise in products and services catering for these new ways of working. Hnry, was an attempt to make life easier for independent earners as James had experienced the challenges of contracting in the past himself.

I hope our book is readilly available down there!

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