Meet the HRDs ditching full-time posts to join the part-time party

Gigging is no longer the demise of low paid positions but is now creeping into the C-suite. Does it work and will the trend for HR skills on demand take off?
HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Meet the HRDs ditching full-time posts to join the part-time party

The gigging movement is beginning to creep into the HR profession, so what’s all the fuss about and is it a ‘win-win’ for both parties?

‘Gig’ - a word that begins and ends with the same letter. An outlier, edging its way to the mainstream, an anomaly that is greedy for the main stage, a three-letter word that demands more than its alphabetic count. If you scour most of the HR jobs boards, you’d be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t request ‘full-time’ working or at the very least a flexible role that is ‘job-shared.’ Yet, many HR Directors, in the throes of a mid-career have become tired of being tied to a one trick pony and have seen that the grass is actually greener in the HR gig world. I talked to some HR professionals that found that occupying the Gig jobbing world is their guilty pleasure.

Sara Daw is Group CEO of the Liberti Group, which includes fractional HR Director provider People Puzzles. She is additionally the author of Strategy and Leadership as Service, a book that looks at how businesses have begun to access their C-Suite skills on demand, instead of keeping them on the payroll.

SMEs have long harboured having a full-time HR Director, but their price tag is out of the question, same for other C-suite functions. With this in mind, using HR giggers allows growing businesses to ‘fill those gaps’ with fractional experienced C-suite professionals that are affordable and importantly off the main employee payroll books.

“There's a model there around using the C-Suite on a part time basis, SMEs need these skills to scale over the long-term, but don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford them full-time,” explains Daw.

She adds that when she began to do some research what she discovered is that the Liberti business model is not that different to the disruptive ones found at the likes of Spotify and Zipcar for example. “In those businesses you don’t own the asset, and, in this case, you don’t legally employ the people.” It’s a movement to access rather than ownership.

Employment doesn’t have to always be the gold standard. There are other ways of having committed, connected, value-adding individuals that are very much part of the organisation, even though they haven’t got an employment contract

Sara Daw | Group CEO, Liberti Group

Daw adds that it’s a myth that you have the ‘hearts and minds’ of your people just because they are employed. “You don’t, you just need to look at the Gallup surveys which revealed that in 2022 only 23% of employees were engaged,” she says. She explains that when you consider the concept of psychological ownership and efficacy with core ingredients of identity and belonging, what you find is that if you put that into the relationship that can hold it together really well even without employment. She adds that there are indeed plenty of employment relationships that don’t have those things that aren’t held together, becoming fractious relationships.

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