21 Feb 2019 19:27 IST

Who is up for the ‘gig’?

In India 70 per cent of corporates used gig workers at least once in 2018, says a Noble House survey

The growing trend of businesses hiring independent contractors and short-term workers, and the expanding pool of such temporary workers constitutes the gig economy.

A white paper titled “The future of work is anywhere – gig workforce,” based on a survey by HR talent marketplace Noble House has found that in the next three years about 10-40 per cent of the Indian workforce will be from the gig economy.

The survey covers consultants who were hired in a management role and not for assignments covering odd jobs and areas like design. The survey collected data from over 800 HR professionals and independent consultants, in an effort to reveal how diverse the gig economy in India is.

It explains how the roles, backgrounds, age, gender and experiences of gig workers differ and presents a compelling outlook. It tries to break myths and provide new insights on how the gig economy is becoming a key constituent in the hunt for talent.

Gender equality



According to the survey, men and women have an almost 50:50 share of the gig economy, against the traditional workforce, where the ratio is about 70:30. A total of 70 per cent of respondents from the hiring side have used gig workers at least once or twice for solving organisational issues in 2018.

Further, nearly 45 per cent of the HR heads want to hire a gig worker so that they can supplement the skills of their workforce, 39 per cent would do this to reduce costs, and 10 per cent to fill temporary vacancies in their teams.

Sanjay Lakhotia, co-Founder, Noble House Consulting Pte, said: “In our survey, we found that a large segment of 81 per cent has joined the gig bandwagon in the last five years. The data from the consultants registered on our platform suggests that the organised segment is seeing more interest across the metro cities, with Delhi NCR at 43 per cent emerging as the biggest hub, followed by Mumbai at 19 per cent and Bangalore at 18 per cent. The gig economy allows organisations to engage the best talent including skilled individuals in mid-to-senior level positions, for specific value-add tasks, in a cost-effective manner. It is an opportunity for these consultants to earn well at their own time and convenience — making it a win-win situation for both stakeholders.”


Convenient, cost-effective

According to the survey, 73 per cent of consultants have indicated they would prefer to continue working as independent consultants any day over a regular nine-to-five job. However, only 21 per cent wished to go back to a full-time position.

Asked how frequently they were hired freelancers, 70 per cent of the consultants claim to have been hired an average of 1.5 between one or two times in a year. In an interesting finding, businesses have hired these independent professionals in advisory roles rather than for repetitive tasks. About 40 per cent of the people in the gig economy have over 20 years of experience, while 38 per cent have between 11 and 20 years.


As revealed by the survey, businesses trust gig workers in the talent acquisition and training & development functions of the HR domain. Encouragingly, companies are increasingly finding value in hiring gig workers for talent management, compensation and benefits, HR analytics and technology support.

Data, the key asset

The survey’s findings are an eye-opener into how the gig economy is burgeoning in India, highlighting the freedom and autonomy it provides the workforce while allowing businesses to recruit for specific needs. It is a predictor that one can expect more and more members of the gig economy to play a bigger role at corporations and perform functions as critical as the ones of full-time workers.

The survey highlights the need to rethink the foundations of social and economic security, such that they are not predicated on people being in traditional forms of employment but, rather, on the quality of their work.

(This survey on growth in the Indian gig economy was conducted by Noble House, a HR talent marketplace.)