The gig economy growth is accelerating at pace, but Sterling has said that employers need to boost their compliance strategies if they are to capitalise on any opportunities in this market and limit the disruption to their hiring strategies.

At a time when Uber has revealed booming financial results, underpinned by a 30 per cent spike in gig drivers, Sterling has warned that not all businesses are yet fully prepared to manage in a gig world, with compliance a core challenge. Identity verification and Right to Work checks for gig workforces require robust processes to root out fraud, particularly when face-to-face interactions with these workers is limited, making it harder to confirm that the person being paid is the same individual that has been vetted.

Sterling has highlighted to employers tapping into the gig economy that the onus is on them to ensure they are identifying individuals who have been involved in fraudulent work in the past to best protect their business and customers.

The firm also warned that the growth of this type of employment is putting pressure on HR and talent management teams, with the increased preference for gig or gig-like employment models from workers creating shortages within the permanent workforce. Sterling’s own data revealed that 40 per cent of HR professionals are increasingly competing with new types of employment such as gig, which is one of the leading factors behind skills shortages.

“Compliantly engaging the gig workforce isn’t easy, but with a greater proportion of the workforce indicating a clear desire for this type of work, employers need to be prepared to adapt,” says Steve Smith, President International at Sterling. “Our studies have shown a growing concern from HR professionals over the challenges of emerging employment models, but the reality is, the gig economy is here to stay.

“The future of work is clearly flexible. Businesses need to be equipped with the tools to adapt quickly and seamlessly, without any compliance risk to their business, staff and customers,” added Smith. “We’ve already seen strides in areas such as Digital Identity which enable fast and flexible recruitment of gig workers. Even those well-versed in the gig economy must now ensure they are able to up or down scale their screening and employment at a moment’s notice if they are to be able to match the speed of change that we’re seeing from the workforce. That includes having absolute clarity over all compliance elements that will impact them, from meeting Right to Work regulations, to ensuring data is compliantly processed and stored, as well as confirming that checks are proportional to the roles in question.”

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