Ep 125 – The Place For Gig Economy in Government

Workology Podcast Episode 125: Growth of Gig Economy in Government with Joe Bielawski and Scott Wiseman

Welcome to a new series on the Workology Podcast we are kicking off that focuses on the future of work. This series is in collaboration with the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology or PEAT.

We’ve talked about the growth of the gig economy which according to CNN Money is expected to be 43% by 2020. We think of Task Rabbit workers, Lyft drivers, and corporate contract and freelance workers. These are all happening in the private sector. My question is what’s happening in the public and government sector? How are government’s embracing the gig economy? That’s exactly what we are talking about today as part of our Future of Work series. We’re taking a look at the changes happening in the public and government sectors with contract, contingent, and gig based workers.

Episode 125: The Place for the Gig Economy in Government with Scott Wiseman and Joe Bielawski

Scott Wiseman and Joe Bielawski are of Knowledge Services. In this podcast episode in partnership with PEAT, we discuss how the gig economy is helping the government to staff up, push projects forward, and increase their efficiency. Joe and Scott provide some great insights into how the government sector is modernizing their hiring and talent acquisition processes including tapping into hidden talent pools including persons with disabilities.

Each state government operates differently when it comes to productivity, staffing, and workforce planning. However, in Scott and Joe’s experience, there are a number of best practices. One of my favorite insights from this interview was how agile methods are also being used in recruiting and hiring in the public sector. The ability for teams in the government sector to be flexible, nimble and agile is critical not in just the war for talent but also to help move quickly to serve the communities they serve. Joe and Scott talk about the importance of building talent pipelines using what they refer to as talent clouds. This critical in the new role of the gig economy in government but also in staffing and hiring where the time to hire is traditionally much longer with very different requirements than the private sector.

What is Co-Employment?

Another interesting topic of conversation was the subject of co-employment which is defined as a relationship between two or more employers in which each has actual or potential legal rights and duties with respect to the same employee. As the government sector works with more staffing agencies and third parties, the topic of co-employment becomes a subject of increased importance for these agencies. What’s critical says Joe is to establish clear partnerships, guidelines, and set expectations between your partners, your gig workers, and create processes and procedures including the hiring of 1099 workers in order to stay with IRS guidelines.

The Differences and Similarities Between Government, Public, and Private Talent Acquisition Challenges

I think it’s interesting how many similarities but also differences and challenges government sector has. One similarity that is across the board is the knowledge transfer between experienced workers and new team members. Scott and Joe refer to this as the “Silver Tsunami.” It doesn’t matter what industry or business you are in, training, development, and transferring this experience is critical to the future success, survival, and growth of your organization. Both Joe and Scott agree that this mass exodus of experienced workers is an opportunity for the government sector to engage different talent pools starting with people with disabilities. 

When it comes to the gig economy and really the changing workforce it’s nice to see that maybe we are all that different. However, I think it’s important for us to really sit down think about this and plan whatever sector you’re in the gig workforce the contract worker the freelance economy is here and it’s here to stay.

Connect with Scott Wiseman on LinkedIn. Connect with Joe Bielawski on LinkedIn


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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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