The nine-to-five job is no longer the professional norm

22 may 2017

At HRbuilders we are committed to connecting great HR people, providing you with valuable curated content and helping you as an HR professional to stay ahead of the curve. It is also our mission to shake things up in the sector of Human Resources and to look into the new ways of working in game changing companies in Belgium and abroad.

Over the past few years, the gig economy has grown tremendously: freelancers are becoming an increasingly bigger part of the working population every day. According to one definition we found, the gig economy is "a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs". In the gig economy, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for the "gigs" they do.

Whether you call it an “agile” workforce or a “gig” economy, the number of employees working on a project or contract basis has been on the rise. (Part time) freelancing has become a way for professionals to take matters into their own hands and proactively have more control over their professional lives.

It looks like being a 9-to-5 employee in one company is no longer the ultimate career aspiration
Though technology is for sure a powerful force in enabling this movement, it is not the only factor at play. Why is the Gig economy growing so rapidly? How to prepare for it as a company?

Read on and discover…

A custom demand calls for a custom answer

Today, consumers expect more and more. They want their products delivered at the time and place they want & services tailored to their own preferences.
To cater to these increasingly customized client demands, a more customized and specialized approach is necessary.

Flexibility in the workforce is needed, and this is where the Gig economy comes into play

Connected everywhere, work everywhere

Technology is also an important contributor to the success of today’s Gig economy. The steep rise of digital and mobile technology has impacted everything.

In a society increasingly digitalized employment was bound to change drastically as well

The impact of technology makes it possible to work from a distance and gives freelancers several possibilities to expand their freelancing business quickly and easily:

Digital technology brings together people from all over the globe, creating a worldwide chain of supply and demand. This makes it very easy to reach a lot of potential customers quickly, as well as reaching out to employers.

Narrow searches for better results
The whole process of matching has become a lot easier and faster: you can reach out and find people from all over the globe in a matter of seconds. It also leads to better results: digital platforms and search engines allow people to narrow their searches using filters on the results.

Ratings and reviews to build on
Both freelancers and their clients can leave ratings and reviews on a variety of websites. Freelancers can take advantage of this kind of websites to build a strong reputation. Beware as this can be a double-edged sword, as bad ratings can just as easily destroy your reputation.

Low (to no) barriers to entry
Best of all: it’s all relatively cheap. As soon as you have a device with an internet connection, you are good to go. The costs of joining professional networking sites (if there are any) are a lot lower than the costs real-life networking would require (although it still is a good idea to network in person as well).

Read more on this topic on this blog


Prepare for the Gig economy to become a gig-antic success

It’s also important to state that the traditional model is not flexible enough to deal with the problems we are about to face, so this new model will keep growing. Read on if you want to learn how to make sure you are prepared as a company for the disruption the gig economy brings.

A thorough assessment of all your existing HR procedures should be the very first thing to do:

  • Can your procedures handle a more flexible workforce?
  • Are your policies regarding recruitment or working hours made to allow such freedom to employees?
  • Is your candidate and employee database up to the task?
  • Can you accommodate workers that come and go?
  • And what about the interaction between team members when they start working at different locations?

Have your HR policies been gathering dust over the past few years and not suited anymore in a Gig environment?

Better to anticipate & find solutions before the situation becomes critical


  • When it comes to the workstations, provide laptops instead of fixed computers.
  • To maintain and encourage interaction between team members, new communication channels should be fully integrated in the company.
  • Not only procedures will have to change and evolve, your HR managers will have to follow too.
  • Handling a gig environment requires a different approach than traditional employees.
  • Guaranteeing productivity in such a dynamic and flexible setting could get tricky.


Even though freelancers are more independent than traditional employees, they still expect to grow professionally. The number of learning opportunities provided to them to develop their skills should under no circumstances diminish.

Find out more on how to prepare for the gig economy via this blogpost.


Join the HRbuilders freelance community!

Are you a gig worker or considering becoming one, being able to focus on doing things that you love and that you’re good at? Then, beware: finding gigs isn’t always easy! Especially as you are just starting out…
That’s exactly where an agency like HRbuilders can help!

During the week of the freelancer, HRbuilders and Multipen organize a TFONTF session in Mechelen.
This workshop is for seasoned HR professionals with plans of becoming a freelancer or who have just started their freelance HR career.

  • You can subscribe via this link (free from charge)
  • Feel free to forward this article to anyone you know who wants to become a freelance HR professional.


HRbuilders – established in 2008 with HQ in Belgium – is active in HR Interim Management/ HR Consultancy assignments across Europe. Our niche as a matchmaker is 1. HR (only) 2. temporary assignments (only) and 3. freelancers (only). No headhunting, no other HR services, we focus on what we are great at! We offer our clients peace of mind where-ever they might need a temporary HR support. On average our assignments are 1 year or longer.
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