Gastonia North Blog

Medical Device Recruiters

INSIGHT: Living in a Closet (stay with me on this one)

I sometimes feel as though the whole age and wisdom thing has been lost on me. It makes me wonder if I’m suffering from “too much change in too short a period of time”, or what Alvin & Heidi Toffler called “Future Shock”.  I mean, really, the volume of information I have to handle in my 60’s is probably 20x what I dealt with in my 20’s when my brain was supposed to be firing on all of its cylinders!

What’s my point?  I learned today that I’d completely missed a discussion that has been going on for a couple of years now around the “gig economy”.  In fact, it actually has a definition: “a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.”  A couple of PhD’s did a study supported by all kinds of data they collected saying that between 2005 and 2015 the US workforce in that sector had grown by a full 5 percentage points, or 7-8 million workers!

What’s really funny is they are now walking back both their estimates and their predictions.  They have “realigned” their estimates for what took place in the period to look a whole lot like what the BLS said, a 1-2% change, or 1-3 million workers; and their predictions about the growth in that sector?  “The implication may be that we’ll see these kinds of jobs proliferate again during the next downturn.”  In other words, people look for temporary work when full time is not available.  Duh.

To our readers, my point is simple – the greatest risk of data gathering is the human predilection to have a desired outcome and then gather data to support that objective.  We gather data in our business like they do in most businesses but the reality is that you can make data look any way you’d like it to look; or, any way that will benefit you.  In the device business though, you cannot make the business look good while putting the patient at risk.

To the HR reader, your greatest challenge is to be able to react rapidly to change as it occurs in the labor market.  This isn’t about millennials or baby boomers, it’s about a competition for talent and keeping your company competitive.  The US put >300K people to work in December 2018 and as of this writing we still have +7,000,000 jobs available!  Everyone is looking for talent, everyone is competing for that hire who can really impact their business but not everyone has the kind of connection to that talent that you do through MR of Gastonia.  Call us.

How Estimates of the Gig Economy Went Wrong