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Bringing the gig economy to tourism’s high-flyers

21 May 2020  By Staff Reporter | | @tourismticker

Employers wary of spending large salaries on senior staff as they try to repair their balance sheets could consider contracting in their executive skills, says Tourism Talent director Jason Hill.

As the recovery gained momentum, Hill believed there was an opportunity in the New Zealand employment market to connect tourism executives with employers trying to control costs but needing senior skills.

Jason Hill

“What we are going to see from employers as they come out of survival and into recovery mode is how can they have access to a senior level of strategic thinking without necessarily applying the same cost structures that they have had historically,” Hill said.

“The whole concept of outsourcing and the gig economy makes contracting virtual CFOs or virtual CMOs a lot of sense for small to medium-sized businesses as they recover.

“When they get back to a position when they can bring those skills inhouse, that’s great, but maybe they will contract in as and when required as a long term strategy.”

Tourism Talent launched its Gig Connect ‘executive for hire’ service earlier this month and said it was the largest database of senior executives available for contract hire to the New Zealand tourism industry.

“We have a pool of very experienced and senior level people who may have been made redundant and they are looking to utilise their skills. Rather than them looking for fulltime employment some of them are using this as an opportunity to explore a better way for them to get a better work-life balance in the future,” Hill said.

“If you are contracting a CFO or CMO for 20 hours a month at $150 an hour, that actually only translates to $36,000 a year and you can get quite a lot achieved and quite a lot of insight and intel from someone like that in 20 hours a month.”

For Tourism Talent, which was launched at the end of 2018, the new service was supposed to start later this year but had been brought forward because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The tourism specialist recruitment agency would charge a commission only on the hourly rate of any earnings.

It now also worked with Go with Tourism to help support employment in the sector and to hunt down opportunities for displaced workers.

“If there’s one message we want to get out there it is to encourage industry to think differently around management. Agile management and the gig economy have been around for a while now but many people still do not really understand it,” Hill said.

“As employers, we have traditionally tried to keep people on fulltime but this could be a win-win for everyone.”


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