Gig workers are generally referred to as contingent workforce like freelancers, private contractors, and contract firm workers who are hired for short-term, temporary projects or assignments. Organizations generally prefer hiring gig workers when they need to fill resource gaps over short periods. They are also hired when organizations need specialized skills which are not available within the organization, or for fulfilling on-demand labor requirements.

Traditionally, employment has been viewed as a long-term relationship between an employer and employee where employees are paid by the hour and earn a monthly wage or salary. A gig worker is hired for a specific period and the nature of the work arrangement is always contractual. They are paid during or at the end of work delivery. They are also called nonstandard workers as they are hired for a limited duration.