Ethical Moonlighting

The most challenging HR opportunity

Moonlighting is, perhaps, the biggest challenge that enterprises, specifically in the knowledge economy are facing today. Moonlighting though in the spotlight these days is not a new phenomenon. It has existed since time immemorial. It is also the biggest unexploited solution to the ongoing war for talent.

The dictionary meaning of Moonlighting is ‘have a second job, typically secretly and at night, in addition to one’s regular employment

The question is why it should be ‘secret’.  For Centuries Ethical Moonlighting has existed.

It is a big opportunity for organizations. According to a research study I conducted, 37% of employers already allow employees to undertake non-conflicting and another 9% are preparing to allow it.

The way the talent crisis is evolving, Ethical Moonlighting will be a very potent tool in the hands of organizations to engage fluid talent and individuals to maximize the return on their talent.

In simple terms, ethical moonlighting is when an individual can monetize his or her skills at more than one role/employer for financial rewards without any conflict of interest for all the parties involved. 

Now it might sound simple but, much like ethical AI or ethical hacking, is an extremely complex work philosophy to execute.

The first question is what Organizations should worry about. Just 4 simple things I call them FICR (Ficr incidentally means worry in Urdu)

The Benefits are ECLECTIC

  • Engagement: employees who have the opportunity to ‘do what they do best, every day are much more engaged in their workplaces. Ethical Moonlighting could provide the much-needed avenues for individuals to leverage their talents that may be underutilized in the current roles/assignments.
  • Collaboration:
  • Learning: employees are constantly motivated to learn and keep their skills up to date to make the best of ethical moonlighting opportunities
  • EVP / Employer Branding: organizations offering a structured framework for such engagements are perceived to be more progressive and employee centric. Thereby enhanced EVP / employer brand
  • Curate Talent: extended work exposure, outside of the organizational ecosystem enhances the individual’s capabilities and skills/ therefore is a very potent tool for enhancing the depth & breadth of talent
  • Trust: it helps build high levels of trust between employees and employers
  • Innovation:
  • Culture:

Requirements are CONSICE

  • Clear policy and guidelines
  • Opportunities in-house
  • Needs of the Business
  • Stringent control
  • Imperatives – Financial, Intellectual, Competitive and Resource security (FICR)
  • Contract
  • Ethics maturity



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