How to Staff Your Business with Qualified ‘Gig’ Workers

The gig economy is a major market force that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, life and work as we knew it completely transformed. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted thousands of businesses and millions of workers around the globe. Businesses and entire industries not only had to adjust but reimagine new business models. Restaurants were forced to adapt to a takeout and delivery approach overnight. Online orders skyrocketed in place of in-store shopping. Hotels had to temporarily shutter their doors and develop new cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

As a result, GigSmart saw a 460 percent growth in demand for temporary, hourly work and recently reported that in Q4 of 2020, the number of warehouse jobs completed increased 381 percent, delivery services were up 386 percent and cleaning gigs were up 114 percent.

While nearly every business is experiencing fluctuating staffing demands, hiring additional full-time workers to cover part-time needs does not always make sense. The good news? There’s a better way. In response to this uncertain environment, companies are turning to gig marketplaces to hire contract, temporary, and part-time workers, in lieu of or to supplement full-time workers.

What Is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy consists of freelance workers looking for more flexibility in schedule and type of work, businesses in need of short-term labor or specialized skills for projects, and the companies that connect the freelancers and businesses, including app-based technology platforms.

It’s no surprise that Millennials, the largest working generation in the U.S., are driving the modern gig economy. Over 50 percent of gig workers between the ages of 18 and 34 report freelance work as their primary source of income. But what may be surprising is the number of Baby Boomers seeking flexible work after retirement.

Today, with record high unemployment and millions struggling to make ends meet, there is a diverse group of workers entering and driving the gig economy. Workers across industries are able to pick up flexible and temporary shifts on their own terms, to supplement or recreate their income, even in the midst of an economic crisis.

Key Benefits of Hiring Gig Workers

Businesses who leverage temporary workers experience many benefits. They can quickly grow and shrink their workforce, access specialized talent and expertise, and save time and money by reducing overhead and associated costs that accompany hiring full-time, W2 employees. Hiring gig workers allows you to expand your candidate pool to the rapidly growing millions of talented and experienced workers who are now freelancing.

How to Source Gig Workers

With the gig economy on the rise, more companies are looking to hire gig workers for their business.

Traditional staffing agencies come at high costs and can lack a skilled trade focus. Working with agencies is expensive and slow-moving. Alternatively, job sites like Craigslist do not provide worker vetting or any way to hold workers accountable.

GigSmart Get Workers gives you an easy way to source pre-qualified, rated and reviewed local workers with the exact skill sets you need. Get Workers instantly connects you to qualified and insured workers who can work across a variety of positions, from line cooks, to construction workers and commercial cleaners. With nearly 300,000 workers on the platform available for hire, you gain fast access to a diverse pool of pre-vetted workers. With zero up-front commitments, Get Workers helps you find your next worker fast—even for same-day shifts—for a very low fee.

Staffing in 2021

It is important to take into account today’s changing labor market. It is critical to diversify your staffing strategy with W2 employees, third-party outsourced solutions and independent contractors.

Temporary workers can help keep your full-time employees happier, allow you to rapidly grow (or shrink) your team based on project needs or demand, give you better access to specialized skills, or provide an additional means to vet potential full-time hires. Leverage these workers to fill positions faster, adapt and thrive in 2021.

About the Author

Jenay Sellers
Jenay Sellers is director of marketing for GigSmart, a staffing company focused on providing modern solutions to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving economy. GigSmart's apps, Get Workers and Get Gigs, connect businesses and users looking for labor with local workers. The apps are available in all 50 states serving industries including construction, manufacturing, delivery services, transportation, retail, customer service and professional services.

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