As a business owner, you understand the challenges of recruiting and retaining talented employees. Employees who call in sick or even worse – quit, can have a significant impact on your company’s productivity. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, absenteeism can cost companies billions of dollars.
You must have a plan for hiring extra help whenever you need additional employees due to increased product demand or to replace sick or former employees. On-demand staffing is like having a pool of employees on standby, who are ready and willing to work whenever you need them.
What Is On demand Staffing?
Various reasons can cause you to have difficulty hiring and keeping employees. According to the Conference Board, blue-collar labor shortages will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond. On-demand staffing gives you the ability to hire temporary employees to fulfill your employment needs.
On-demand staffing agencies offer a platform where employees who have specific skill sets are matched with companies like yours who can use their skills. Several companies such as Wonolo, Snag, and Shiftgig provide a pool of employees that you can tap into while minimizing expenses.
Companies who provide on-demand staffing see this type of employment process as the future in creating and fulfilling a shift led workforce. They aim to empower workers by offering them more employment opportunities and flexibility in scheduling.
A person looking for extra part-time work to supplement their income may not have time to take off from their primary job to look for work or go to job interviews. The time involved, transportation expenses, and childcare expenses can discourage a person from going out to look for work.
Some people looking for work may not own a vehicle, so they must use public transportation. If they live in an area where public transportation is not available, they must rely on family members or friends to give them a ride to work or hire a taxi.
Other hindrances to finding work include problems with finding someone to take care of their children while they are looking for work. This can be extremely expensive if they do not have a family member or someone else to help them with the children. Child care expenses can make looking for a job expensive.
On-demand platforms take away the hassle of going from business to business to apply for a job. Workers can use their computers or smartphones to log onto the on-demand platform to see what jobs are available. Since the jobs on the platform are offered in real-time, there’s virtually no waiting time.
Workers, who sign-up on the platform, have control over when and where they work, and you get an employee who is willing and capable of doing the work that’s needed. The work arrangement is temporary unless you decide to hire a worker directly.
Wonolo is a California based company. They hire workers for the fields of retail, e-commerce, and third-party logistics. You can contract with Wonolo for your employment solutions if you are trying to fill unfilled shifts to meet a temporary need.
The online staffing platform, known as Snag, specializes in hourly work. Founded in 2000, they have offices in Charleston, South Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Snag is recognized as one of the fastest growing media, technology, and telecommunications companies in the United States.
Shiftgig, an EZgig economy staffing app, was launched by a Lexington human resources consultant. Shiftgig’s purpose was to meet the demands of several longtime clients to have recurring temporary employees.
The potential employees are vetted by Shiftgig. The workers are also paid by the on-demand platform company, who handles the taxes, worker’s comp insurance, and comply with all employment laws and regulations. During the first 12 weeks of the company’s existence, it signed up close to 1,300 candidate employees.
While these three on-demand platforms are highlighted, several other companies provide these services. Other on-demand platforms include Catalant, Field Nation, Toptal, and Fulcrum. Each of them specializes in some degree in a specific area of employment.
With on-demand jobs, you would post positions onto the online platform. Your posting will include the skills required, pay, and the dates you need the workers. Interested employees who are signed up with the company can review the posted job and decide if they would like to apply for the position.
When you post a job on some on-demand platforms, it will be for one shift at a time. If the person wants to work more than one shift, they must sign-up for a consecutive shift, if the job permits it or apply for more than one day. The worker gets paid when they finish the shift. It’s that simple.
Companies like Wonolo are perfect for people who only work part-time. A typical Wonolo worker may only have a part-time job where they only work 29 hours a week. If they can get additional shifts, they can string together enough jobs to make the equivalent of full-time pay.
Wonolo allows employers to post more than one job at a time. All you need to do is post the job. Once there is a match, the worker will be dispatched to your company. To make sure your jobs get filled, you just need to post the payment method and your business profile.
Wonolo workers aren’t required to submit a resume or participate in a job interview. These processes have no bearing on a person’s ability to work in a warehouse or employment. If the worker can complete the tasks, show up on time with a positive attitude, they can pick up shifts from the platform. Workers who sign up with Wonolo must pass a background check that is conducted through a third-party vendor. Workers need to provide their full name, date of birth, social security number, the other information as requested.
How Does On-demand Staffing Work?
On-demand staffing agencies help companies fill various types of temporary positions. All you have to do is request extra help when the workload for your company increases and you are unable to meet with your existing staff.
Some situations can lead to a temporary worker being hired by your company. You may want to fill a permanent position uses the staff from the on-demand staffing agency to find the perfect match for the job. You may find this to be a faster and more efficient hiring process than the traditional method.
Traditionally, when you don’t have a current employee qualified to fill an open position, you would advertise the open position to the public. Applications would be accepted and processed. The applicants who meet the cut off will be scheduled for interviews.
The purpose of the interview process is to select the best-qualified candidate. Once a candidate is selected, a conditional offer may be made contingent upon the results of the background check. After the background check is successfully completed, the person would be hired.
On-demand employment provides workers with a different option. Because of these platforms, you can get help for your business in a moment’s notice. Workers sign up for work and create a profile in the on-demand hiring platforms, which give them access to available posted shift work.
If the worker finds a job that they like, they can select the job through the platform. The on-demand staffing agency may use a company to outsource the issuance of the worker’s paycheck and handle other human resource tasks. As the client employer, you determine the length of the employment.
If you find that you no longer need the temporary workers, there is a process for canceling a posted job. Some companies require that you pay a cancellation fee of at least 50 percent of what the job would have paid. That seems reasonable since the temporary worker was depending upon the job to get paid. At least 6 hours’ notice is needed to cancel the job.
If you operate a small business, you may not have a human resource department to review applications, interview candidates, and negotiate salaries. All these activities take time away from the other responsibilities you have in running your business.
For these reasons, it may be advantageous for you to partner with on-demand staffing agencies. However, there are no one-size fits all when it comes to hiring. Utilizing an on-demand staffing agency may not the answer to hiring for every small business, but it works for many companies.
Most on-demand platforms require workers to complete an online profile. Once the profile is created, workers don’t have to fill out another application regardless of the number of jobs they select. Workers must remember to keep their profile up to date, so they can be matched with the best available jobs.
Advantages of On-demand Staffing
The advantage of using an on-demand online platform is that the vetted workers are available when the demand is high. For workers, they do not have to commit to one particular company. The worker can also remain in control of their time. They make more money and can boost their resume.
For example, Snag reportedly has placed about 300,000 employees with companies in the United States and Canada. Snag offers a platform for employers who are looking for temporary workers and workers who are looking for part-time employment and individual shifts.
Employer flexibility in hiring workers
If the demand for your business products fluctuates, you can lose money by having additional permanent staff on the payroll. On-demand staffing lets you post jobs and hire workers when they are required.
Reduction in risk
On-demand workers are not employees of the companies where they work. Most companies find this attractive because the on-demand company shoulders all the legal responsibility for the worker. Therefore, your company receives the benefits of having more workers without risk.
Faster Hiring Process
The job market has become more competitive. Applicants have more skill sets, education, and work experience. Therefore, the hiring process may take longer. If you use on-demand platforms, you can hire faster and don’t have to worry about losing trained qualified applicants to competitive companies.
All companies have daily routine tasks, such as data entry and sorting and filing paperwork, which piles up because their employees don’t have time to do them. These tasks can be done by almost anyone. Rather than extra employees, it may be more cost effective to bring in an on-demand worker.
Seasonal work is probably one of the most common reasons you may want to hire on-demand workers. The meaning of seasonal could encompass weekends, holidays, or during specific events. Rather than hiring extra employees, you can hire temporary workers to help get through these busy times.
There may be a service that your company wants to offer that is outside your regular business services. You could hire on-demand workers to perform the services temporarily. If it doesn’t work out, it will save your company the expense of investing in something that was not profitable.
Employee No shows
If employees don’t show up for work because of sickness or other reasons that the company could be in a position of not being able to function effectively without hiring additional staff. On-demand staffing agencies provide a pool of workers to come to work in these unforeseen situations.
Disadvantages to on-demand staffing
On-demand staffing comes with its share of risks. Workers may find there is not enough work available to provide them with the salary that they need. In addition to having an unpredictable income, they don’t have any job security. The shifts that were once plentiful may suddenly disappear.
Misconceptions about on-demand employment
Most people think that hiring a staffing agency is too expensive. The fees may be high, but it could end up saving your company money. You can spend a lot more money advertising positions for hire, hosting a selection process, and conducting background checks. On-demand staffing saves you those expenses.
It’s not uncommon for your company to pay close to a half year’s salary hiring and training employees before you can see a return on the money spent. Also, the longer a position is vacant, the more money will be spent on overtime to other employees having to pick up the slack.
A common misconception is that on-demand platform workers are somehow less qualified than employees who apply directly to the company. The truth is that your company probably wouldn’t hire the on-demand worker directly because they may be overqualified for the on-demand position.
As an employer, you may be reluctant to hire a worker that you felt was overqualified because you may fear they will not stay on the job long. As soon as something better comes along, that worker will leave to go and work for the other job that more suited their qualifications.
Many on-demand workers are semi-retired or only looking to supplement their income. Many of them retired for professional careers. They may not want to commit to a full-time job because they want to travel or have other obligations, which causes them to want to remain flexible with their time.
You may think they you’re paying too much when if you look at the base pay for the worker and what you’re paying the on-demand platform company. Workers may also feel shortchanged. What you must remember is that the on-demand company is responsible for the taxes and other expenses.
Legal Considerations When Using Temporary Staffing Platforms
On-demand staffing agencies must operate under state and regulatory laws. The same rules and compliance regulations apply to your regular employees apply to temporary workers. Here are some of the legal considerations when hiring workers through an on-demand platform.
Employee Versus Independent Contractor
You must understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. The worker’s classification determines whether you must withhold taxes and provide other benefits. Incorrectly classifying on-demand workers may have legal consequences for your company.
Temporary workers may need to have access to trade secrets and confidential information to do their job. If your company handles sensitive information, you must be careful in choosing the right temporary workers. These workers must have the proper clearances to work with confidential information.
You may wish to have a temporary worker sign a written agreement to not disclose any sensitive or confidential information. In these situations, you might consider consulting with an attorney to draft such a contract.
Typically, independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation. In most states, you must provide employers with workers’ compensation coverage. The on-demand staffing companies should provide the workers’ workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers may wish to verify that workers’ compensation is offered by the on-demand company. Some of these company view workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Therefore, they may not provide this coverage.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and some state laws, employers must document the number of hours that nonexempt temporary work. Also, if temporary employees become injured, the employers may have to record the injuries on their required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports.
Workplace or Sexual Harassment Training
Some companies must provide their employees with workplace or sexual harassment training. You may have to provide proof that the training was conducted to meet your industry’s regulatory requirements. If staffing agencies don’t make this training available, you must provide the training as the employer.
Today, on-demand gigs are nothing new. We have on-demand transportation, on-demand meals, and many other services. It’s no surprise that this concept would work in the employment field. On-demand staffing provides your company with a pool of vetted workers who are available when they are needed.
Some of the advantages to on-demand employment for employers is the reduced risks involved with hiring employees, flexibility in the hiring process, and replacing employee no shows. A significant advantage for the on-demand workers is that they can remain in control of their time.
In addition to shift work, some companies provide on-demand platforms for freelance professionals. These jobs are typically performed remotely, which offers an additional level of flexibility for the worker and the employer. Freelance professionals are independent contractors and receive a 1099 tax form.
On-demand staffing is the way of the future. Using these platforms can revolutionize your company’s hiring process. If you have open positions that are not filled, and they need additional help, try staffing your company with on-demand workers.