As the on-demand economy has grown, it has become common for businesses to rely on freelance talent to complement their full-time staff and address fluctuating business needs. Yet, as more and more companies consider how on-demand workers might fit into their broader talent acquisition strategies, many are often left with questions. There are a lot of technology-enabled services that help businesses connect with on-demand talent, and it is important to understand how these services can work for your business.
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Before investing in an on-demand talent platform, however, you must first determine whether the on-demand labor model will really work for your organization. The following is an overview of best practices companies should use as they consider this new employment model, the technology that goes along with it, and how to best move forward:
1. Know Where On-Demand Workers Come From
It's estimated that more than 53 million Americans are now freelancing, but one of the biggest questions businesses have is where on-demand platforms source that talent.
These platforms typically acquire talent from a number of venues, such as job boards, job fairs, social media, and targeted ad campaigns. Basically, wherever people are looking for jobs, that's where the platforms find talent. Word of mouth also plays a major role: Workers who have positive experiences can recommend particular platforms to their friends.
2. Make Sure Those Workers Are Qualified
Once you understand how the on-demand talent model works, you will want to ensure you leverage a platform that offers access to vetted, qualified talent. A reliable platform will have multiple assurances in place, including transparency via worker ratings and ways to identify individuals who have specific skills needed for specific jobs. The right platform will provide additional peace of mind by screening talent via background checks and a comprehensive onboarding strategy.
Still, to ensure you get the best workers from the talent pool, your job posting should be as specific as possible, listing any special requirements, such as tangible or intangible skill sets. That way, you will have the right workers showing up well-prepared for their gigs.
3. Know What to Do If an Issue Comes Up
The on-demand economy is powered by technology. It can take days or weeks to find workers through traditional staffing agencies, but on-demand platforms move much more quickly. These platforms often serve as intermediaries between companies and workers. People find out about your jobs through an app and then sign up.
Nevertheless, that does not mean technology can be relied on for everything. The right platform will offer 24/7 customer support, enabling you to connect with a real person in real time to address any issues or answer any questions that may arise.
Related: America's New Freelance Economy
4. Look for a Streamlined Payment Process
One of the key benefits of leveraging a technology platform for staffing in the on-demand economy is the ease with which all transactions are made – including payments. The right platform should offer a swift, easy method for paying workers through a clean interface for inputting payment information and submitting payment to the worker once the work is approved.
While on the subject of payments, it is important to keep in mind that paying workers is the only payment you should be making: Credible platforms won't charge you up-front fees for posting a job.
5. Understand How On-Demand Talent Can Help You
To get the greatest benefit from on-demand talent, it is important that you know which job types are best for filling via the on-demand model. There are several categories of jobs you can fill successfully, especially in logistics, hospitality, and clerical fields. These jobs are often characterized by unpredictability, seasonality, and churn, and as such, are perfect candidates for the on-demand staffing model.
6. Protect Yourself, From an Insurance Standpoint
One of the biggest concerns about the on-demand model regards how companies can protect themselves, in terms of insurance. The right on-demand staffing platform will have numerous protections in place for businesses and workers alike.
Ensure that the platform you're considering offers general liability insurance that covers damage to products and facilities that might be caused by workers during the service engagement. More advanced platforms also provide all workers with access to occupational accident insurance, protecting workers and companies when unfortunate incidents occur at work.
7. Leverage a Platform That Can Fill All Your Needs
An on-demand staffing provider should do more than just help you fill last-minute requests. While that's obviously important, the right platform should also help you access a steady stream of workers and enable you to fill open jobs when you need to.
The on-demand economy has forever changed the way we look at work and how it gets done. With the ability to scale up or down as business needs dictate, companies can operate more strategically and cost-effectively. To truly benefit from this new model, it's important to understand how technology can facilitate the process and help you build a successful on-demand staffing strategy.
Rachel Giustina is senior marketing manager at Wonolo.