If you’re running a business, chances are you’ve heard the term ‘gig economy’ bandied about, especially in media headlines. But what exactly does it mean? We think it’s best described as an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.
The trend toward a gig economy has definitely begun and there are a number of forces behind the rise in short-term jobs. The digital age we now live in, for one, means the workforce is increasingly mobile and work can be done from anywhere, effectively decoupling jobs and locations.
This empowers freelancers to pick and choose from temporary jobs and projects the world over, while employers also benefit from being able to select the best individuals for specific projects from a larger pool of talent.
Big tech companies — think Deliveroo and Airbnb — have been quick to capitalise on this staffing trend, effectively building innovative technologies that connect people wanting to earn extra income with others who are happy to pay for their services.
While food delivery services and affordable accommodation providers are great for individuals, consumers are not the only ones taking advantage of the ease and convenience of this new arrangement. Small business owners are also turning to the gig economy to solve their business needs.
Here are four potential benefits to your business offered by this new way of staffing — brought to you by the team at local Australian startup Sidekicker.
It’s a time-saver
Temporary staffing is not a new concept. However, the way in which you source, hire and pay these workers has changed. Thanks to the gig economy, and its new technology, you now have instant access to a large pool of talent and finding the right person doesn’t take arduous hours away from your business.
Besides the reduction in paperwork and time spent interviewing, you can find highly skilled workers who can hit the ground running as soon as their shift starts. At Sidekicker, we instantly connect businesses with the staff they need, when and where they need them. We take care of the screening, interviewing, skill-testing and payment of any Sidekicks (aka temporary staff) you hire.
Seasonality is not a problem
If you’re in an industry where you see a seasonal spike in business — we’re looking at you, retail and hospitality business owners — you know that keeping staff on your books year-round can be a struggle. You may find yourself forced to find extra work for your casual employees when it’s slow just to keep them engaged for peak season employment. But that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
“[Sidekicker] has enabled us to quickly hire staff to help us meet demand during our seasonal peaks of the school year,” said Bob Stewart, a Melbourne retail provider of school uniforms. “This means we will be able to manage the rest of the time with a smaller core group of staff.” As a result, he has reduced his employment costs.
They’ve got skills
Small business owners are exceptionally resourceful. Making do with what you have and keeping expenses at a minimum is key to growing your business. By jumping into the gig economy, you no longer have to spend hours trying different Excel formulas or pretending Karen from accounting is a great barista. The access to top talent is now fast and affordable.
Sidekicker’s co-founder and CEO Tom Amos says on any day of the week you’ll find at least one temporary worker helping out at Sidekicker HQ. “We’re a growing business with big targets. Sometimes we need a special skillset to help us achieve these deadlines. Why wouldn’t we lean on the skills of the thousands of Sidekicks looking to showcase their expertise in those areas,” said Tom.
You don’t have to be in two places at once
Mobile traders have an even harder time finding help. It’s difficult to find staff willing to travel for a
casual job. But what if you could hire staff at the location of your event as you travelled around the country?
Bike n’ Blend have done just that. Providing a fun, engaging and healthy brand activation option, the pop-up events company relies on temporary staff to help service clients around the country. “Launching in another city is never easy, but having casual event staff on hand makes it so much more achievable,” said Leena van Raay, director at Bike n’ Blend.
Want to find out how thousands of other Australian businesses are leveraging this new way of staffing? Find more information on the Sidekicker blog.