How These Apps are Transforming the Way We Work

Angie Malerba

GigEconomy-Biker

You order your transportation from Uber or Lyft; you order burgers from Seamless, GrubHub, or some other app. Now, finding a gig or a specific type of professional talent is also part of that on-demand ecosystem.

Gigging” has become a way of life with more than 53 million Americans (a third of the working population) freelancing. Work has been redefined, as people choose this way of life for a variety of reasons–including flexibility, skill level, and inability to find a full-time position.

Snag, which was founded in 2000 and serves the hospitality industry, has more than 60 million users. Its solution for on-demand workers has placed workers in 500,000 locations in the U.S. alone, including bars, restaurants, and hotels. CEO Peter Harrison believes that the app benefits both workers and employers. Before a candidate can apply for a shift, he or she must be “badged,” which means that the employer doesn’t need to vet the candidate. Employers are alerted when workers qualify for overtime, so they can make decisions accordingly and stay in compliance with local laws.

“Most shifts are claimed within minutes, and employers have an 88 percent chance of filling a shift within four hours,” says Harrison. Workers and employers need to rate each other before payment is issued, creating an additional trust screen. Better ratings lead to better opportunities for workers and help brands fill open slots more quickly. Harrison adds that one of Snag’s users enabled her to “shop” different employers before accepting a full-time position.

Snag has no plans to expand beyond hospitality and retail at this point. “These industries represent 35 million jobs; 80 million hourly workers in total in the U.S,” says Harrison.

Hiring apps for hourly workers are becoming more commonplace and, as with dating sites, talent-seekers and candidates will ultimately choose which app to use based on positive experiences finding the right match.

Those “giggers” who are qualified to serve-up strategic concepts rather than burgers may turn to Catalant, which launched in 2013. The app is currently used by 30 percent of the Fortune 100 and 20 percent of the Fortune 1000, according to Co-CEO Rob Biederman. Catalant helps companies — large and small — find specific types of professional talent via its database of 55,000 applicants and, unlike traditional recruiters, uses artificial intelligence to propose staffing scenarios using a combination of in-house and gig talent.

Companies are searching most often for marketing, operations, strategy, and finance talent and often find that “giggers” are able to increase speed to market or bring creative new ideas to their organizations. Talent in the fields of crypto, machine learning, AI, and blockchain seem to be on the rise.

Mark Cuban was such a fan of Catalant that he invested $500,000 within weeks of receiving a pitch from the company in 2016. The company also rebranded that year from its original name, HourlyNerd, according to the Boston Business Journal.  Catalant just closed its Series E round and reports $100 million in revenue to date.

Adds Biederman, “The more companies think about the talent this way, the more productive they will ultimately become. Dynamically accessing talent on a platform like ours will democratize the workforce.”

Both CEOs spoke about how their technologies remove hiring bias. “The app is colorblind,” says Harrison. Biederman says that projects can be executed more effectively when biases are removed. “One of our most dynamic modules brings retirees back into the workforce and creates new jobs for people in corporate roles,” he states.

Among the challenges faced by Catalant is breaking through the perception that the best contributors to a company are those that are “owned” by the brand. Giggers are often viewed as outsiders. Hiring managers need to change their thinking about the make-up of a successful organization in order for the gig model to work effectively.

These apps are clearly transforming the way we hire, work, and make job decisions. Will your next hire arrive before your Lyft? That remains to be seen.

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