The nature of work has profoundly changed over the last five years. With the availability of a virtual workforce that can collaborate over the internet with a small business anywhere, owners now have the team they need only when they want it. Gone are the days where they are required to invest in the overhead of full time employees regardless of whether there is revenue to support them. Now they can match their sales with expenses by getting workers on-demand. This has the potential to save small businesses 40% of their major overhead cost.
The number of on-demand workers is exploding and is projected to more than double in the next four years.
“There’s been a shift in employment that’s been going on for the last 30 years,” says Alex Chriss, a vice president at Intuit. “In 1989, six percent of the U.S. workforce was ‘contingent’—workers getting some income from freelancing or independent contracting or being self-employed. Today it’s 34 percent, and we think it’s rising to 40 percent by 2020.”
Staffing agencies have always provided temporary workers for companies. But this was not only expensive with their service fee, but it was very time consuming to find the right resource. The process changed with the Internet when small business owners could now use resources like Elance (now UpWork) to easily find freelance resources at a price they could afford. In the process, companies listed their project and individuals would bid on it. This was effective if there was time. However, small business owners need resources that they can acquire faster especially when employees are absent or they need a temporary workforce. The popularity of on demand services like Uber has now blown the top off this model.
Now, higher skilled individuals are getting involved and offering their services on-demand. Work Market’s 2015 study of 1,037 companies found that older, more experienced independent professionals were most sought-after for corporate in-demand work, with millennials a close second (33 percent). Solutions are filling the gap to match the on-demand workforce to all sizes of companies.
One example is from Workfast which provides an “on-demand” workforce at the exact moment the company needs it. Any business can post a work need from a smartphone app in two minutes for a job that can take an hour, a day or a week. Its engine matches this requirement to appropriate resources while additional workers bid on the job. With these two methods, a company can choose the right resource almost immediately. One of the ideal parts of the application is that all payments are handled through Workfast on the same day that work is completed. They eliminate any temporary hire fee, a company payroll entry or the appearance that the worker is not a contractor.
In this application, ratings of companies and workers allow both parties to make the optimal choices. Workfast focuses on skilled event staff, office administration, promotions, hospitality, warehouse, retail sales and other general services staff requirements.
There is plenty of competition in this growing area. Depending on the skills needed by employers, they can sign up with Workfast, Work Market (IT, Retailers, Digital Media), Wonolo, (Administrative Tasks) or OnForce (IT professionals).
How has your company used on-demand workforce applications effectively?
This post is sponsored by Workfast.