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Finding Employees in Today’s On-demand Economy



Snagajob CEO Peter Harrison.

It goes by many names—the gig economy, the sharing economy, the on-demand economy. A want or need meets the service that provides it and poof! Everyone is happy. You can get a ride using Uber to the room you reserved through Airbnb and DoorDash will deliver your dinner. 

But as a growing number of people move into this mobile workforce—a study from Intuit reports an estimated 7.6 million Americans will be regularly working as providers in the on-demand economy by 2020, more than double the current total of 3.2 million—employers must not only contend with the flexibility and control these workers want, but also be able to find them in the first place. 

When Jeanne Graves came to Del Taco in February 2014 as vice president of human resources, her priority was, as she put it, “to bring HR into the 21st century.” The quick-service chain’s hiring process was completely paper based, with stores relying on walk-in candidates to fill a growing number of positions.

“They were constantly looking for people to hire,” said Graves, which made it difficult for a brand that had its eye on some serious growth (the company was purchased by Levy Acquisition Corporation and became a public company in June 2015). “In order to grow this business, we needed the people power.” 

Graves turned to online hiring platform Snagajob and employee management service PeopleMatter (PeopleMatter was recently acquired by Snagajob in June 2016), implementing both across the now nearly 550-unit franchise. With its online job marketplace and onboarding tools, Snagajob has helped streamline Del Taco’s application and hiring process while also increasing its visibility among jobseekers.

“We’ve got that millennial crowd covered,” said Graves of the workers who can now apply for jobs, arrange interviews and complete new hire forms all from their mobile devices. 

“They can do all the onboarding and paperwork at home,” continued Graves. “They’re not sitting in our dining rooms completing a pile of paperwork. 

When I work

When I Work’s mobile app provides real-time scheduling updates for workers and managers.

“And we’re saving two hours of labor across the board, which at $10 an hour, you can imagine the savings.”

From January to August 2016, Del Taco received 118,000 applications, 43,000 of which came through Snagajob. Access to a larger applicant pool means the company can pick higher quality people, Graves said, though she noted those same applicants must be hired quickly or they’ll move on to another opportunity.

“You really have to monitor and stay on top of it,” said Graves. “The good ones will get hired fast.”

There’s an increase in the demand for talented hourly workers, said Snagajob CEO Peter Harrison, while the job seekers themselves are more often working for multiple employers at any given time. 

“The reality is we have more people who are straddling multiple employers and those employers are having to manage more employees,” explained Harrison, who noted the company’s 2016 State of the Hourly Worker report found 88 percent of workers are open to working multiple jobs to get more hours and almost half expect their next job to last less than three years.

“The No. 1 biggest challenge right now is 70 percent of workers are looking for jobs on their phone but the vast majority of applications today aren’t built for that and sort of send the seeker into the abyss,” he said, calling it the “explosion of the black hole—you apply and don’t hear anything back.”

Snagajob lets workers browse and apply for jobs from any device and its various tools allow employers to follow each applicant through the process. The company is also beta testing Snagashift, a platform that lets managers assign and post schedules online and access a pool of on-demand hourly workers looking to pick up additional shifts.

“Workers are drawn to employers who have mobile apps to manage their schedules,” said Harrison. “They want a collaboration there, not just a dictation.”

Angie Peterson has seen that preference first hand as corporate general manager for Dunn Brothers Coffee based in Minneapolis. The company uses employee scheduling software When I Work to coordinate with workers at its corporate locations and encourages its use by franchisees. 

“You’re pretty much giving ownership to the employee,” said Peterson, whose workers are responsible for entering their own availability. “And if I need to get a shift covered, I can go outside to other stores and I can see everyone’s schedules. I’m not having pieces of paper floating around with people’s requests. It’s really convenient when you have multiple locations.”

With real-time updates and the ability to send meeting notices or other communications directly to employees through When I Work, Peterson said the software has increased efficiencies and allows mangers to focus on other duties instead of spending so much time on scheduling.

“I think it saves a lot of time for everybody,” she said. “It’s live. It’s convenient for managers, they have access to everything on their phone."

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