— By George Lessmeister —
6 reasons to ‘go gig’ — and give hourly workers the flexibility they want.
Sitting at a restaurant we’ve all become more patient. We know staffing is tight. And we know the people who are working…are working hard. Still, there’s no doubt you’ve asked the question — where has everyone gone?
Back in 2019, headlines were all about low unemployment, the gig workforce was growing, and things were great. Then came COVID. Our world got smaller. First, we all had to stay home; then as things gradually reopened those businesses with hourly public-facing workers started to rehire. The problem is those hourly workers discovered job options that had something they had lacked before: flexibility.
These hourly workers really didn’t leave the workforce. They simply are reshuffling to get what they want. What does that mean, exactly? Snagajob says it surveyed 3,000 hourly workers and employers to understand their mindset.
- 80% of hourly workers say they’re planning to look for a new job in 2022.
- 54% say they want part time.
- 59% are looking at changing industries.
Workers are looking at new job criteria in this order of importance:
- Pay (77%)
- Location (67%)
- Flexible hours (66%)
Meanwhile, employers say they have a low applicant volume and not enough time to hire. In May, our team was at the National Restaurant Show. We heard story after story from owners and leadership. They know they need to do something differently but aren’t sure what steps to take. The Snagajob report echoes these comments saying employers want to do something differently to staff to pre-COVID levels.
Our recommendation is to find a great staffing company and use gig workers. Here’s why:
Give workers what they want. Workers say they want flexibility. Give it to them. That’s what gig work is all about. Our team specializes in the hospitality industry staffing restaurant and hotel workers. These are some of the toughest jobs to staff. Yet we consistently find workers to take open shifts. Remember, flexibility means different things to different people. Remember the majority of workers want part time. That’s a gig job.
Build bench strength. This same flexibility can be applied to full time staff, if you’ve got great gig workers to back them up. Full time workers get sick, get sick children, get burned out and need personal time. Finding a great staffing partner to work with you to locate great gig workers gives your team a backup staff for bench strength.
Save budget. People might say it’s too expensive to partner with a staffing company. Is it? Instead of spending cash to hire on your own, train and provide benefits, the staffing company does that for you. And your business isn’t dealing with federal required payments either.
Test the temp. Sometimes a great gig employee turns into a long term staffer. Hiring gig workers gives a business team a chance to meet a person, work with them awhile and decide if it’s a great fit. Likewise, a gig worker who may want a permanent job gets to work for you to find out if they like the work and the people.
It’s not personal. Team chit chat and rumors are hard to control. Sometimes it gets personal. Gig workers don’t go to the personal level. Most know they’re working with you for a short time, so they don’t get too emotionally invested. They know they’re there to do a job and receive a check.
Seasonal staffing. Staffing firms are available to help a business scale up or scale down depending on need. For example, hospitality clients near large convention centers need more people during a large conference. When it’s over, fewer workers are needed. Using gig workers means there’s no need to hire and fire and then repeat the hard process. Provide a plan to the staffing company, and they can assist — making sure you have people to take care of the customer.
— George Lessmeister is CEO and founder of LGC Hospitality, a national staffing firm headquartered in Indianapolis. LGC has offices in nearly 40 U.S. cities. Team members work with hotel and restaurant leadership to place executives and temporary workers.