Uber and Lyft changed global workplaces forever when they decoupled the car from the driver. Over the next few years, 40 percent of employees are expected to be gig workers – we share essential tools, tips, and tricks to simplify gig worker scheduling and succeed in this dynamic landscape.

Any workforce where the number of full-time or permanent staff is less than third-party vendors or independent consultants is said to be part of the ‘Gig Economy’. In the near future, 40 percent of all workers are expected to be engaged in some form of short term contractual labor. This is being driven by advancements in technology and an overarching change in attitude – where employers are more open to connecting with workers on a flexible basis, and there are tools available which allow them to do so.

Originally popularized by the likes of Uber and Lyft, the concept of a ‘Gig’ has transformed workplaces across the globe. Indeed, the Gig Economy offers a number of benefits to businesses of all sizes, including access to high-value talent at low upfront investments and the opportunity to experiment in new business areas. Today, we look at four gig worker scheduling tools that gained traction last year. We also look at a couple of additional HR technology ideas that will help you win in the Gig Economy.

1. Shyft’s Gig Worker Scheduling Tool is Focused on Mobile Workforces

Designed specifically for the retail sector, Shyft’s workforce management solutions are entirely mobile-first. In addition to forecasting labor needs and recommending the ideal schedule, there’s also push notifications, instant messaging, and geo-fencing, to better engage with your employees. We suggest businesses with a multi-layer/multi-rank workforce explore Shyft.

2. Homebase Combines Hiring and Schedule Management for Hourly Gigs

In the blue-collar job sector, hourly gig workers are extremely common; however, there aren’t a lot of tools catering to this segment. Homebase plans to change this with their new hiring & gig worker scheduling software, launched just a few months back powered by USD 20 million in new funds. “Today, one-third of the American workforce still hasn’t felt the benefits of technology. With busy teams, high turnover, and tight margins, the stakes are especially high for these local businesses. The right software makes a huge difference,” says John Waldmann, CEO, Homebase.

You can quickly find interested hourly gig contractors, create schedules and time-sheets and centrally manage your team from the Homebase platform.

3. Skedulo is a WFM Tool for Gig Workers at SMBs

This two-year-old startup began with Salesforce and ServiceNow-based cloud applications. Last year, the company launched a standalone solution that’s more affordable, bringing mobile workforce management within the ambit of small-and-mid-sized businesses. Skedulo’s USP is that their scheduling tool can connect to your existing business systems such as CRM and ERP modules.

Skedulo can leverage business logic algorithms to determine the most qualified resource, automate schedule creation, and share updates through SMS or mobile app notifications.

4. For Large Scale Enterprises, SAP Fieldglass is the Way to Go

SAP’s workforce management solutions are well-recognized in this space, with myriad technologies aiding recruitment, candidate assessment, benefits, and other core HR tasks. In 2018, SAP Fieldgalsss entered the gig worker scheduling market with its ‘Digital Network’ – a marketplace connecting multiple talent pools including freelancers, contingent workers, statement-of-work consultants, and of course, permanent employees.

As this multi-channel workforce gains strength, the Digital Network will change the game for our customers as it gives them a simple way to access solutions that enhance how they engage and manage the external talent they source from many channels,” said Vish Baliga, CTO for SAP Fieldglass solutions.

Interestingly, the launch followed IDC’s recommendation that modern buyers should evaluate vendor ecosystems with the level of interest as their in-house capabilities.

Pro-tip: Two Industry Disruptors that Could Change your Gig Worker Gameplan

First is, twago by Randstad – this group with several HR solution companies within its portfolio recently launched a talent management platform dedicated to the gig economy. Unlike other gig worker scheduling tools doesn’t try to integrate freelancers within your larger workforce management system. Instead, it positions independent workers as part of 3rd-party vendor networks or managed service providers.

Second, is a brand-new tool which allows gig employees to share rides on their way to work. Born out of a partnership between Wonolo and Waze Carpool, this one-of-its-kind service connects registered gig workers and local drivers to provide more affordable commutes.

“This partnership with Waze Carpool was a natural next step for us – its unique carpooling solution supports our goal of ensuring temporary employees and gig workers are provided with many of the same resources and opportunities full-time employees typically receive,” says Yong Kim, CEO & Co-founder of Wonolo. Waze Carpool was originally launched to simplify commutes and increase productivity – by working with Wonolo, the service taps into a huge market of local gig worker communities.

Final Thoughts

Over the last five years, we have seen an explosion in the number of mobile, independent workers at every skill level. This has had mixed reactions; on one hand, employees often prefer the flexibility of choosing when to work, projects they want to take up, and prices they feel are right.

On the other hand, labor advocates often argue, that the gig economy pushes a disproportionate cost of business onto workers, who don’t always receive the standard benefits. Solutions like the ones listed above are a move in the right direction – they bring the engagement, visibility, accountability, and compliance expected from traditional workplaces to ad-hoc or one-off projects. By leveraging these you can balance employee wellbeing with business productivity and a future-focused operational blueprint.

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