The Evolving World of Work.
The history of employment and work in our country is an interesting story. At the turn of the 20th century, most people were self-employed on farms or as owners of small, independent businesses. As corporations grew and cities offered more choices for workers and families, the pendulum swung toward jobs in companies and life in the city. This became the norm and traditional jobs were the goal for many job seekers.
Then around 2008, the Internet began changing the employer role for corporate America and for the workforce. Today, people can work remotely, away from the typical office environment. They can find jobs and get hired on their smart phone. They can research employers and coworkers using social media before accepting a job.
These changes power what’s typically meant by the gig economy: using the Internet to find work independent of a traditional organization.
Uber is the example most people think of when they hear the term gig worker or gig employee. Passengers work with their smart phone to find drivers. Drivers use their smart phone to find people who need a ride. Uber puts the two together, and everyone wins. It’s an employment model that works for a lot of people.
Gig Work Isn’t New
But gig work is not new, nor is it limited to Uber.
Temporary staffing companies like Active Staffing Services have been operating in a gig-like model for decades. Staffing companies work with employers who need workers and hire workers who need jobs, put the two together, and everyone wins. Kind of like Uber!
Temp staffing sounds a lot like gig work. But there are some significant differences for both workers and employers.
The Differences Between Gig Work & Temp Staffing
Flexibility. Gig workers like the freedom and flexibility of working when they want, relieved from the trappings of an 8-to-5 world. Temp staffing employees also enjoy variety, flexibility and freedom in their work, but have the advantage of being able to plan days – even weeks – in advance when accepting temp jobs, many of which are full-time and long-term.
Like gig workers, temp employees also have the freedom to turn down a job before accepting it. An important difference, though, is that they can typically request a reassignment any time the job isn’t working out.
Risk. Traditional jobs offer stability and a reliable paycheck. The employer knows how much they’ll be paying in wages; the worker knows what they’ll be paid. In gig work, both the employer and the worker accept a certain amount of risk: Can the worker do the job? Will I be paid what I’ve been promised? These are real concerns!
In the temp staffing model, the staffing agency absorbs that risk. The employer is assured that the worker can do the work that needs to be done because the staffing company has vetted them before sending them out to a job. The employee knows up-front what the pay is, the process for tracking hours, and when and how they’ll be paid…all without the burdens of employing a regular employee or being tied to a traditional job.
Translation: temp staffing reduces employment risk for businesses and workers.
Benefits. Access to benefits like healthcare insurance and retirement plans is a big advantage for corporate employees, one that gig workers miss out on. By contrast, temp staffing companies may offer benefits including insurance, 401k plans, paid time off, and referral bonuses.
HR & Compliance. Corporate HR departments are filled with experts trained on regulatory and employment compliance, payroll processing, new hire paperwork, and on-boarding. These are important roles for any employer or employee. Gig workers are on their own and have to take on these responsibilities themselves or hire specialists to help them.
When working with a temp staffing company, they handle HR, compliance, payroll, hiring and benefit administration for the employer and the employee. Yes, there’s a cost of doing this work but it’s borne by the employer as part of the fee they pay the staffing company, not by the temp worker.
Safety. Everyone wants to come home safe at the end of the work day. Like corporations, staffing companies take safety very seriously, providing PPE, safety orientation and training to ensure that workers and jobsites are safe. The risk to gig workers is that they may not have access to safety programs or resources to keep them safe on the job.
Gateway to a Long-term Career
Just like corporate jobs aren’t for everyone, neither are gig work or temporary employment. All three have been available for many years and will likely be options that are available to employers and workers for years to come.
Active Staffing is a gateway to a long-term career. For more than 70 years, the company has employed thousands of people every year and placed them in temporary, long-term, temp-to-perm and permanent positions with reliable employers in the light industrial sector. The company offers medical coverage, 401k with employer match and referral bonuses to eligible associates.