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4 Steps To Get Started With an Elastic Hourly Workforce

The first version of the gig economy - the 1.0 version that left workers wanting more and exposed workplaces to dangerous compliance and co-employment risks - has failed to deliver on its promises to both workers and workplaces. With low productivity and high risks, that version of gig work doesn’t pay off, but it had a few good ideas. It focused on offering workers flexibility and helping companies manage variable demand while keeping their overhead low, both of which are important.

In the Gig Economy 2.0, an Elastic Hourly Workforce combines the best of gig technology, W-2 employment, and contingent staffing into an efficient, compliant, and flexible workforce-as-a-service. This delivers the flexibility for workers and workplaces that the gig economy 1.0 promised, along with critical compliance measures and a higher quality workforce.

We’re turning though to the next step: implementing the Gig Economy 2.0. For workplaces, this centers on understanding your workforce needs. Once you know what you need, it will be simple to add an Elastic Hourly Workforce that will help your business keep up with short-term and long-term changes in demand while staying flexible and keeping costs low.

Here are the four steps to understanding what’s right for your business and building a strategy around your company’s ideal mix of permanent and contingent workers:

Step 1: Define what you need.

There are three core reasons your company may want to start using an Elastic Hourly Workforce: 

  • My company needs an optimized, cost-efficient way to complete hourly work in varying amounts as we go through predictable long-term cycles or short-term spikes in demand.
  • I have internal hourly employees that I rely on, and I need more workers with similar skills to help me drive peak performance.
  • My company is internally ready to embrace the future of hourly work. 

If you agree with any of these, an Elastic Hourly Workforce is the right fit for your talent needs. Not only is it a forward-reaching framework for tapping into a workforce-as-a-service, but it also helps to manage varying demand levels and achieve peak performance levels.

Step 2: Calculate the size of your ideal permanent workforce.

Analyze historical work volume to find the four-week period with the lowest average output, based on the productivity of your top 25 percent of workers. This should then be used to determine the base number of hourly workers you need, year-round. 

You may want to hire that number of permanent employees, knowing that you’ll need to stay at that base level all year, or use that as the minimum number of W-2 workers you request through your Elastic Hourly Workforce partner. Either way, this baseline can help you calculate costs and set expectations for your workforce.

Step 3: Calculate the size of your peak workforce.

Next, analyze your company’s historical work volume to find the four-week period with the highest average output, based on median worker productivity. This can now be used to determine the peak size of your elastic workforce needs. 

For all times between your lowest output (what you calculated in step two) and your highest output, your elastic workforce can provide the contingent workers you need to meet demand without over-hiring. This is the primary goal of a workforce-as-a-service: to help your business stay flexible while meeting productivity needs year-round.

Step 4: Tap into an Elastic Hourly Workforce to fill the gaps.

Connect with a consultative, tech-forward partner like Bluecrew that will provide an Elastic Hourly Workforce to meet your needs and efficiently fill the gap in workers. This is what we specialize in: offering workplaces a high-quality W-2 workforce that can stretch and contract to fit long-term and short-term productivity needs. We’re combining the best of the gig economy - flexibility and tech-forward people management - with the compliance and quality of a W-2 staffing solution.

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