Using Instawork's flexible pricing effectively this peak season

Anyone who’s been in the business long enough can confirm that pay is the most effective lever you have to find great front-of-house and back-of-house staff. But as a small business, we also know that you have to keep your budget in mind — so we’ve put together a small guide on how to use Instawork’s flexible pricing most effectively during the busy season. Read on to learn how to make the most of your budget while attracting the staff you need to power your business and deliver incredible experiences.

How Instawork’s flexible pricing works

The Professionals on the Instawork platform decide which shifts they want to work. Oftentimes they have multiple sources of income, so it’s important to ensure the pay is competitive. To help our clients offer attractive pay, we incorporate factors such as city, skills required, and level of expertise into our suggested rates. In addition, there are certain elements that make it harder to find staff:

  • Distance from city: When a job is located outside of a metro area, Instawork Professionals often have to commute further, requiring extra time and money.
  • Peak times: Weekends and holidays tend to be busier, so Professionals have more options to work.
  • Urgency: When shifts are posted at the last minute, especially with less than 24 hours in advance, many Professionals have already set their schedules — and rearranging them can be challenging.

In these situations, extra incentives can help workers offset any additional inconvenience or cost. Instawork will factor these into suggested rates, showing you exactly how much you’ll end up paying if you choose to accept the terms.

That flexible pricing is great for attracting workers to shifts you urgently need filled, but there are more cost-effective approaches for long-term planning.

Tip #1: Book ahead

When you post shifts ahead of time — at least a couple of days in advance, but the sooner the better — you have the benefit of locking in more reasonable pricing, reaching a wider pool of Professionals, and giving yourself enough buffer to hire the perfect fit. If you have a hard time attracting staff, you can always increase the pay as the date gets closer. On the other hand, if you end up not needing as many people as you originally thought, you can adjust it down.

You might wonder — doesn’t flexible pricing encourage Professionals to hold out until the last minute for the highest pay? We get that question all the time. While we can’t say there aren’t any Pros who take advantage of this pricing model, the truth is that most Instawork Professionals value the reliability of work. It’s a far safer bet to sign up for a shift as soon as you can than wait until pay gets bumped up, at which point the competition will steeply increase.

What’s more, we learned in a survey conducted earlier this year that 70% of Instawork Professionals are caregivers. That means that they not only prioritize financial stability — they also prefer to have a schedule in advance so they can work around their caregiving responsibilities.

Take, for example, Chef Bryin in Los Angeles. Bryin uses Instawork as his sole source of income, hitting 100% of his financial goals by booking enough shifts at the beginning of the month to cover his monthly expenses and savings on top.

Tip #2: Build out your roster early in the season

Another way to staff smarter with Instawork is to begin filling out your bench as early as possible. There are two main ways we recommend you do this:

1) Proactively search profiles

Instawork already does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to vetting Professionals  upfront, but nobody knows who your business needs better than you. Rather than waiting for Professionals to apply to shifts once you post them, search by role, location, and previous company history ahead of time to find folks that would be a great fit.

Dig into their profiles and read recommendations and feedback from Partners they’ve worked for previously to see if they have the hard skills and soft skills — like good communication and a positive attitude — your company needs. Add the Professionals that stand out the most to your roster, and they’ll be given access to your shift before anyone else (learn more here). You can also specify that you want only these Professionals to have access to it, though keep in mind that narrowing your reach makes it harder to get shifts filled.

2) Test Professionals out

The more a Professional works for you, the better they understand your business, and the higher they can perform. So consider booking people early on — that way, you’ll have a solid bench of well-trained Professionals when your peak season rolls around. Even if you have a steady roster of on-call staff, adding a few Instawork Professionals to work alongside them in the beginning will allow you to vet the Pros and show them the ropes. Share instructions and information ahead of time, and they’ll get caught up to speed even more quickly. Then by the time you’re in the thick of the busy season, they’ll be at the top of their game, prepared for your most critical events, and qualified to coach any other Instawork Professionals you bring in at the last minute.

Even during your average busy season, businesses need all the help they can get — but in the wake of COVID-19, staffing has taken on a new urgency. At Instawork, we’re committed to connecting you with the high-quality staff you need, and it’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. That’s why we’re always coming up with new ways to improve your experience, from health and safety measures like allowing you to see Professionals’ vaccination cards in-app or adding rewards that motivate Pros to reach new heights.

Book now to get ahead of the curve, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything — we look forward to helping you thrive this season and beyond.