Growing warehouse operations 10x overnight using Instawork

Farmstead is a grocery delivery service based in San Francisco. With COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates, they saw business increase 10x nearly overnight and needed a way to keep up with customer orders.


Problem: Keeping up with an unexpected 10x increase in customer orders

Co-founder Kevin Li and his team needed to quickly hire warehouse workers to pick and pack grocery orders to fulfill customer orders. But they put a lot of care into their full-time recruiting process and didn't want to sacrifice quality for speed.

Solution: Using gigs to fill immediate and long-term staffing needs

Farmstead’s operations team worked closely with Instawork to meet both their quality standards and staffing requirements. With Instawork, Farmstead had a:

  • Vetting process to ensure every warehouse associate met Farmstead's requirements, including a strong work ethic and written English skills
  • On-demand, 24/7 booking platform where they can request shifts with short notice, minimizing overbooking costs
  • Feedback rating system to easily identify and retain the Professionals that fit their culture
  • Online roster and shift settings configured for the same people to return every day, saving time on training
  • Live account team that proactively triages call outs resulting in a nearly 0% no-show rate

Results: Fully staffed, all the time

By closely collaborating with warehouse onsite leads, operations team, and Product, Instawork created a smooth staffing process even with many shifts booked on short notice. Within the first month, Instawork delivered:

  • 460+ shifts using 100+ Professionals
  • 100% fill-rate
  • .44% no-show rate (that’s 1 out of 200 gigs!)

Lastly, Farmstead now has a reliable recruiting pipeline through Instawork. Both Farmstead and Instawork Professionals test each other out before committing to a full-time position. The temp-to-hire strategy already resulted in four full-time hires within a month.