Recently we published a white paper on the layered approach to staffing, an innovative strategy for maximizing ROI from temporary workers. We followed up the white paper with a webinar, featuring myself along with Mike Bohnett, our vice president of enterprise and emerging categories, and Meg Cowee, one of our enterprise account managers. Together we discussed how the layered approach benefits businesses and fielded questions from our attendees, who came from a wide variety of industries spanning the service sector and the supply chain.
The essence of the layered approach
The core of the layered approach is to go beyond the traditional dichotomy of temporary and permanent workers. By creating a middle layer of shifts for experienced workers on flexible schedules, businesses can unlock a variety of benefits, for both human resources and efficiency. While permanent employees work on fixed schedules, a rotating cast of experienced workers who know a business well can cover for absences, eliminate overtime, and provide a ready-made pool for recruiting.
Here's what it looks like in practice. The graphic below shows how a real last-mile delivery operation is able to create a middle layer of shifts for experienced workers who arrive on a recurring basis. Because the business always uses some temporary workers, there's a floor for recurring shifts year round. And these shifts can replace overtime shifts for permanent employees, too:
This approach is particularly suited for businesses that use temporary labor all year. If they always have some shifts for temporary workers, it makes sense to have the same workers coming back and deepening their experience without the need for additional training.
Because there are more experienced workers picking up shifts and covering for absent employees, productivity increases. And with fewer overtime shifts and lower recruiting costs, the bottom line improves as well. Here's a summary from the webinar of the benefits of the layered approach:
Questions about the layered approach
Meg, Mike, and I fielded a great variety of questions after our presentation. Here's a quick selection:
Q. Are temporary workers on flexible schedules vetted with background checks?
A. All Pros on the Instawork platform undergo a background check to ensure they are eligible for the shifts they want. Workers also have to qualify, based on prior experience and references, in order to work higher-skill positions. Drug testing is also increasingly available where necessary.
Q. Does Instawork offer 1099 and W-2 options for shifts?
A. Yes, both options are available, subject to local laws. An Instawork team member can help each business to select the right option. W-2 shifts are staffed via our related company, Advantage Workforce Services, which provides full tax and benefits coverage as required by law.
Q. Are skilled professionals for hospitality, like line cooks and bartenders, available via the Instawork platform?
A. Absolutely – we regularly staff large numbers of shifts for both of these positions, as well as other skilled positions both in the front and back of house. A great aspect of the Instawork platform is that many Pros move up the value chain by picking up skills via their shifts. Some of the Pros working line cook shifts today started off as prep cooks or food service workers.
Feel free to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions after watching the video and reading the white paper. We think the layered approach offers a huge step forward for staffing, making use of the all the new options in the labor market. And we're excited to hear about how you're using it, too.