In a competitive labor market, finding the staff you need can be a challenge — that’s one of the main reasons employers turn to Instawork and our network of ready-to-work Professionals. But with so many Pros available, choosing the folks best suited for your needs can be a challenge. Need some pointers on how to quickly but efficiently vet candidates? Here are a few things to consider.
1. Consider more than the feedback rating
A Pro’s feedback rating is an average of the scores given by businesses that previously booked them. It’s one of the first things you’ll see on an Instawork Pro’s profile, and for good reason: If a Pro has a rating of at least 4.0 (out of 5.0), that’s a good indicator of competency, reliability, and professionalism.
That said, you should consider shift count as well. A Pro with an average rating of 4.4 after working 90 shifts might be preferable to a 5.0 Pro who has only worked five shifts. The more employers a Pro works for, the less likely they are to maintain a perfect record — some employers, like some teachers, might be exceptionally tough graders and resist handing out 5-star ratings.
But keep in mind, you shouldn’t necessarily disqualify Pros with no ratings yet. They could be new to Instawork, but not new to their profession. Or a Pro that’s just gotten started on the platform could have a low rating based on one bad review from an overly harsh employer. In those cases, you should also look at their experience outside of Instawork. Pros can’t register on Instawork without submitting references from previous jobs, whom we check in with to confirm their work history and professionalism. Reviewing this feedback can help you discover great workers who might be overlooked by other employers.
2. Determine if their skills match your needs
When evaluating Pros on Instawork, you can search for folks who have worked at businesses similar to yours. And because Instawork verifies the experience and references listed on each Professional’s profile, you can rest assured that what you see in the experience section is what you’ll get. For certain positions, you can even filter by levels and criteria.
If your shifts require specialized training or knowledge, you can check to make sure that the Pros you’re considering are qualified. For shifts that involve serving alcohol or handling food, for example, look in the “Certifications” section of a Pro’s profile to confirm whether they’ve uploaded a verified TiPS certificate and Food Handling Card. Likewise, if you’re hiring for a warehouse position that requires the use of a forklift or a pallet jack, you can check to see if Pros are certified to use that equipment. Instawork also offers training articles and videos for Pros that explain best practices and basics for warehouse jobs, providing you with another level of assurance when hiring for those positions.
But of course, not all servers — or bartenders, or forklift operators — have equivalent experience. A server whose experience is exclusively with high-turnover midrange restaurants might not make an ideal event server at an exclusive charity gala, even if they have a high star rating. Likewise, a line cook whose experience is limited primarily to fine-dining establishments might not be able to handle the pace at a busy pizza restaurant. And remember that for some positions, such as a warehouse associate, expertise might be less important than reliability, teamwork, and a willingness to learn.
3. Verify soft skills with compliments and badges
An easy way to assess quality is to check for a Top Pro badge. Top Pro badges are awarded to Pros who pick up shifts regularly, arrive on time, and receive high ratings. The levels begin at bronze, then move up to silver, gold, and platinum — the more consistent, punctual, and high-quality a Pro is, the higher their Top Pro badge level will be. And because the Top Pro levels reset every month, you’ll know that these Professionals aren’t resting on their laurels or coasting on high ratings from long-ago shifts.
Reviewing what a Pro’s previous employers and colleagues said about them can help you determine whether they have the right combination of hard skills and soft skills to mesh with your team and your needs. The comments about one Professional might repeatedly mention “team player” and “friendliness,” for example, while another Pro’s might emphasize “efficiency” and “speed.” You can then decide which of those traits are most important to you.
“Compliments from other businesses” and achievement badges can also help you choose between multiple candidates. Compliments tend to be subjective, while achievement badges are more objective. For instance, Pros earn an “Everyone’s Favorite” badge when at least three employers give them at least a 4-star rating and add them to their favorites list, which means these particular workers get a chance to apply for future shifts with that employer before anyone else. Pros earn a "Reliable Rooster" badge after working a specified number of shifts without cancelling, and an "Early Bird" badge for clocking in early to a specific number of shifts.
Let’s say one Pro received “great attitude” compliments from more than half of the businesses they worked for, while the second earned an “Early Bird” badge for clocking in early to 10 jobs. That doesn’t mean that the first Pro isn’t punctual, or that the second one doesn’t have a great attitude. But depending on which is a higher priority for you, this info — like the comments — can help you decide if one Pro is a better fit for your business than another.
With a wealth of Pros to choose from, narrowing down your top choices can be difficult — but the suggestions we’ve outlined above, you should be able to identify quality candidates in less time. That way, you can get back to doing what you do best: running your business.