Talent acquisition in trying times: The Instawork method
At a time when workforce reliability, workplace safety and job security are all being affected by COVID-19, companies are starting to feel the pressure. Addressing these problems through technology that is revolutionising talent acquisition with ‘click-of-a-button’ applications and software, Instawork offers a centralised platform that connects businesses with proven professionals in real-time.
“Instawork is a flexible staffing solution for warehouse manufacturing, food production, and hospitality-based workers,” explains Mike Bohnett, Vice President of Sales and Partnerships. “At heart, we’re a tech company that is aiming to rebuild how staffing works, to better meet the needs of both companies and today’s hourly workforce. Fundamentally, we believe that staffing ─ and specifically temporary staffing ─ is broken.”
At this point, we wondered exactly how the temporary staffing system, which is a tried and tested model, is, to use Mike’s wording, “broken”. The leading-VP was quick to elaborate: “At Instawork, we have spoken to many companies that use contingent labour, and there is a trend in all of our conversations. It seems to be the case that everybody is struggling to find good workers that show up consistently ─ it’s an ongoing saga that never seems to end. As a solution, these companies are piecemealing across several agencies in an effort to get a fraction of what they actually need. That’s frustrating for them; arguably, it’s painful. Whichever word you put on it, one thing is for sure: it’s a costly game of trial and error.”
“Companies the world-over need dependable workers. It’s a necessity to keep the cogs of business turning. So we at Instawork decided to try and find a solution that would ensure the delivery of quality, vetted professionals when needed ─ and we believe that we have managed to build a service that achieves exactly that. Through the Instawork platform, workers can easily pick up shifts at top organisations and get paid quickly afterwards, and they receive reviews from employers, which ups their credibility for any other potential gigs.”
An excellent example of Instawork in action is the company’s close collaboration with Sun Basket, the San Francisco-based subscription meal delivery service. “Sun Basket experienced a huge spike in demand, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. They needed extra warehouse labour, and their at-the-time provider couldn’t get it for them, so they looked for an alternative solution and found Instawork.” Subsequently, Instawork was able to onboard Sun Basket in a matter of days and provide a 90% fill rate for its warehouse staff, with an average worker quality score of 97%.
Mike Wargocki, VP of Manufacturing at Sun Basket, helped us contextualise what happens when operations teams are understaffed and what problems it can cause: “The first thing it causes are mistakes. That’s a serious issue because, as we’re making orders for our customers, the key is making sure that quality remains as high as possible.” With understaffing resulting in employees having to perform several roles simultaneously, people can quickly become exhausted and more susceptible to illness, a core concern that Sun Basket, particularly during the pandemic, is diligent to avoid.
Despite what Wargocki calls the “uneven workflow” of the company, even as demand in 2020 grew, he says that Instawork has allowed Sun Basket to meet its staffing challenges with aplomb. “The Instawork team has been amazing because of the quality of workers, as well as the consistency of the fill rates.”
“Using the Instawork platform, Sun Basket has counter-intuitively lowered their overall staffing costs,” adds Bohnett. “In fact, it’s become such a dependable process that Sun Basket’s Warehouse Lead chose to forego adding a full-time team member in favour of his Instawork team. By using a platform like Instawork, Sun Basket is actively empowering its frontline teams with tools to make informed decisions, which aggregates into a high return on investment (ROI) across the company.”
Furthermore, Wargocki makes it clear that he views Instawork as a truly modern company, in step with prevailing workplace trends and employee preferences that will keep it well-equipped to handle the staffing challenges of tomorrow. “The world is moving more and more towards doing everything on your phone. The virtual interaction and the way that we're able to select workers and get data almost instantaneously really makes convenient for us. Plus, that’s where the younger workforce feels more comfortable; they enjoy being able to select a job based on the days they want and not the ones they don't.”
Tradeshift: Pioneering eProcurement and Digital Trade
Tradeshift helps transportation and logistics organisations digitally transform their processes. The company offers a suite of services, including spend management, accounts payable and invoice automation, eprocurement, and supplier collaboration through a dedicated B2B supply chain marketplace of more than one million businesses.
As disruption and digitisation continue to accelerate, demand for Tradeshift’s solutions has grown dramatically. The company recently announced the signing of 20 new global enterprise customers since the beginning of its financial year on 1 February, while the number of active businesses transacting on the Tradeshift platform rise by 52 per cent year on year.
Tradeshift Chief Revenue Officer Christope Bodin expects that growth trajectory to continue, as the economy begins to fully reopen and the world works towards recovering from the pandemic. “We are well positioned to support the wholesale digitalisation of business processes,” Bodin said. “For organisations looking to grow in a post-COVID economy, this is fast becoming an organisational standard.”
Tradeshift in Brief
- HQ: San Francisco, USA
- Employees: 800 located in offices in 13 countries
- Customers: 500+ in 190+ countries
- Total on-platform transaction value: $1tn
- Platform: 1.5m companies connected
Key Tradeshift customers: Volvo, Kuehne+Nagel, DHL, Air France-KLM Group
Tradeshift: From $1 to $1 trillion
The company was established with a mission to “connect every company in the world, digitally,” according to Lanng, and followed the trio's earlier product EasyTrade, a pioneering open-source trade platform.
In July 2021, just over a decade since launch, Tradeshift announced passing a new milestone: the cumulative value of transactions processed across its platform passed the $1 trillion threshold. To put that in perspective, Tradeshift said it took two years to reach the $1bn milestone.
Commenting on Tradeshift’s current and future standing, chief executive Christian Lanng said: “We’ve helped a lot of businesses to stay operational and get paid during an extremely volatile period. Every time a business joins our platform it unlocks a whole ecosystem of relationships that we can help to digitise. This sets us apart from the majority of enterprise software providers who remain preoccupied with building connections one at a time.”