When it’s the busy time of year for seasonal businesses, many managers struggle to find reliable on-demand staff — temporary hourly staff they rely on to scale operations and meet the increased demand. Unfortunately, finding and retaining a consistent talent pipeline can be challenging. Worker shortages, job attractiveness issues, high turnover, and wage restraints can leave managers in a constant search for new workers. This article will explore how businesses can become the preferred employer for on-demand staff in a few simple steps.

Why Do Businesses Struggle to Find On-Demand Staff?

While the past couple of years have affected all industries, sectors that use on-demand staff, such as hospitality and events, were hit the hardest. The Great Resignation affects all industries, and on-demand workers are no exception. There are several reasons business owners find it increasingly difficult to find and retain temporary staff. 

On-demand jobs tend to appear in high-stress industries. Hospitality, sports venues, and events jobs are usually demanding and have long and irregular hours, which makes it difficult for employees to enjoy a healthy work/life balance. 

Other reasons it’s difficult to attract and retain on-demand workers include: 

  • Shifting work hours: On-demand jobs aren’t usually 9–5. Shifting demands and schedules mean an employee likely won’t get the same shift every week. As a result, they can have difficulty planning their time. 
  • Schedules aren’t flexible: Shifting schedules doesn’t equal flexibility. Many on-demand workers find it challenging to choose their own shifts or get changes in schedules approved by the company. 
  • The company needs to fast-train entry-level staff: The fast pace of on-demand jobs often requires companies to speed up the training for entry-level workers. Employees frequently have to learn “on the job” or with minimal training sessions. 
  • Challenge scheduling and coordinating different teams: Chaotic shift assignments, disorganized scheduling, and poor communication lead to higher turnover. You can improve your internal communication and scheduling strategy by leveraging scheduling technology.
  • Misconception that there are no opportunities to grow: There is a myth associated with on-demand jobs that they are dead-end. Particularly when it comes to catering and events, low wages and lack of benefits contribute to this image. But the situation is changing, with many organizations in those industries providing career paths and benefits packages for employees.
  • No attachment to the company: Temporary or occasional staff find it difficult to connect with the company culture. Because the worker is on the job intermittently or for the short term, they often don’t feel like part of the team. Organizations that want on-demand workers to return season after season should invest in team-building activities.

5 Tips for Finding the Best On-Demand Staff

Common recruiting and retention practices, like lengthy interviewing and testing processes, don’t apply when hiring temporary staff. Here are five strategies you can use to increase your chances of attracting and retaining top on-demand staff. 

  1. Increase Your Benefits and Compensation Package
    Wages and benefits are often mentioned as the top reasons on-demand staff don’t stay. If you want staff to return, you need to be competitive in your compensation and benefits package. Increasing the hourly salary or adding health or dental insurance are some things you can do to become an attractive employer. You can also add perks, such as discounts for products or services. 
  2. Have Clear Guidelines Everybody Can Follow
    On-demand workers are often needed at the most stressful times, such as during a live event. These workers are expected to hit the ground running and become useful right away. To avoid people feeling confused and unprepared, it’s important to have clear guidelines stating the expectations for the day, what tasks are assigned, and who they report to. 
  3. Brief Teams Fully Before Events
    Even returning and seasoned staff can feel the pressure and anticipation of a big event. Full-time members may have a hard time adjusting to a rotation of temporary workers. Therefore, it’s important to brief your teams, both temporary and permanent workers, before events to ensure everybody is on the same page and no detail gets overlooked. You can have a call with everyone or send a brief via email that describes everything they need to know, including logistics, dress code, and the chain of command. Don’t forget to ask your staff for feedback after the event—they may surprise you with unexpected insights. 
  4. Create an Appreciative Culture
    Give staff plenty of recognition. While we all like to be recognized when we do a good job, on-demand staff may have difficulty feeling like part of the company. A bit of praise can go a long way to prevent them from feeling taken for granted. This may help increase your on-demand staff satisfaction, thus increasing retention rates.
  5. Improve Your Recruiting Process
    Assess your current recruitment practices and define what’s working and what’s not. You should adapt recruitment strategies to your target worker; for instance, using social media to attract younger staff. Also, as much as you are pressed to find staff, avoid rushing through the process. Taking your time as much as possible when interviewing candidates will help ensure they’re a good fit.

You can save time and effort by leveraging Nowsta technology solutions and expertise for your staffing needs. By using a built-in agency network you can safely source on demand workers. Pre-vetted candidates ensure you don’t hire unsuitable staff even though you need to fill the position fast. Nowsta also makes your recruiting simpler by centralizing your requisitions.  

How Technology Can Help Keep On-Demand Staff Happy

On-demand staff often have challenges keeping track of scheduling changes. That’s why scheduling issues are one of the top reasons temporary staff don’t come back to work for a company. However, organizations usually use a stack of different solutions to manage on-demand staff, requiring staff to use separate tools for things from shift scheduling to internal communications. An effective integrated scheduling and communication management system can simplify covering shifts and arranging work. 

Nowsta is a complete solution that streamlines managing temporary staff. Learn how Nowsta can increase the happiness of your on-demand staff using a centralized dashboard to keep everyone connected.