The “gig economy” describes a labor market that comprises short-term contracts for freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temporary contract workers, moonlighters, and outsourced teams work as opposed to permanent jobs. In 2019, Mastercard estimated that the global gig economy generates $204 billion, and it is expected to grow by 17% by 2023. Statista predicts that the US will have more gig workers than permanent workers by 2027.
In 2020, a client came to us with a problem. How do they build an app connecting gig workers to companies with temporary jobs and shifts to fill? The client wanted to create a hub that would not only connect giggers with employers but become a central point to manage everything from shifts worked to payments received.
After researching the current gig economy landscape and the apps available, we were able to recommend a number of best practices for creating apps for giggers:
One of the reasons why people are drawn to the gig economy is because they are able to plan their schedule and leisure time in a way that full-time employees aren’t. The app we built enables employers to hire giggers who can take on more work or shifts on the spot. Similarly, workers are empowered to manage their workload through the app. There are options for workers to specify their availability for days, recurring days, and ranges of hours they can work in the app. This feature eliminates a lot of the administration that goes into booking and hiring workers for short-term jobs.
Processing the payments of gigworkers is time-consuming. Instead of manually consolidating and processing invoices, we built a secure payment processing system into the gig working app. Supervisors can review and rate the quality of work once a gig (or a portion of it) has been completed. The system automatically calculates and initiates the payouts based on hours worked.
Cloud environments offer guaranteed high availability, on-demand scalability, and pay-per -usage of the computing resources. We also chose a cloud environment due to number of configurable platform resources to choose from, standardized and well-documented development environments with an extensive knowledge base that promotes best practices.
Countries, states, and provinces have their own legislation regarding who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. In some jurisdictions, the terms “labor” and “work” are used interchangeably, while in others “labor” is used to denote a unionized workplace, for example. For a gig industry app to work well, the various norms and complex interplay of laws and regulations defined by provincial, state, or federal authorities need to be applied for each location of work sites and workers.
The gig economy will continue to change as governments, platforms, and private insurers redesign protection frameworks so that all types of modern work is secure and sustainable. The apps who will lead the way in the gig economy will be the ones that continue to evolve with the changing demands of the workplace.
A successful app in the gig economy relies on how intuitively you understand your users. With the app we build, both workers and employers can specify various criteria and job preferences. The ways that users interact with the system help the machine learning algorithm to continually increase the accuracy of the produced pairings. Automation is the backbone of the strategy and we’re continuing to work with the client to find new ways to remove friction throughout the process of posting, matching, communicating, rostering, and managing gig work.