Attract, Hire, and Verify the Best Sharing Economy Workers in Less Time

August 21, 2018

Recruiting and hiring great gig economy workers has always challenged employers. However, this challenge becomes exponentially difficult in a sharing economy. Just look at some numbers:

To remain competitive, sharing economy companies must recruit, vet, and hire hosts, drivers, home improvement professionals, caregivers, and a variety of other contractors quickly and usually online. Managing such rapid hiring, churn, and growth requires the need to balance two seemingly incompatible demands:

  1. Hire fast, with as little friction as possible for candidates.
  2. Hire thoroughly vetted contractors to increase trust with customers and reduce risk and liability.

Finding the key to this delicate balance may feel like walking on a tightrope. So, how do you hire the best candidates in the quickly evolving sharing economy? Here are a few tips that help both attract the right candidates and vet them in a way that doesn’t slow down your growth.

Attracting the Right Candidates

It’s easy in the shared economy to potentially take contractors for granted, assuming you have access to an endless river of candidates who are flexible and readily available to help you. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all, especially as more sharing economy companies compete for the best candidates.

As demand increases, companies need to differentiate themselves as the supply of qualified workers becomes more competitive. Here are a few tips to make your brand stand out:

  • Sharpen and hone your marketing and branding to speak to workers as well as customers. Just like with customers, you are trying to attract people who often begin their research online and come to you mobile-savvy. How does your website, social media, and mobile app look? Fresh, modern, and fun? Full of useful information, testimonials, and reassurances about security and safety? Constantly assess the look and feel of your branding across all channels (such as online ads and social media). Photos, videos, and mobile apps that all tell a great story help make your brand appealing to workers, not just your paying customers. When workers want to associate with a company that gives them a sense of pride, brand loyalty and affinity increases.  
  • Make workers feel valued. Providing value to workers starts with competitive pay but doesn’t end there. While contracting provides flexibility, some sharing economy companies may take advantage of people’s financial situations. Uber, for example, was underpaying drivers for more than two years and it hurt their brand. The best workers gravitate to jobs that reward them and make them feel valued. Even small things like t-shirts or other perks can go a long way toward making contractors feel more aligned and ultimately more engaged with your brand.  
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities. Talented workers like to understand expectations. Otherwise, conflicts easily arise. Even if you have a seemingly simple service (such as ride sharing), clarify the roles of people who work with you to lessen ambiguity and increase retention.
  • Create a smooth, quick onboarding process. In the sharing economy, you don’t have time to spend weeks onboarding a contractor. Yet, contractors still need verification as well as some initial training before they can get started. Technology platforms that decrease the time it takes to register, onboard, and verify applicants will help you speed up your overall onboarding process.
  • Communicate consistently and clearly with workers. Leveraging technology and automated messaging is important here. As contractors work in real-time, they need the ability to communicate along with support in order to address customer concerns as quickly as possible.
  • Offer a strong feedback platform. Even if properly vetted, workers live and die by their reputation within your system. Your feedback, ratings, and/or review platform must be easy to use for customers, useful in scope, and positive for contractors (such as including a tipping system). Without it, contractor morale may decline and their willingness to churn in order to work for a competitor may increase.

Ensuring You (Quickly) Verify High-Quality Candidates

Verifying applicants takes time and resources. When companies try to manage the flow of information used to vet candidates, they introduce significant risk – not just in the process but also in the managing and handling of sensitive personal data. First, delays of days or weeks to validate applicants may lead to losing the best workers to competitors capable of verifying the same candidates in hours or even minutes. Second, a number of sharing economy companies have experienced data breaches from improperly securing sensitive, private information related to their verification process. Holding driver’s license, background check, or any identifiable information in a centralized database is very common for businesses. However, the liability that coexists with storing that information is growing every day.

Providing customers with qualified workers not only allows your customers to trust your brand but also minimizes your risk and liability. For any sharing economy businesses, we recommend the following verifications to ensure that applicants meet the high expectations of your customers.

  • Identity verification: Confirm the truth of an applicant’s identity. Because fake or stolen documents are becoming easier to secure, validating that an applicant is real serves as a great first step on the path toward confidently hiring the right people.
  • Background checks: Depending on the job, it’s standard to examine a person’s criminal history, business history, and financial activity. Conducting thorough background checks reassures customers and ensures you hire quality and qualified workers.
  • Motor vehicle records: So many sharing economy companies involve driving—from Uber and Lyft to moving and delivery services. Ensuring that drivers have valid driver’s licenses and a reasonably safe driving record is important.
  • Certifications: As sharing economy jobs grow more specialized, certifications are a must. Certification confirmations help you know if an at-home nurse is  CPR-trained or an electrician holds the proper credentials. As you scale your business, verifying these specific skills is critical toward providing the service your customers expect.

Evident has streamlined the onboarding and verification process so that businesses across the sharing economy do not need to handle any sensitive personal information. With Evident’s Identity Assurance Platform, you can reduce friction in your registration process while decreasing the time it takes to run the necessary identity verification and background checks.

Scaling your sharing economy business starts with attracting, engaging, and retaining the best workers. While you must hire quickly to remain competitive, it’s critically important to create processes that confidently confirm the identity and background of your workers. You can reduce hiring risks without sacrificing your growth by leveraging innovative tools built to help sharing economy companies like yours easily scale while upholding quality standards. In other words, you shouldn’t have to choose between growth and security.

Sign up with Evident to start streamlining your hiring and onboarding efforts.

David Thomas

David Thomas, CEO at Evident, is an accomplished cybersecurity entrepreneur. He has a history of introducing innovative technologies, establishing them in the market, and driving growth – with each early-stage company emerging as the market leader.

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