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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Apr. 22, 2016 6 years ago

Shift work gets a lift

The gig economy is making shift work cool — at least it's trying to.

The gig economy is making shift work cool — at least it's trying to.

And a Chicago-based company that aims to capitalize on the trend, Shiftgig, recently expanded to the Gulf Coast with an office in Tampa.

The Shiftgig model is to connect businesses, mostly in hospitality and retail, with people who seek on-demand temp jobs. Shiftgig does the matchmaking through a mobile app.

Businesses can post open shifts on the app, and employees, vetted by Shiftgig, scroll through and pick the ones they want. When a shift is filled, the company sends the employer a picture, and a ratings sheet of the shift-filler.

“We have made short-term job assignments much easier,” says Laura Turner, a 17-year recruiting industry veteran hired to run the Tampa office. “This really fits into the gig economy.”

Turner tells Coffee Talk Shiftgig has been well received in Tampa, and early clients include Steinbrenner Field and Raymond James Stadium for baseball games and concerts. Yet the gig economy hype might be overrated, so far. Two recent studies, one from the JPMorgan Chase Institute and one from researchers at Harvard and Princeton, according to the Wall Street Journal, report online gigs are mostly connected to one company: Uber.

Shiftgig is undeterred. The Tampa office has set up 200 employees, people it calls specialists, for gigs in its first two months in town. It hopes to set up shifts for at least another 800 specialists in the next four months.

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