ITA Spotlight: Rick Bowman, Chief Executive Officer, Shiftgig
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Posted by: Abbey Kwiat
Rick Bowman, Chief Executive Officer, Shiftgig
What problem do you solve and how do you solve it better than the competition?
Essentially, Shiftgig enables on-demand workers to pick and choose their own schedule. On the client side, our software allows recruiters and operations managers to create work orders and provide powerful insights into their performance through customizable dashboards so they know where to focus their energy.
We do this better than our competition because we built this technology to revolutionize our own staffing business. We have experience growing and scaling a digital staffing operation, so we position ourselves as technology partners by consulting our clients on how to implement this software to transform their business and coaching them based on our previous insights to expedite client adoption and change management. We’re also learning from each of our clients and bringing that back to our product team to prioritize our product roadmap.
We’re so much more than a scheduling tool. We work on improving worker engagement by capturing feedback and providing ongoing touchpoints to reduce overall turnover. If a worker is unable to continue working due to unforeseen circumstances, our software can capture this insight early and get them redeployed to a job better suited to their needs.
How did you get started?
Shiftgig’s journey started in 2011 as a job board to connect workers with local employment opportunities, primarily local bars and restaurants in Chicago.
In 2014, we evolved into an on-demand staffing marketplace, connecting hourly workers with available shifts through our native mobile app. Today, Shiftgig is 100% focused on building and selling best-in-class digital staffing software. We empower staffing agencies offering their own on-demand job opportunities through the Shiftgig app.
What’s the coolest perk Shiftgig’s office has?
We offer unlimited PTO and a flexible work-from-home policy. We trust our team to complete the necessary work to keep Shiftgig running smoothly on their own time. This is a simple way to encourage our team to work hard and play hard.
What are the growth and scaling opportunities within Shiftgig’s industry?
Before we thought about growth we needed to ensure our products are a scalable, stable suite with a low barrier to adoption. With our current clients, we want to continue to have happy users who find value in what we can offer them that ultimately makes their lives better. We like to fail fast and act with urgency.
Shiftgig has historically operated in the hospitality staffing space. We know Deploy has success in this industry, but we know the challenges we’re solving apply to the broader world of work. With constant iterations, we’ve been able to tap into the light industrial and healthcare staffing industries and see positive results when it comes to satisfying our clients’ pain points. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come in terms of a viable product that can digitally transform the on-demand staffing industry.
How has your company culture evolved as Shiftgig has grown?
We are still focused on one thing: Transforming the way people work.
While we were originally operating a full-service staffing firm to achieve that goal, our pivot has not changed our focus – it’s allowing us to scale faster and further than we could doing it alone. Now we’re empowering our agency partners to offer their workforce financial stability and continuous employment opportunities that fit their skills and schedules.
What’s the No. 1 thing on your to-do list?
Currently, we are working on our clients adopting a new feature to allow workers flexible start dates for longer-term work. This is especially useful for our light industrial clients that have projects requiring workers to be available and working for weeks at a time as opposed to a one-day shift. This long-term work feature will engage with workers regularly to ensure they’re satisfied with their job to reduce turnover which is a major challenge in the industry today
What risks or issues do you foresee in your industry’s near future?
Large tech giants like Uber Works have entered the on-demand staffing space, and others will soon follow. If staffing firms are unwilling to adopt a digital staffing solution, we could see them going out of business as their workforce and clients require tech-enabled workflows for continued success. This software provides long-term strategic growth, but recruiters and leadership have to be prepared for the change management that comes along with process optimization and tech adoption.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced as an organization, and how did you overcome it?
Pivoting from a functioning staffing firm to a SaaS company last year was a really big decision. We knew the positive impact that Deploy had on our own business, but was this something staffing agencies were willing to adopt and transform their entire business? We have almost a year of data under our belts and our clients are seeing better results than we were seeing ourselves which is incredibly rewarding. It was a whirlwind, but I believe Shiftgig is poised to achieve our mission to transform the way people work.
What makes Shiftgig stand out?
Shiftgig stands out in the staffing world as a front-runner for digital transformation. Staffing firms have been operating manually for decades. A robust tech stack is key to staying in business with tech giants like Uber Works coming into the fray. A digital staffing and worker engagement platform like Deploy means you can connect the right people with the right jobs, get and give feedback from workers and clients, and detect disengagement or likely turnover. Our platform fixes it instead of spending unnecessary time and resources constantly hiring and onboarding new workers.
What is the one thing Shiftgig cannot live without?
Flavored seltzer water. These people are animals without it!