A Denver-Based Company is Helping Fight Unemployment Through the Gig Economy

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Anyone actively searching for employment in recent years knows how competitive the working world has become. This year, the pandemic has only made things more difficult.  Likewise, business owners have struggled to find and retain employees since COVID-19 hit.  Sixty-nine percent of U.S. companies are currently facing hiring shortages and having issues filling open job positions, and both employers and job-seekers are having to adapt and transform their practices to find success. Enter Gigsmart: a “Denver-based software development company focused on providing modern solutions to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving economy.” Rich Oakes, GigSmart president, outlined how the platform works.

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Photo courtesy of Online Marketplaces

In 2016, three entrepreneurs who’d previously started, run, and sold an auto-finance company founded GigSmart.  It “allowed businesses, like the one they used to run, to connect directly with workers who were seeking either temporary or full/part-time positions,” said Oakes. They wanted the platform to be “affordable and convenient for both sides of the equation…GigSmart was ultimately built to help people. We help businesses find the workers they need to grow their business, and we connect workers to those work opportunities,” he said.

Apps

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GigSmart App Logos; Courtesy of GigSmart

GigSmart is available to users on both mobile and desktop devices. Oakes said that their “hiring platform, Get Workers, provides smarter, affordable, staffing solutions to connect businesses and individuals looking for labor with available workers.” They then connect on Get Gigs, GigSmart’s mobile hiring app. The two apps work in all 50 states and connect with industries including cleaning, construction, landscaping, manufacturing, food delivery, transportation, customer service, and retail.

Though they started operating several years before the pandemic hit, the demand for GigSmart’s offerings increased exponentially due to COVID-19.  The number of hourly “Gigs” posted has gone up 460% since March, and the platform has helped some of the industries and people hit hardest this year.

“We’ve helped senior living facilities combat the shortage of healthcare workers by supplementing their full-time workers with temporary workers,” said Oakes. “Since March, GigSmart workers have completed 200 shifts for Denver-based Senior Housing Options across eight different locations.”

While the company was originally founded in Cincinnati, it’s now fully Denver-based. “Due to Denver’s central location and growing supply of top technical talent, the choice for GigSmart to be headquartered in Denver was an easy one,” said Oakes. “As one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, Denver is an early adopter city and home to one of GigSmart’s largest worker bases.” They have over 10,000 workers in the state of Colorado and over 800 users requesting employees.

The Gig Economy

The “gig economy” that GigSmart operates within provides more flexibility than traditional working structures. “As we’ve evolved, we’ve continued to expand our product offerings to better address the needs of the gig economy, adding functionality to give workers the ability to identify full-time and part-time employment opportunities near them too,” said Oakes. They’ve also partnered with companies to provide benefits and tax assistance to their gig workers.  “As we continue to grow, our mission remains steadfast—we want to be the go-to solution when it comes to hiring workers and finding work,” he said.

Job Board

While they’ve focused more on temporary job opportunities in the past, GigSmart is now working to fill permanent positions as well with their new Job Board feature. This new functionality allows “businesses to post and advertise part-time and full-time positions to a user base of over 260,000 active job seekers.” The job board will include postings from a wide variety of industries and skill levels, from part-time jobs in the service industry to full-time trade positions. The current economic difficulties due to the pandemic are only inspiring GigSmart to keep expanding and helping the workforce. “With unemployment at record high levels, our mission of helping people get jobs has never felt more important,” said Oakes. “We are excited to give this capability to our business users across the country to provide access to available jobs as soon as possible.”