Why it Pays to Use the Gig Economy

While you may want to rely on full-time employees completely, gig economy workers could be a more cost-effective workforce option for your business.

Why it Pays to Use the Gig Economy

While businesses traditionally leverage recruiters, staffing agencies, or job boards, gig economy apps are increasingly becoming the norm across industries to find shift workers.

Why are gig economy apps on the rise?

For starters, cost is a significant factor.

Total compensation costs for civilian workers increased 4.8% between March 2022 and March 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not to mention, the hospitality industry saw a mass exodus of workers following the Covid-19 pandemic, making it difficult to find hourly employees.

The Cost of Hiring Full-Time Workers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings for leisure and hospitality employees for production and nonsupervisory employees was $18.66 as of May 2023.

When hiring a full-time employee, the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that you should expect to pay 1.25 to 1.40 times more than their hourly wage or annual salary to bring them on board.

That means, hiring an employee at an hourly rate of $18.66 will actually cost your business between $23.33 to $26.12.

And that’s if you do it yourself! Using a staffing agency will cost you a premium.

Most staffing agencies charge a markup of 20% to 75% to hire temporary employees or contract workers.

That means an employee working at an hourly rate of $18.66 will cost you between $23.33 to $32.66.

Keep in mind that staffing agencies typically also charge a placement fee. In the event that you hire a temporary employee or contract worker, this averages 15% to 25%.

Don’t Forget About the Hidden Costs

Although hourly employees may work for a set wage, your business will pay more to cover the cost of benefits.

Legally required benefit costs include:

  • Social Security and Medicare
  • Federal unemployment insurance
  • State unemployment insurance
  • Worker’s compensation

Optional, but commonly covered benefit costs include:

  • Insurance (health insurance, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability)
  • Supplemental Pay (overtime, bonuses)
  • Paid Leave (vacation, holidays, sick, personal)

Employer Costs Per Hour Worked for Employee Benefits

Paid Leave: $3.17

Supplemental Pay: $1.37

Insurance: $3.45

Retirement and Savings: $2.16

Legally Required: $3.02

Job Boards: Quality or Costly?

Hospitality businesses are largely using sponsored job board postings in an attempt to find high-quality shift workers.

Although sponsoring a job on Indeed, Linkedin, or Monster gets more eyes on your post, you pay for these views and applications.

Even if you set your budget to the lowest daily limit, costs can still snowball out of control if you do not proactively manage your posting.

And with all that it takes to run a business, who really has time for that?


  • Minimum daily budget of $10
  • $120 to $300 per month for Indeed Resume
  • 10% commission charged on all hires sourced through the Indeed Hiring Platform


  • Minimum daily budget of $10
  • $170 per month for Linkedin Recruiter Lite
  • $1,080 per month for Linkedin Recruiter Corporate


  • Minimum daily budget of $12
  • $399 per month for up to 3 active job postings
  • $549 per month for up to 5 active job postings

It Pays to Use the Gig Economy

shiftNOW removes the burden of interviewing, scheduling, and verifying quality candidates while eliminating the extra costs commonly incurred with job boards.

With shiftNOW, you can:

Review Quality Applicants Before Having to Interview

Forget the days of scheduling interviews, meeting with candidate after candidate, and still not finding the help you need.

shiftNOW allows you to review pre-vetted shift workers' profiles, videos, ratings, and reliability scores to understand who fits your needs.

Determine Whether Someone's a Fit Before Hiring

shiftNOW serves as a valuable means to trial before hire. We have a network of high-quality, pre-vetted shift workers who are open to full-time opportunities.

Through the shiftNOW platform, you can conduct a working interview and hire Shifters who consistently do good work for your business. And the best part? No placement fee!

Save Money on Employee Benefits

shiftNOW Shifters work as independent contractors (1099 workers), meaning that you do not pay them employee benefits like W-2 employees.

Get Views on Your Shift Posting Without Paying for Them

It's free to post a shift on the shiftNOW platform and Shifters with up to a 50-mile radius of your business can view your shift.

High-Quality Workers without the High Costs

Running a business gets more expensive by the day.

Businesses are increasingly turning to the gig economy as a more cost-effective solution for their workforce needs.

Gig economy apps, like shiftNOW, place a network of high-quality, pre-vetted shift workers at your fingertips, allowing you to find flexible shift workers.

Check out our recent blog post to learn some best practices for using an on-demand workforce.

Request a Demo

See the shiftNOW platform in action and understand all of the benefits it has to offer your business.