The sudden rise of the gig economy has been a major blessing for industries where freelancing and short-term contracts are rife. But along with new avenues for work, it’s also created additional hiring risks for business owners and HR managers.
Joel Kleber, Chief Digital Officer at GoBlitz, explains the risks that contractors can pose to both customers and employers, and shares tips on how implementing the proper checks and screening procedures has helped the business rise above its competition.
The new gig economy
Online talent platforms are the heart and soul of the gig economy, and they have the capacity to boost economies around the world. In fact, a study by McKinsey found that “by 2025 [online talent platforms] could add US$2.7 trillion to global GDP”.
But in a crowded sector where established players – like Uber for ride-sharing and Airbnb for short-stay accommodation, for example – hold the monopoly, new entrants must take a lateral approach in order to compete with the gig-economy giants.
That’s exactly what Kleber and his team at GoBlitz – powered by Jim’s Group – are doing.
“We built our system to counteract the problems that we see with the current big players,” he says. “GoBlitz is the simpler, fairer and more cost-effective way for contractors to get quality leads. It’s also a place for customers to find service providers they can trust.”
A different kind of beast
With stiff competition in the form of Airtasker, Fiverr and even Gumtree, Kleber says GoBlitz’s unique selling point is how it manages leads.
“GoBlitz doesn’t sell leads to multiple contractors,” he says. “If selected by the customer, the contractor has exclusivity to them.”
“Our contractors are of high quality and expertise – our survey and checking system weeds out any bad contractors very quickly.”
The hiring challenge
There’s been no shortage of reports about online talent platforms failing to regulate their contractors, not managing unpaid invoices and not providing adequate insurance.
Kleber understands the challenges of working in a sector where there are many unknowns, but his biggest struggle isn’t delivering quality service – rather, it’s finding enough high-quality contractors to meet demand.
“Generally, we find that the best operators cannot take on extra work as they are so busy,” he says.
“Our issue is not around generating work, but finding great contractors in the areas we need them to assist our customers.”
And while they are the driving force behind the brand, like most businesses, it’s the contractors who pose the greatest risk to GoBlitz.
“The biggest risk is that they damage the Jim’s Group brand,” Kleber says. “Our leads are all customers who want the Jim’s experience, so they expect the same from GoBlitz. Failing to meet this expectation through a bad contractor hurts us greatly.”
The repercussions of poor recruitment strategies
For Kleber and his team, it all comes down to proper hiring practices. Without them, online talent platforms can disappear as quickly as they arrived.
“GoBlitz is essentially a ‘job broker’ where we are bringing a buyer (customer) and seller (contractor) together,” he says. “However, if something goes wrong then the customer will ultimately hold the site who facilitated the experience accountable.
“A perfect example is from our early days. We didn’t have the verification on our contractor customer cards saying they were police checked. So we had multiple customers enquire via our call centres to guarantee their contractor was police checked, but the call-centre operators couldn’t verify this.
“When the client didn’t proceed with the booking, that led to a lost customer. And based on our data, if a customer can’t get serviced the first time, 90% of the time they will not come back.
“So it’s important to mitigate this, which is why we now have a police-check purchasing option, as well as a police check noted on the contractor’s profile.”
The importance of thorough vetting
Kleber says before joining the GoBlitz family, potential contractors must undergo three checks:
• Police check: “If we didn’t do this, liability would fall back to us for providing the customer’s details to someone with a criminal background.”
• ABN check: “This is important so that we know they are operating legally.”
• General background search: “Most contractors of note will have some sort of online presence. So looking at their online reviews and Facebook business pages will give us a great idea about their reliability, service level, and customer service.”
Finding the right fit with CVCheck
GoBlitz recently partnered with CVCheck to provide screening and checking solutions for its contractors. Kleber says it not only delivers peace of mind for his organisation, but for their customers as well.
“As the badge is displayed on their profile, it adds to customers’ trust and also indicates to anyone without one that they need to purchase one. Without it, they are disadvantaged when competing against verified contractors.”
Now that CVCheck is integrated with GoBlitz’s offering, Kleber says the before-and-after difference is startling.
“Before our integration (of CVCheck’s products), we were flying blindly,” he says. “We could’t tell a customer for certain that their contractor was police checked.”
“It was left up to a customer to ask the contractor for the relevant verification, thus leading to a sub-optimal experience.
“Now, customers can see it online,
and our call centre operators know for certain that the contractor being engaged has a current police check.
It adds an extra level of trust to our system and our brand – and that is essential in our marketplace.
“We want to keep pushing and striving towards being the most trusted place on the web to find a highly skilled contractor. CVCheck is an essential part to achieving this core goal.”