Jobs – Using the Gig Economy to Your Advantage

February 11th, 2016 No comments

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Antonio_DiazThe gig economy is defining jobs today.

The gig economy–if you’ve had your ear to the ground s at any point in the past few years, you may have heard the term bandied about. Those in consulting or creative fields may be nodding your heads, but the concept is still new to many.

“Now,” say the non-musicians among you, “why would I be interested in gigs?”

In many cases, the gig economy is mediated by mobile technology, especially smartphone apps and intelligent websites that match you to gigs based on your preferences. Freelancing is the name of the game–for example, an Uber driver is an independent contractor using the app.

What Does it Mean for You?

Freelancers are nothing new, but the gig economy makes it easier than ever to be one yourself. The gig economy allows you to be flexible. Whether you want to supplement your income or tide yourself over while continuing your search for more stable employment, there’s something for everyone. A key feature of a gig job is the ability to define your own hours. An Uber driver picks up fares until they’re satisfied, which allows them to slot it in to any busy schedule.

Some people take so well to the gig economy that it ends up becoming their primary source of income. For self-starters and independent spirits, it’s a godsend. These people have diverse streams of income and have wide skill sets. Some apps, like the Bay Area-based Josephine, are for those with a passion about the gig. Josephine is for your inner chef, allowing you to share your passion with others.

For those who are between traditional employment, the gig economy presents a safety cushion that has not been available in the past. With the overall higher quality of the gigs, and the flexibility described above, it can make the time between jobs a little less stressful.

Still others add to their existing income with gigs, keeping their streams of income flowing from many different rivers. Even if you’re employed already, the opt-in nature of gigs can add to income from traditional sources. There’s no wrong way to take advantage of the gig economy!

Some noteworthy examples of the gig economy:

AirBnb

Caviar

Fiverr

Luxe

Lyft

Swifto

Uber

Upwork

From Benefits to Outplacement Freemium comes to HR

January 11th, 2016 No comments

I don’t know about you, but my pockets are feeling a little barren after the© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dotshock holiday season. With the new year, I’ve resolved to be a little more frugal. Instead of springing for a pricy record, I’ve been enjoying the bevy of free music streaming services out there, like Spotify and Pandora. As a consumer, I love free. Free is great.

Why is it then, that in B2B, “free” feels like a swear word to some? There’s a perception that freebies can somehow cheapen a brand, or make a seller look desperate.

Disrupting the market in recent years is the notion that services can be free–no strings attached. Professional caliber services are available for a variety of needs, from taxes to payroll to outplacement. Often, they have the option to upgrade, a model known as “freemium”.

While its effects are apparent in today’s marketplace, the concept of freemium isn’t new. Freemium is great because it allows companies to share their product with consumers and build a rapport that translates into mutual benefit. Companies get the word-of-mouth endorsement and the consumer gets a great product for a song.

TurboTax is one such service, offering tax services for free to over 60 million Americans. In a market of wary consumers, this may seem too good to be true–a concern addressed in this amusing TurboTax ad featuring theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. The freemium model works great for this service–accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and offering more advanced services as the consumer needs it.

In the human resources space, the free version of Zenefits operates as an all-in-one platform for payroll, human resources, and benefits. As a paid product, Zenefits is a modular and plays nice with other such services. The model here works in that it scales–most businesses can make use of the the free option, especially smaller ones. Larger organizations and “power users” can scale into Zenefits Pro to suit their needs.

StartWire for Employers operates using a model much like Zenefits–we offer a complete product, for free, up front. A variety of further premium services are available, such as social media profile rewrites, but from the get-go you receive robust professional-caliber services at no cost.

Like Zenefits, StartWire for Employers proves that one doesn’t have to pay a lot to get a lot.

In all three cases, these products are intended to disrupt their respective markets and empower business and consumer alike. By offering flexible products and redefining business models, they stand poised to revolutionize their fields.

When services like these are free, everyone wins–the consumers receive a great product for free, the companies build a business model on a foundation of trust, and the nature of a traditional field changes.

To learn more about StartWire for Employers read our Press Release.

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Happy New Year from StartWire!

January 8th, 2016 No comments

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / PaltoThe first week of the new year has come and gone! StartWire wishes health, happiness, and success to jobseekers and employers alike. Here’s to a great year.

Dos and Don’ts: When Yankee Swap Goes Bad

December 18th, 2015 No comments

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / AleutieMy mother once related to me a story of a Yankee swap gone awry: having gone first and at the mercy of her coworkers, she ended up with a first aid kit from the Ted, the weird guy in accounting.

Whether you’re stressing about the company party’s Yankee swap or still searching for a job, Christmas gifts are always a challenge to select. Never fear, for StartWire and friends have some ideas to help stoke the holiday cheer!

Jobs2Careers recently published a list of 25 sure-fire hits for when you’re stumped. You may even be tempted to get yourself a little something off this list!

If you’re of a more surreal bent, check out CareerBuilder’s list of some of the weirdest gifts exchanged at the workplace. Ceramic dress-up sheep for everyone!

Above all, a Christmas gift should be memorable. ThinkGeek is a great place for gifts to capture your nerdy fancy. A deep delve into the recesses of Amazon can also reveal some truly unusual Secret Santa presents.

A happy holidays from all here at StartWire, and don’t be like Ted (unless it’s hilarious)!

Job Search Intelligence for 2016

December 11th, 2015 No comments

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What do a nurse, developer and truck driver have in common?

No, it’s not the setup to a corny punchline–they have the most in demand jobs of 2016.

According to a recent report by Fast Company, these three very different fields will be looking to hire in 2016. Healthcare workers, software developers, and truck drivers will be areas where industry trends could contribute to a hunger for more candidates.

Looking to make a career change in 2016? This new trend bodes well for those looking to change careers–a work history different than the requirements will make less of a difference.

This also is a positive development for job seekers new to the economy, who may find that the stringent requirements of job listings in recent memory will relax in their favor.

Read the full report for details, as well as the top 10 growing occupations for 2016.

Ready to organize your job search in 20016? Then we recommend checking out StartWire.

Happy Thanksgiving from StartWire!

November 25th, 2015 No comments

Turkey - ThanksgivingWith Thanksgiving approaching and heralding the holiday season, many job seekers grow discouraged and put their search on hold until the New Year. It makes sense at first–with people getting ready for the holidays, job seekers conclude that it’s nigh impossible to get in front of a hiring manager.

What if instead of putting your search on hold, you changed your tactics a bit?

The holidays are a fabulous time to network. With food and cheer aplenty, take advantage of the good feeling and tap into your personal and extended networks. Relatives, friends, and friends of friends can all be good sources of leads in this time. Who knows, a casual chat at Thanksgiving could blossom into a referral.

The relaxing of businesses’ schedules can also be used to your advantage. Now is a great time to set up an informal meeting or tour around a workplace. A recruiter’s slower inbox can mean your follow-up email is more likely to stick–and get a response. Even reaching out with a season’s greeting is a great move!

Above all, have a great Thanksgiving–eat some good food, spend some time with the family, and don’t go too crazy on Black Friday.

A Salute From StartWire!

November 11th, 2015 No comments

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StartWire thanks our veterans for their service!

Whether you’ve recently been discharged or last served years ago, looking for employment as a veteran is different than as a civilian. Companies are taking notice of the unique skills and battle-tested talent of veterans, and many seek to recruit our nation’s protectors after their service is done.

On April 13th, 2015, the Military Times released their ranking of the best employers for veterans. Major companies like Verizon, BAE, and Lockheed Martin all have sterling policies when it comes to recruiting and hiring veterans.

The whole list comprises a variety of fields and industries, including telecommunications, defense, energy, and even banking

No matter with what branch you served or your plans for civilian life, the perfect job is out there waiting for you!

 

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