On-demand staffing 

What is on-demand staffing

On-demand staffing (also known as on-call staffing, ad-hoc staffing, or standby staffing) involves hiring employees who are available to work when needed, often at short notice. This concept has gained momentum across various industries, from healthcare and hospitality to technology and customer service. 

on-call employee

One of the key reasons for its popularity is the flexibility it provides to businesses in managing their workforce. When faced with fluctuating workloads, unexpected demand spikes, or seasonal variations, on-call staff can seamlessly step in, ensuring smooth operations without the need for a full-time commitment.

Advantages of on-demand staffing

  • Flexibility is the cornerstone of on-demand staffing. Businesses can adjust their workforce according to demand, effectively minimizing overstaffing during slower periods and preventing understaffing during peak times. This adaptability allows companies to allocate resources more efficiently, leading to reduced operational costs.
  • Employing full-time staff comes with fixed costs like salaries, benefits, and office space. On-demand staff, on the other hand, are compensated only for the hours they work, making it a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to optimize their labor expenses.
  • On-call staff often possess specialized skills that can be invaluable in certain situations. Whether it’s a technical glitch, a surge in customer inquiries, or a medical emergency, having skilled professionals on call ensures that critical issues are addressed promptly and effectively.
  • On-demand staffing enables seamless scalability. Businesses can quickly ramp up their workforce in response to sudden demand spikes, product launches, or seasonal events, ensuring that customer service remains top-notch without long lead times for hiring and training.
  • On-demand work offers an attractive alternative for individuals seeking flexibility in their work schedules. Students, retirees, and those with other commitments can find on-demand roles appealing as they allow them to earn income while accommodating their personal lives.

How does on-demand staffing work?

  1. On-demand workers indicate their availability to work for the company. They could schedule themselves available during certain hours, or certain days of the week. 
  2. When the need for additional staffing arises, the business contacts on-demand workers to see if they are available to work during the specified time.
  3. On-demand workers respond to the notification indicating their availability or unavailability for the requested shift. If they are available, they are assigned to the shift. If they are unavailable, another on-demand worker can book the slot. Depending on the industry, businesses may match on-demand workers’ skills with specific tasks or roles that need to be filled. This ensures that the right people with the necessary skills are available when needed.
  4. Once an on-demand worker confirms their availability, they are added to the schedule for that shift. Depending on the job, they will receive additional information about the tasks or responsibilities they need to perform.

On-demand workers are mainly compensated for the hours they work, often based on an hourly wage or per-shift rate. Some businesses might provide additional compensation for being on call even if they aren’t ultimately called in to work. This is a good way to ensure that there is adequate coverage for various shifts or periods of increased demand.

Common use cases of on-demand staffing

The on-demand workforce model is a standard practice in various industries where demand is often unpredictable or subject to fluctuations:

  • Healthcare: Hospitals, clinics, and emergency medical services frequently employ on-demand medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics. This ensures that medical care is available around the clock to address emergencies and unexpected patient influxes.
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Hotels, restaurants, and event venues often have on-demand staff to accommodate varying levels of demand, especially during peak seasons, holidays, and special events. On-demand employees in these industries might include chefs, waitstaff, housekeeping, and event staff.
  • Retail: Retail businesses, particularly those that experience seasonal fluctuations like during holidays, may employ on-demand workers to cover busy periods. This could include customer service representatives, cashiers, and stock clerks.
  • Customer Service: Call centers and customer support operations often rely on on-demand agents to handle spikes in customer inquiries or technical support requests, ensuring that customer service remains consistent and responsive.
  • Emergency Services: Fire departments, police stations, and emergency response teams maintain on-demand personnel to respond to emergencies at all times, ensuring public safety and swift responses to critical situations.
  • Utilities: Utility companies like electricity, water, and gas often have on-call technicians who can address infrastructure issues and emergencies that might occur outside of regular working hours.

How we can help

Zelos is a simple team management app built for getting quick signups from an on-call team. It also offers a full suite of communication features, making it a perfect choice for managing an on-demand workforce.

Sign up for a free account or get in touch with our team for a personal demo.