Staff Heroes Blog

5 Gig Myths Exploded

It doesn’t pay. It isn’t skilled. It’ll never last and why on earth would you actually choose to work in it? It’s time we took issue with 5 of the most oft-repeated myths about the world of the gig. The gig economy is overhyped. It’s not that big a deal really When McKinsey investigated the scale of the global gig economy, they found 20-30% of workers in the US and top 15 European economies had spent time as freelancers and contract workers. That, they said, equates to 162 million people. There is an issue of definition here. The RSA estimates 1.1 million people in the UK in gig work, although they restricted their definition to jobs sourced using online platforms like Staff Heroes. We would argue, as McKinsey did, that it’s a little dangerous to define a whole sector by the tool you use to get the job. We are, of course, a growing part of the gig economy, but we and our app-based peers are not the gig economy in its entirety. Take a wider measure, then, and you end up somewhere between 6 and 14 million in the UK gig economy. You get the picture. Whatever definition you

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What’s being a gig worker really like?

We could talk till the cows come home about what it’s like to work in the gig economy (and we often do). But if you’re think of joining the ranks of people who ditched the day job, you’d probably prefer to hear from real people. So here they are. There’s an immediate challenge in writing a post like this. If we simply wax lyrical about what it’s like to be a gig worker you probably won’t believe us. And if we present you with a bunch of testimonials from people who are gig working with Staff Heroes, you’ll think we’ve either a) made them up or b) just chosen the best ones. So allow us to pull from a variety of sources on this, and to set a few things straight from the outset: Where this post quotes gig workers who’ve talked to other publications, we’ll link you to those publications so you can check they’re authentic. Where we use the words of our own Staff Heroes (if it doesn’t have a link, it’s one of our own), we promise you’ll find them either on the employee section of the website, or within the independent reviews section. And whilst we

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Success in six figures – where the gig goes next

The future’s bright; the future’s gig-shaped 162 million people in the US and Europe engage is some form of independent work, says McKinsey. The gig economy will double in 4 years. By 2020, a LinkedIn survey reveals, 43% of the US labour market will be self-employed ‘gig-workers’. Recode reports the US Bureau of National Statistics as predicting that by 2021 the number of on-demand jobs will surpass the current number of jobs in finance (8.4 million) or construction (6.8 million). Sure, these stats are all US based, but like Taylor Swift, Black Panther and Oreos, what starts in the US inevitably bowls over the rest of the English-speaking world shortly afterwards. You can be impressed by the scale, the speed or the game-changing nature of the gig economy, but there are those who still look at it as if it exists in a sort of bubble – its own micro-economy of Uber drivers, baristas and waiters. Boy are they in for a surprise.   The big gigs Right now, the highest paid gig workers are earning six-figure salaries (we’re talking dollars but at current exchange rates, most would be six-figure in £s too). FitSmallBusiness identifies them as freelance Ai and

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A better, cheaper, simpler way to find staff?

DIY recruitment, or trust an agency? Traditionally, those have been your only options for finding staff. But now there’s a third way. A true story: there’s a Shoreditch hotel that used Staff Heroes for the first time a few months ago and their tale is a familiar one. Recruitment was a near-permanent problem. They were resistant to paying agency fees when a) they knew they could recruit for less and b) using a traditional agency meant a continual to-and-fro of calls and emails, and an inevitable lag between needing someone fast and having them actually walk in the door. So they bit the bullet and decided to handle their own recruitment and (initially, at least) they did pretty well. Fairly quickly they had five new workers in place and they estimated the total cost of recruitment for each was no more than £500. Result. At least, it would have been if, within a couple of months, they hadn’t all left, leaving the hotel right back at square one again. Recruitment can be a pain for any business – and one of the reasons it’s so painful is the analogue way it continues to be done. Step forward, then, the gig

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What is the Gig Economy Anyway?

What is the gig economy? How does it work? And why is it worth becoming part of it? Forgive us. Like starting a boxset midway through season two, it can be difficult to get up to speed when everyone’s got a head start on you. So if you’ve heard a lot about the gig economy but don’t really know the details, here’s our introductory guide. From the top, then…#   What is the gig economy?   It’s a way of working that means you don’t have a permanent job; instead you’re effectively a freelancer (which is why the term ‘gig economy’ is pretty much interchangeable with ‘freelance economy’). So the gig economy is just about the short term? Not necessarily. Certainly, it can relate to one-off ‘gigs’ or assignments, but it can also describe longer-term arrangements where you work repeatedly for one person or organisation, but do so as a freelancer rather than an employee. So just because you jump onboard the gig economy, it doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily need to search for a new job every week.   How does it work?   Working in the gig economy allows you to build your working hours in a way that

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What Effect is the Introduction of GDPR Set to Have on Staffing?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know about the imminent arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). When it comes into force on 25 May this year, it will effectively press reset on the rights individuals hold over their data, and the obligations on companies who collect, use or store that information. We’ll avoid recapping the entire history of the GDPR and its journey to becoming law – if you’d like to know more about the background and the specifics of GDPR from the horse’s mouth, you’ll find it here, at the Information Commissioner’s Office. There’s virtually no industry that won’t be affected by GDPR, but some sectors will find its impact stretches further and deeper than others. Given that it deals very specifically with people and their personal information, the staffing and recruitment sector – and in-house recruitment departments – are about to find that the GDPR affects almost every aspect of their work. Here’s how:   Recruiter responsibilities   The GDPR sets out a number of responsibilities relating to the mechanics of holding, controlling and processing data, and the steps to take in the event of a data breach. It also confers rights on individuals

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Hero of the Month

“I worked one shift for Jamie Oliver – which he attended! This was amazing to be a part of, but there was another private party on a yacht at St Katherine’s Dock, a stone’s throw from the Tower of London. This was equally fascinating.”   We don’t know what our most recent Hero of the Month’s New Year’s resolution was, but it seems to be working for him.  Jonathan had a stormer of a month in January, picking up 5-star ratings as if they were going out of fashion. A regular Waiter and Banqueting Staff member, Jonathan honed his skills while at the University of Warwick. Here he studied for a History degree while working part-time in the University’s conference centre as a member of the banqueting team. This Londoner’s experience, skills and attitude have made him a fantastic member of the Staff Heroes workforce and a valuable asset to both businesses and Heroes he’s been on shifts with. Everyone at Staff Heroes HQ would like to thank him for his hard-work and the endless positive feedback we receive about him. Keep it up Jon! Jonathan has now completed his studies, and after spending time in Israel teaching English as a

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Hero of the Month

Temporary staff - Agency Chef

Chef Marvin Davidson Is Our Superhero At Wembley “I’ve had experience in many roles and also my rate of pay has gone up since my first job” Rumour has it, Marvin Davidson’s performances at Wembley were better than the David Beckham’s this November. Marvin, residing in Hackney, East London, has completed a massive 14 shifts for our client Delaware North at Wembley Stadium in the past month, and his expert performances have earned him our Hero of the Month award. After catching up with Marvin after a brief visit to Wembley Stadium, he let us in on what he enjoys about working on our platform. “I’ve had a wide variety of jobs on the platform ranging from KP to CDP. I have had experience in many roles and also my rate of pay has gone up since my first job, which is always a strong incentive to keep working harder and to stay connected at Staff Heroes” “The platform has allowed me to diversify my work options in the catering sector which in return has allowed me to do more at Shoreditch Trust and spend much needed quality time with my family.” Thanks for the great feedback Marvin! And it’s not only on

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Transform Yourself Into A Top Waiter!

Waiting tables is a role almost everybody has done at some point in their life. Some people see it as a way to pick up extra cash on the side, but truly being a good waiter is something that takes years of practice. Here we discuss the top skills employers look for in this role. Punctuality – being on time is an obvious one, but it cannot be understated. Your arrival is the first impression any employer will have of you, and lateness is one of the worst first impressions you can make. Arriving late can be seen as a sign that you don’t care about your job and is not taken lightly. Smile – As far as customer’s expectations go, a happy, smiley person is the bare minimum. Your job is primarily to make sure the guest has a positive experience in the restaurant. Beyond that you are an important cog in making service run efficiently, but never neglect cheer-leading duties! Know the menu – The last thing a customer wants to hear when they order a dish is “I’m not sure” or “I don’t how that’s served.” You are responsible for knowing the food and how it is

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7 Steps To Becoming A Brilliant Barista

Waking up and smelling the coffee is a daily routine for baristas all over the world. But what skills do you need to provide the nation’s coffee drinkers with their favourite cup, whether it’s a flat white, cappuccino, or skinny decaf soya mocha with no chocolate sprinkes (please no)? We’ve got it from the experts that these are the 7 most important ingredients to being a great barista. Be cheerful and friendly – As a barista, you are often the face of the café, restaurant, or bar. So be bubbly, polite, and a face your customers, desperate for their caffeine fix, are happy to see at 7am. It’s all in the espresso – The foundation of any great coffee is the espresso. First you will have to dial-in. This means getting your grind right – not too fine, not too coarse – perfecting your recipe (amount of coffee/duration of pour), then tasting your brew. Just right? Milk foaming – One of the most in-demand skills in the industry is foaming. If you can get your milk right, you’ll be able to pick up barista jobs all over the world. Remember, introduce air at the start, then texturize to leave yourself

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