I recently met AJ Brustein, co-founder of Wonolo. Wonolo is short for “Work. Now. Locally.” AJ and his co-founder created the company in response to their realization that just as ” technology was being utilized to solve variable/constant (e.g. Nest Thermostat) or supply/demand (e.g. Uber) situations, we could leverage technology to create a flexible workforce to solve unpredictability in business.” Thus was born Wonolo, like Uber for temporary staffing, currently operating in the Bay Area, Southern California, and New York City.
AJ says the Wonolo model fills a gap that temporary staffing firms are challenged to address – needs that are both just-in-time and short in duration. Wonolo gigs are paid by the job, not by the hour. The requestor (employer) offers a job at a rate of pay. Like Uber, there is no negotiation. “Wonolers” are independent contractors. Wonolo employers are required to offer at least minimum wage, and Wonolo provides wage reporting for tax purposes. There is no negotiation between employer and Wonoler. The latter either accept the job or they don’t. Read on to learn more about this model from AJ himself.
We’ve all been there. Employees call in sick or quit. Or you had planned for 10 units of work and got surprised when 20 units of work left you with not enough people to complete it. If your employees are part of the frontline workforce (hourly workers in hospitality, retail, logistics, etc.), you’ve seen it all. In fact, you’ve probably concluded that on any given day, the only predictable thing is that something unpredictable will happen. That unpredictability generally involves people.
Adding to this complexity is the fact that when the unpredictable occurs, there’s no easy way to quickly bring in talent to get the job done. People ignore your calls. Staffing agencies can’t get you someone until next week…if you’re lucky. Job boards are like Russian roulette. So we took inspiration from another source, Uber.
You’ve probably taken a ride in an Uber X, which I bet was superior to your average cab ride. That’s because it was effortless, and the driver was incentivized to provide you with a good experience. You trust that Uber did the upfront work to vet the driver, and you were certain that they could do their job. We brought that same approach to on-demand staffing. When you need talent on-demand, open up Wonolo, push a button, and a capable, pre-vetted Wonoloer shows up to help you get your work done.
Wonolo, which stands for Work Now Locally, has been helping businesses find on-demand talent since we created it inside of The Coca-Cola Company two years ago. Whether Coca-Cola needs a quick merchandiser for their big promotion or Papa John’s needs a few extra delivery people for a rainy Sunday, they just tap into Wonolo to find the talent they need. Just like Uber 10xed the taxicab experience, Wonolo is 10xing the on-demand staffing experience with better quality, lower cost, and frictionless technology.
What do you think of this model? Have you tried Wonolo or other services like it to provide on demand staffing?