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The U.S. labor market is changing, with more and more jobs becoming temporary or on-demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 27 million people are currently employed on a part-time basis, with temporary placements representing the fastest-growing segment of the employment economy.

This is the “gig economy” in action.

As a result, there are over 2,000 staffing agencies in the United States, representing a $2.2 billion industry in the United States and a $38 billion industry worldwide, according to the 2014 Ad Age DataCenter Agency Report. Apart from promotional staffing, the temporary staffing market in its entirety is a $147 billion industry whose workers are represented in virtually every industry, including Industrial (37%), Office/Clerical/Administrative (28%), Professional/Managerial (13%), Engineering/IT/Scientific (13%), and Healthcare (9%).

Challenges for Temporary Staffing

Still, despite this scale, there are currently very few tools available that cater specifically to sourcing, vetting, managing, and paying these temporary workers. To date, companies and agencies are forced to rely on a combination of services and tools to source, hire, pay, and remain connected to suitable employees. Relying on these disparate tools results in inefficient and unorganized practices.

But organizations seeking temporary staff field hundreds of emails from both qualified and unqualified candidates, which is both time consuming and reactionary, as they have little control over who mails them introductions. They then spend hours manually sifting through these emails to match the talent with specific jobs. Furthermore, there is no reliable way to know if the talent is reliable or suitable for the specific job.

Big brands spend a significant amount of money to be represented at high volume events such as concerts, sporting events, and tradeshows. They hire specialized staffing agencies to find people to represent their brand. How are they finding people to work these events?

Craigslist.

With multiple events across the country, and little time to fill them, this process is often very challenging. The agency posts their jobs on Craigslist resulting in hundreds of emails from both qualified and unqualified candidates. The agency will then spend hours manually sifting through these emails, bouncing back and forth between programs, and playing lots of phone tag. On average, an agency will spend four hours just to staff one person.

This process is inefficient, expensive and impossible to scale. The industry needs better tools to do their jobs.

PopBookings: A Centralized Platform

PopBookings is streamlining the entire relationship between temporary jobs and the people that work them, including sourcing, vetting, managing, and payments. The company’s mobile and web applications connect agencies and the events they represent with the right talent, consolidating the hiring process for staffing agencies by combining booking, logging, paying, and communicating into one platform.

Current methods used to match workers with jobs, largely bulk email and Excel spreadsheets, are highly inefficient for all parties, leading to lost revenue, higher than required costs and suboptimal performance.

PopBookings’ goal is to seamlessly connect companies with their growing bases of temporary staff, with cloud-based and mobile-enabled software to automate the entire hiring process for both employers and 1099 employees. It provides companies with broader and more efficient access to a validated labor pool and allows companies to connect with the right staff while removing all of the associated administrative hassles. It provides people interested in temporary work the ability to see more jobs that fit their schedule, skills, wage requirements and geographic restrictions while accelerating, automating and tracking when and how they get paid.

PopBookings initial target is the promotional staffing industry, a highly fragmented segment that represents about $2.2 billion per year in wages in the U.S. and is comprised of businesses seeking workers for their events (e.g. concerts, sporting events, tradeshows, etc.), staffing agencies hired to find these workers, and the workers themselves. The platform is currently being used by over 158 agencies, 100,000 users, 12,000 events, and 32,000 staffers, has booked almost 28,000 shifts through its platform, and has facilitated the payment $3.2M million in wages through its platform.

Case Study: Chicks in Your Shirt

Chicks in Your Shirt is an event staffing agency specializing in promotional talent. It engages its network of models to provide a fresh way to influence consumers at trade shows, product launches, sporting events, and more. Founder Erick Comellas was frustrated with the status quo in the event staffing industry. Finding, booking, and paying talent was a constant struggle requiring multiple messy spreadsheets and tons of unanswered emails.

None of this is unusual. In the event staffing industry, it’s the behind-the-scenes work of discovering, engaging, and tracking talented workers for multiple events across a variety of locations that takes up most of the time and energy. For years, agencies like Chicks in Your Shirt have struggled to develop and refine their own internal processes, but the best options available are complicated spreadsheets and unsophisticated recruiting platforms like Craigslist. The result? A time and effort-intensive process that complicates the job and distracts agency owners from opportunities to expand and thrive.

Enter PopBookings.

The PopBookings’ specialized event staffing platform, based on the company founders’ own personal experience running an agency, streamlined Erick’s processes and gave him the time and energy to take his business to new heights. A simple, integrated platform that accelerates the event staffing process from beginning to end, PopBookings is able to integrate everything from recruiting and booking talent to managing events and tracking payment information, with an interface that allows staffing companies like Chicks in Your Shirt to manage important data and processes with remarkable ease and efficiency. Instead of fighting with clumsy spreadsheets and disconnected communication platforms, the tool equips agencies with a one-stop shop that meets all their needs.

Where he used to spend hours each week managing data such as talent profiles and availability, Erick now uses that time to book new talent, land new contracts, and grow his business. He estimates that he’s cut recruiting and booking times in half as a result of the platform.

“One of the main challenges was organizing my data and being able to have a quick turnaround for clients as far as who was available,” he says. “Because PopBookings is specifically tailored to the event staffing industry, the design and user interface made managing my data easy. Before, I was only able to focus on one client at a time to make sure they were served correctly. Now, I’m able to pick up new clients in other states and other cities.”

Learn more about PopBookings