Workplace Hiring in the New Gig Economy

Workplace Hiring in the New Gig Economy

Nowadays, many workers are like stereotypical musicians looking for gigs. It’s true that the template of working fulltime for a company is still standard, but today people have so many other options. Because of the Internet and the use of special apps, people can do freelance work in a variety of ways. They can do these things to supplement their income or even just do these things on a full-time basis.

If you’re running your own company, you need to understand how this new employment options can affect your hiring process. This gig economy isn’t a fad, just like the use of the Internet and apps aren’t fads either. Some, like Intuit CEO Brad Smith, think that by 2020 about 43% of all professionals will be working gigs.

What does this mean for your company? One quick conclusion you can make is that with so many workers opting not to work fulltime, you may have found it more difficult to find new workers to fill out your positions for an extended period of time.

Using Contractors

Instead of having a regular W2 employee, you may need to think about dealing with 1099 contractors. These are workers who don’t have to go to the office and work on a defined schedule. Instead, they can stay home or work in a remote location and simply provide the service or work needed by their parent company.

These 1099 contractors don’t have income tax automatically withheld from their pay. They also don’t get benefits such as workplace insurance that the company may provide for their regular employees.

But the freedom afforded to 1099 contractors provides a very tempting offer for many workers. What this means is that you may want to think about offering similar arrangements with some of your employees, as they may quit and become contractors for another company instead. Some of your positions may also be filled with contractors as well.

Self-Employed Service Providers

These self-employed service providers are similar to 1099 contractors, except that they can work for several companies at once. They can provide specific services such as website maintenance, SEO, or writing blog articles.

If you need the services of these types of professionals, you may find them on sites like Freelancer.com. You may also find them on networks such as LinkedIn and even on Facebook. Hiring these services is like using another company for your security or your maintenance.

Hiring New People and Retaining Your Employees

With the availability of employment options like these, companies must not just find a way to hire people among the dwindling number of workers who still prefer to work fulltime. If you’re running your own company, you also need to make sure that your current employees remain at their jobs so you don’t lose all that knowledge and experience.

So what can you do to attract new workers and keep the current ones? Here are some ways that can help:

  • Emphasize what makes your company culture unique. Point out what values your brand promotes so that workers can view joining your company as a sign of support for these values.
  • Meticulously list all the benefits and perks of being your company’s employee. Mention how you offer insurance if you do, and how your group of employees help out one another.
  • In your websites, feature photos and testimonials from your employees. It makes your company more real, and not just another faceless corporation. Post videos of employees hard at work or having fun. Let them tell potential hires about what they love about their job—and this also reminds these same workers why they shouldn’t quit!

Three Ways to Build Trust in Remote Teams

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Best Project Management Practice For Complex Projects

Managing a complex project requires careful planning and an accurate estimation in terms of resources needed and deadlines that need to be met – and this is all prior to starting to execute on the project. Requirements must also be clearly understood, forming the basis of the project plan and helping to clearly define the goals of the project.

Not all projects are worth the time and effort, and sometimes there is a tendency to overestimate the capability of a team. On the other hand, you cannot know the limits of your team unless you take the plunge. If you boil it down, there are only two reasons why a project would not be fulfilled by your team: it is either a matter of ability or of management.

For ability, there is no substitute for good training, hard work, experience, and team synergy. Those four core characteristics are essential.  Hundreds of thousands of scholarly articles and case studies have been done just to find out how to achieve these characteristics, and a short feature in this article will not do them justice.

On the other hand, proper project management is much more straightforward and truly has a gigantic impact on the productivity of a team, ultimately promising results if done correctly. Project management may sound high-level and strategic, and this is partly correct, but, at its heart, project management is actually very simple to learn and achieve. It is the execution part of the process that takes time and effort. Simply put, project management is how a leader fulfills steps in order to complete a project successfully. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that a project is managed properly.

1. Get a bird’s eye view and look for the forest to follow up with focusing on the trees

Whether it be for conceptualizing and starting your project, for troubleshooting and improving the process for the duration of the said project, inductive thinking, or the top-down thinking, can definitely help. By knowing that conclusion that you want to arrive and then start building up from there, the project will have a better structure and the execution would be easier. Looking at the bigger picture will allow you to find the bottlenecks and the problem.

You can do this by either looking at it with the mentality of a third neutral person or better yet ask an expert who has no part in your project. For instance, asking questions in Quora or opinions with your friends in your social media, provided of course that you can trust them with your privacy and secrecy, will definitely help you find a different perspective.

2. Make a superstar team who knows the project well

By superstar team, we do not mean the best of the best, which was very good can be quite costly and a team of geniuses does have its own unique problems. What we mean is that you should make your current team superstars. This is directly related to the first reason why a project could feel like something beyond the capabilities of the team. We are not just talking about the capability but also the synergy of the team. To make it more straightforward, we make the team learn during the project and not just do.

Getting an experienced expert is good, but if you are thinking long-term, which you should, cultivating talent is the way to go. In managing a project, deal with it as an opportunity for your team members to level up, whether by improving on their abilities and talents or by improving the synergy of the team by making them more integrated and knowledgeable about the team members and the long-term vision and goals of your business.

This can be done by integrating tools into your project management that not only remind them of their duties and responsibilities but also make the team aware of where the progress of the project is currently. One way to do that is to use software light Trello or Scoro. These tools will not only give a visual representation people assigned, they will also allow you to put comments and do even time tracking and reports on finances and project progress. If you do not have a project management tool yet, please get one as soon as possible. You will see your efficiency improve by leaps and bounds.

3. Communication should be proper

You may have a plan that has a great top-down perspective and you may have the best tools for your project management, but one thing where a competent team can fail is the breakdown of communications. We are not just talking about the lack of communication. What we are talking about this proper communication. Communication is a two-way process, in the listener or receiver is as important as the sender of the message.

The best way to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding or miscommunication is to use not only a reliable tool but to also properly word your messages. There are communication tools like Slack and in fact, most project management tools have their own communication channels. Instant messaging is best and will beat out not only e-mail but also voice calls because instant messaging is faster and easier to understand.

As for your communications, it is best to use simple language for instructions and more detailed sentences for the process. It is best to start with what should be the result by use of descriptions using adjectives and adverbs and then followed by a series of instructions which has a lot of verbs and concluded by recommendations for processes. That way, your communications are easier to understand and by using words economically.

In simpler words, you can improve your project management by focusing first on the bigger picture, followed by the proper use of tools and lastly by using proper communication channels and techniques.

Overall, a project manager must be an expert in leadership, communication, and organizational skills. With the high workload and stress, it is critical to have the skills required to bring a project to the finish line. Staying accountable and aware of all aspects of the project will guide you to project management success.

Also, try these 10 shortcuts to boost your productivity.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

20 Steps You Need to Take to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

You don’t need to take too many months to prepare if you’re really determined to start a business. Instead, you can complete these steps in a few days.


When you’re pondering the prospect of starting your own business, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad details of the process. You can end up spending too many months preparing, and during this time you might even hesitate and lose your nerve.

The truth of it is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of time to prepare to start your own business. You just need to focus, and with the following checklist of steps, you need to take you can be well on your way.

  1. Come up with a business idea. You need a business that best suits your preferences, skills, and interests. Pretend you have to ask for some seed money from a prospective investor. You have to make sure you have the skill set and the background for the business idea you’re offering. To make your idea more concrete, you have to serve a particular need or solve a specific problem. You need to identify this need or problem so that you can customize your solution and design your business accordingly.
  1. Do market research. You can go online for this, starting out by checking out your competition. If you’re starting a plumbing business, then you better know how many plumbers there already are in your town. You should also find out the level of demand for the business service or product you’re thinking about offering to the consumer public.
  2. Choose a unique business name. Uniqueness is more important than how catchy your business name is. You can always do a quick web search, though you also need to check with your state department of revenue that no one else in your state is already using the business name you’re considering. A trademark search will also be necessary. Check GoDaddy.com for a domain name.
  3. Define your target market. You can find lots of apps online that can help, and you can always conduct your own surveys.
  4. Pick the location where you’ll be working. Most people start by working at home, but that may change later on. But you have to find workspace options that you may need to use eventually, such as when you’re meeting with clients.
  5. Set up your website. That means buying your domain, obtaining your web hosting (we uses MediaTemple), and building a website. It probably will help a great deal if you let a pro handle all this, although you will have to pay for these services. The point is that a website is a must—people don’t really trust new businesses without websites these days.
  6. Put up phone service. Even though just about everyone has a smartphone these days, it’s still a good idea to have a business phone setup to make things a lot more professional. You can still use your smartphone, but the other people at the other end of the line will see your business phone number instead.
  7. Set up your customer database. You’ll need this if you regularly interact with customers. If you find keeping lots of contact information on Rolodex cards, then you certainly will find a database a lot more useful/
  8. Use lead generation software. Leads tell you where you can focus your sales tactics so that you don’t waste time contacting people who are unlikely to become your customers. You can find software that can identify these likely customers for you, and you can use them with your database.
  9. Get your business on social media. You should have a business profile on the social media platforms where you will find your most likely customers. You should also consider getting on Yelp and Google My Business.
  10. Obtain the business licenses you’ll need. You can do some research on the state licenses and permits you’ll need, along with the fees you have to pay.
  11. Get your Employer Identification Number if you have workers. The EIN will be required by the IRS if you’re going to operate as a partnership or corporation, or if you’re going to hire workers. You can just go to the IRS website for this.
  12. Open a business bank account. The most convenient bank is the one where you already have a personal savings account. But you can check out other banks in your area if they specialize in business accounts. You’ll most likely need your EIN, the documentation you needed to register your business with the state, and a copy of your business license.
  13. Invest in accounting software. Try FreshBooks and QuickBooks, along with Zoho Books and Xero. You’ll need this type of software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, and the reports will be necessary come tax time.
  14. Draw up a marketing plan. Again, you can go online and find templates you can use to promote your business. Your plan needs to identify your target market, as well as the ways to reach and advertise to these potential customers.
  15. Write your business plan. A business plan comes in handy to help you focus on the tasks you need to do to start and develop your business. This business plan also will be necessary when you’re looking for investors. This business plan will include a general description of your company, the data from the market analysis you’ve done, information about the products or services you’re offering, and some financial data.
  16. Obtain the funding you need. You can go to a bank or a relative to obtain a loan, and perhaps use up some of your savings. But you should also see if there are grants available for your business. Crowdfunding may also be possible.
  17. Think about trademarks and patents. You can discuss this with an attorney, though if a lawyer does all the work the fees can go into the thousands of dollars.
  18. Prepare a logo. A logo helps your business to stand out, and it can be very useful for marketing. We use 99designs.com and Fiverr.com for this task.
  19. Think about insurance. At the very least, you may need professional liability insurance. Check with your insurance agency to find out what your business insurance needs and options are.

You can do some of these steps in just a single day, so there’s no good reason to feel overwhelmed about the preparations you need to make. Starting a business can be a risk, but you can’t reap the rewards if you don’t take the plunge.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

6 Top Soft Skills You Need To Work At a Startup

When Google first started, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, set up their hiring algorithms to sift for Computer Science students with top grades from the elite universities. Their belief was that technology can only be truly understood by those who actually studied technology.

They found out much later that this hiring principle wasn’t exactly accurate. In 2013, Google computers tracked all their data concerning their hiring, promoting, and firing of employees. They then found that among the most important qualities of the most successful Google employees, STEM knowledge actually came in last!

The other more important skills are what we call “soft skills”. These are the non-technical attributes that help employees become more productive and better able to work with others.

The soft skills that many startup companies today are looking for include:

Communication Skills

Being able to communicate well is a crucial skill if you want to work well with others. After all, what’s the point of having a good idea if you can’t communicate well enough to convince the other team members about the merits of your idea? If you’re able to communicate well, then you can help convince the rest of the team to believe in your idea. They can understand the idea because you’re able to explain it.

Self-Awareness

This is the ability to recognize how your words and actions affect others. A successful leader needs to develop this mindset because they can then discover how to encourage and motivate others properly. They can also avoid awkward situations when their words and actions hurt and offend their teammates.

Project Management

This means you’re able to organize the work and the team, you can focus on the task at hand, and can work under pressure and time constraints. Even if you’re not the project manager, you can do your part by meeting your deadlines.  You can give updates on your progress and send alerts if you’re having trouble.

Perseverance

You should be able to commit to an assignment until you complete it, even if takes longer than what you anticipated. This also means you need to be flexible, as requirements may change before the due date and you should be able to adapt to the new scope of the project.

Team Mentality

Plenty of people automatically say that they’re a team player, but of course, it isn’t always true. The true team mentality is about getting the work done and helping out one another. But some people seem more focused on getting credit for the success of foisting blame on others when things go wrong.

Willingness and Ability to Learn

Things change all the time, and that’s especially true in the workplace. What employers are looking for are workers who can change with the times and adapt to the new conditions. You can’t be dead-set on using traditional ways when new and more effective tools and processes become available. This means you need to demonstrate your willingness to learn, and that you can and have learned before.

During your job interview, it’s not enough that you demonstrate your technical proficiency for the job. Try to demonstrate these traits in your responses to interview questions, as these are the traits your future employers are looking for.

Also, check out these 5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

How to Build a Better Tech Talent Pipeline

How to Build a Better Tech Talent Pipeline

In the tech industry, your brand is only as good as the talented people you have. That’s why you need to make sure you have a strong tech talent pipeline.

If you’re in the tech startup world, then you’re certainly quite aware that competition is growing fierce these days. It’s like there’s a new company cropping up each day. This increasingly crowded space simply emphasizes how you need to have the talent your business requires to get ahead of your competition. But how you can build a strong tech talent pipeline when there’s a lot of demand and the supply isn’t up to par?

A Smaller Talent Pool

This disparity between the great demand for talent and the scarcity of tech people is one of the main challenges to building a better tech talent pipeline. Recent studies indicate that the pool of tech talent from which the industry can draw may dry up by the year 2030.

Not that this is surprising news. Surveys reveal that almost two-thirds (65%) of CIOs foresee that this scarcity of talent will cripple the industry in the future.

It’s even happening now. Companies are increasingly becoming dependent on new technology to generate value for their products and services, but they have not invested in the needed human capital to keep the tech coming.

As a result, these companies reap what they sow. Up to 86% of companies are having difficulties finding and enlisting the tech talent they require. Almost as many companies feel that the tech talent they have is insufficient, leading to delayed development and missed revenues. The talents they have in turn are overly stressed and more of them feel burned out.

Overcoming the Challenges

So what can you do in light of these problems? Here are some suggestions:

  • Make your company more attractive to potential hires. That means offering competitive salaries and benefits. You also need to customize your approach so that you can hire specific points about your company that will attract a particular potential employee. You have to consider what their goals are, and figure out how your company can help them achieve those goals.
  • What’s more, you need a healthy company culture that actually entices people to stay. Some companies are so enjoyable for workers that they refuse higher bids for their services, knowing that other companies may have a worse working environment.
  • Enhance the training for your current workforce. If you can’t find the trained talents for your needs, you may find them among your current employees. Or you can find the workers with the right potential and then offer to cover their training. You can then support them when they learn new technologies and new coding languages.
  • Invest in high school students. Identify which students have the smarts and the character that best suit your needs, and then help them out. Perhaps you can offer to pay for some training, or even offer a partial scholarship. At the very least, the relationship you forge will then make your company first in line as prospective companies to work for when they graduate from college.

Admittedly, these measures don’t hide the fact that a dwindling talent pool is a serious problem for the tech industry. But by considering our suggestions, you can do better than your competition in dealing with this issue.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

4 Secrets to Retaining Your Tech Talent

4 Secrets to Retaining Your Tech Talent

The supply of tech talent is dwindling, so how can you entice your current tech workers to stay? We have some tips to help you convince your workers to remain.

Many smaller tech companies these days feel like they’re the Kansas City Royals when they have great shortstops and pitchers. Once the Yankees and the Red Sox come calling, these small market teams have to no choice but to say goodbye to their superstars.

Is it then inevitable that you’ll lose your tech workers when headhunters dangle more lucrative salaries for these wizards? Not necessarily. There are ways for you to foster the kind of work environment that makes people want to stay. To achieve that type of work environment, here’s what you need to do if you’re the boss:

1. Remember the Human Element

Sometimes we just think of our employees by their job titles and what they can do for the company. But they’re not just chess pieces we move around the board. These are people, with human emotions and beliefs. You can’t forget that.

That’s why you need to learn how to emphasize and listen to your employees. One way to improve your skills in these aspects is to take coaching courses and read coaching materials. You’re more like a coach of a sports team rather than a chess player with unfeeling game pieces.

2. Have a Clear Vision and Mission

It’s not just money that drives people. Sometimes it’s as simple as wanting to succeed, especially when the purpose is something they wholeheartedly believe in. To help your employees get on the bandwagon, you have to make it clear what your company’s vision is regarding its purpose. Workers are then more apt to be motivated to work for a noble purpose, and they’ll be more engaged.

Disengagement is a huge problem with workers, as this state makes them more likely to leave and find something more engaging. That’s why you need to set clear goals. Your workers need to know that what they’re doing is actually important.

3. Help Your Talent Become Better Leaders

You should have processes that support team leaders, especially those who have been thrust into leadership positions for the first time. Helping them to succeed helps your company in many ways, as you improve the productivity of those teams. In addition, you give your new team leaders a sense of belonging in your company, as they have a greater influence on the success of your business. Once they believe that your company is also in a way “their baby”, they’re less likely to abandon their position for a new company.

4. Offer Recognition

It’s no secret that the majority of employees tend to work harder when they’re recognized for their efforts. They’re disheartened when their efforts are seemingly ignored, which tempts them to leave for other companies where their efforts may be more appreciated. You don’t need to give them lavish prizes—just offer the recognition in a timely manner and make it personal. Make sure it’s sincere, and not just something that seems forced.

Remember, people aren’t always motivated by money. People can love their jobs not just because of the money, and if they love their job while they work for you they’re less likely to leave.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.