Katie Crosby and her boyfriend, James, are busy building their futures. Both have full time day jobs and while he attends Kellogg’s Evening business school program, she has been bartending at night to pay for her prerequisite courses toward her Master’s degree.
Part-time was once a matter of choice—a convenient way to work post retirement, while the kids were at school, as a second job to buy a house or get the kids through college. Since the start of the 21st century, the number of people working part time by choice has remained about the same at almost 19 million.
What has changed over the last 13 years is part time as a stop gap measure to bring in income, any income while job searching. The number of people who are working part time because they couldn’t find full time work has more than doubled since the beginning of 2000 and now totals almost 8 million.
The increased competition for part-time work, particularly in the always popular food and beverage industry, is one of the reasons for Shiftgig. A niche job board launched in 2012 that connects candidates to employers in the service industry, it now has 14,000 job postings nationwide.
Katie is one of the beneficiaries of their service. In between her first and second jobs in Chicago she created an online profile in Shiftgig’s database. “I had heard that Shiftgig streamlines all of the service industry postings out there to make finding a good bartending job so simple,” says Katie. True enough, for without any experience as a bartender, she had invitations to interview with 14 restaurants/bars. Halligan Bar, a block away from her apartment, hired and trained her. After she found a full-time job in her field—pediatrics—she went with another company that found her on Shiftgig, but didn’t stay open until the wee hours.
Jeff Pieta, President of Shiftgig, says the secret sauce is in the profile. The more complete the online profile, the more opportunities a job seeker gets. “Right away it signals to the employer that you are a professional and not a loafer”, says Pieta. “Combined with a picture that shows warmth, and you have an effective marketing tool as a job seeker”, he adds.
Katie says bartenders in downtown Chicago average $1,100 in pay on weekends. If you turn into a pumpkin after 11 p.m., Shiftgig has day-time jobs for servers, trade show ambassadors, and many more service industry part-time or per diem gigs. Whatever your personality, Shiftgig seems to have shifted the hiring dynamic by putting more opportunity and control into the job applicants position. For the millions looking for work, that feels like a welcomed change.
Photo Source: Yaz Majeed Photographer