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How one company’s platform is solving D.C.’s worker shortage

October 31, 2018
In the restaurant industry, filling shifts⎼and keeping them filled⎼is vital to the success of your business. When you don’t have ample staff to help prep and cook food, bus and wait tables and clean dishes, your customer experience can suffer. So what can businesses do when they have a last-minute callout and the dinner rush starts in less than an hour? Businesses in the D.C. metro area are leaning on Snag Work, an on-demand mobile platform providing front-and-back of house staff to employers in need.
Founded in Richmond, Va., in 2016 and introduced to the D.C. metro area in early 2018, Snag Work is helping businesses fill open shifts in an average time of less than five minutes. The company connects more than 440 pre-vetted job seekers with open positions in the retail, hospitality and restaurant industries. Helping businesses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, the platform helps fill an average of 1450 shifts per month (not including businesses outside of restaurant industry) at 151 restaurants and bars, including - but not limited to - brands like Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Cava, DCity Smokehouse, Das Ethiopian, and many DMV catering companies.
So, how does Snag Work… work? Job seekers sign up and have to pass a rigorous background check and interviewing process to use the platform. Once approved, they can post their availability, and they receive alerts when a business posts a shift that matches their schedule. Prior to starting a shift, workers review requirements and training materials so they show up prepared and ready to work. Workers receive payment within 24 to 48 hours. Additionally, workers and employers rate one another, which holds both parties accountable. For example, if a worker’s rating falls below 80%, he/she may lose access to the platform. Snag Work is a win⎼win for both workers and employers looking to take advantage of today’s flexible work environment.  
"At CAVA, we focus on building a culture, not a concept. For us, that starts by hiring team members who are passionate about what they do and providing a best in class customer experience,” said Dave McKlveen, VP of People & Culture at CAVA. “Snag Work has been a great partner for us in D.C. as we've been able to find compassionate, talented team members that are excited about supporting our mission and our business. In fact, our first position at CAVA was filled in just 25 seconds!"  
With the upcoming holiday season, Snag Work hopes to work with more area businesses⎼and for good reason. According to Snag’s annual Holiday Hiring Survey, 86% of hourly employers expect to have a tougher time finding seasonal work this year compared to last year, up from 77% in 2017. This is due in large part to the tight labor market; today’s unemployment rate (3.7%) is the lowest in nearly 50 years. Employers are facing greater competition than ever to find quality talent and as a result, are recruiting earlier. In fact, the number of companies that began recruiting in August or earlier more than doubled compared to last year.
In addition to recruiting earlier, employers are offering higher wages. Snag’s survey revealed that employers in the restaurant industry predict they will pay 51% more this year, from an average of $9.60 an hour to $12.80 an hour for top positions like waitressing, dishwashing and cashiers. Northeast-coast based employers plan on paying even more, an average of $17.02 an hour across restaurant, retail and hospitality.
What’s more is that 77% of businesses say they will offer perks and benefits including PTO, training opportunities, childcare, tuition stipends, health insurance and even transportation reimbursement. By using Snag Work, businesses can navigate the tight labor market, find available and quality workers and fill open positions these holidays.
“At Snag, we’re continuously looking for ways to fulfill our vision of creating a world where anyone can get the work or workforce they want, wherever and whenever they want,” said Derek Thomas, head of sales at Snag. “With Snag Work, we look forward to helping our workers and employers do this not only during the 2018 holiday season, but beyond.”