Technology is changing the nature of employment. Gigstr capitalises on the structural changes to work brought by the so-called gig economy, in which employees are paid less for permanent employment commitments and more for flexible, often short-term arrangements, or “gigs”.
The app offers its users – “gigstrs” – a new way of working, carefully matching user-made profiles, rather than CVs, with job opportunities submitted by potential employers. But the jobs aren’t exactly paper rounds, or cycling for Deliveroo: a quick browse through the app and the top three options were for a bilingual client relationships executive, a marketing assistant in West London, and a blogger for a new haircare brand. As well as the kind of jobs you might expect from a recruitment agency, Gigstr want to offer skilled opportunities, to expand your experience and network. Adam and Sarina spoke with Emma Blackmore, the LSE graduate at the centre of the app’s recent expansion into the UK.
How did Gigstr come about?
We recognise that gone are the days where we stick with one job for the rest of our lives. Most companies don’t hire that way anymore. Gigstr affords people the opportunity to try their hand at lots of different things, and make some extra money in the process, too. We started in Stockholm almost two years ago, where we found a real appetite for the kind of flexible working opportunities, driven by new technological advances, that students are typically motivated by. After building up a database of nearly 15,000 gigstrs in Sweden, and expanding into Copenhagen, we decided to set up shop in the UK last October. We hope and expect this will be our biggest market.
What makes Gigstr different to recruitment agencies?
We’re not a recruitment agency, by any means. None of our employees come from recruitment backgrounds, and we’ll never take a hefty commission on a gig we set up. Rather, Gigstr is an on-demand staffing solution. We work cross-sector and cross-industry, offering the personal service of a traditional agency but the speed of an app. We never try to fit a square peg into a round hole and ensure a mutually beneficial work relationship for our gigstrs and gig providers.
Why should students be interested in Gigstr, and what might if offer them?
We take the Swedish values of transparency, and fair, flexible work very seriously. All of our gigstrs are paid the London Living Wage, £10.20 or higher, and we guarantee leave entitlement and pension contributions. Every gigstr is insured, too.
Gigstr is about helping people through opportunities that suit their lifestyles. We meet so many people from different walks of life, and that helps us curate exactly which gigs and companies we sign on and what we make available on our app. We’re very responsive in that sense.
Finally, we host bi-monthly “Gigstr with Friends” events, bringing in external speakers to educate and inspire gigstrs and gig providers. This week we held a talk on the Future of Work, and the UK head of Google’s Chrome OS attended. Our app features Ted talks, blog posts, and interviews with other gigstrs, furthering that sense of community. And there are perks, too, like brand discounts and special offers. Why wouldn’t you want to join that?