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50 Best Companies to Watch 2022

SkillGigs: Driving Innovation in the Talent Marketplace

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SkillGigs is an easy-to-use platform and a marketplace where those looking to get hired for contract or permanent

jobs can connect with employers and hiring managers. In cities where SkillGigs is available, one can use SkillGigs to hire healthcare and software development professionals.

How does it work? When a nearby talent user that is the best match for a job accepts your bid, you are engaging with an available professional who is ready to be interviewed – and this is not a cold candidate, one that has to be sourced or recruited.

The SkillGigs e-commerce talent marketplace also provides information about the talent that is a good match for your open jobs, including an in-depth analysis of their skills and experience using SkillGigs’ patented 3D Resume technology. This information can help the employer and the talent find the best match for themselves without needing a recruiter.

We recently got in touch with SkillGigs Founder and CEO Kashif Aftab to question him on the idea that inspired him to start the company, about his experience heading the SkillGigs during the pandemic, and more. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.

Q. What was the motivation behind starting SkillGigs? How has the journey been for you as the CEO of the company?

SkillGigs was founded on the idea that there must be an easier way to hire – an easier way to bring together talent and employers with the latest tech. Coming from the world of traditional staffing, the pressure of finding the right talent is often passed around amongst various teams with increased frustration. And where there is frustration, there is an opportunity. We were motivated to build a talent marketplace to create a seamless, symbiotic relationship for all parties involved in hiring.

As the Founder and CEO of SkillGigs, a critical part of my job has been working in tandem with our product, and engineering teams to ensure that we are delivering on our promise – to make the hiring process easier and more efficient. This focus keeps us ahead of AI and talent acquisition trends, ensuring that all our team members are capitalizing on opportunities. It has been a rewarding process leading our company through a continuously evolving technological and workforce landscape.

Q. How is SkillGigs challenging the status quo?

Direct sourcing and recruiting are the future of hiring for the contingent labor in a labor market where skilled talent is in shortage. We feel that SkillGigs is leading the charge on this. And to lead means to challenge the status quo. According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), 60% of surveyed buyers plan to explore direct sourcing over any other recruitment strategy in the next two years. Therefore, the status quo is no longer acceptable. We are at the forefront of pushing the notion that the future of work is happening already.

We feel that this is evident in three principal areas. First, being a tech-first company, we have built the technology that allows us to acquire skilled professionals without the need for recruiters, giving us the ability to scale linearly. Second, we then give these talent users access to thousands of jobs equipped with our AI matching technology. The biggest appeal here is the direct access and ability to shop a gig without the pressure or bias of a staffing company’s recruiters. And lastly, our bidding system promotes a more democratic economic environment within which both the employers and the talent can negotiate safely and transparently, achieving fair value. 

Q. What does innovation mean to SkillGigs?

Our company is not comfortable with what just simply works; rather, we focus on what we can do to make it better. Even with the basics covered, we ask ourselves – what more can be offered? For example, this thought process led us to develop and deploy new products and features like our patented 3D Resume technology where we revolutionized the role that a resume plays in job fit. How can we innovate the way we use a resume to help us propel our skills forward? How does a resume better connect to the specifics a hiring manager is seeking? Traditional resumes may work for what we assume they provide, but if we look at this all-so-important piece of paper, we recognize it only speaks to our past.

Q. Could you tell us about the work culture at SkillGigs?

SkillGigs’ team members span across several shores but are heavily interconnected. We embrace diversity. As a result, our approach to work culture is both logical and empathetic to the needs of our team members. We embrace doing things differently. To join SkillGigs means that one is open to asking tough questions, trying something new, failing fast, and succeeding on purpose. At SkillGigs, the company culture encourages its workforce to relentlessly develop new ideas and solutions that meet the global market demands.

Q. How was your experience working through the pandemic? Could you tell us about it?

Working through a global pandemic has been a complex ride. April 2020 came, and the initial brunt of the pandemic was in full swing. The entire world was in a panic mode and cities were in quarantine shutdowns. During these extraordinary times, thousands of patients were admitted to hospitals nationwide. We were in a state of a healthcare emergency. Unfortunately, the hospitals could not keep up with this demand with the existing nurse professionals. As a result, there were unprecedented labor shortages.

Thousands of nurses signed up in the marketplace every month during the height of the pandemic. As a result, we are proud to say that we were able to fill urgently needed jobs of skilled nurses for acute care facilities across the country, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. In many ways, our healthcare marketplace was on the frontlines too. In chaos, society is only as fast as the weakest moving piece and healthcare facilities need partners to work at speed with the same urgency. The healthcare marketplace stepped up – and it proved that a relationship with an innovative platform could result in faster deployment. The pandemic proved to us that our model works quickly, efficiently, and gives us comfort in knowing we are more equipped for whatever comes next.

Q. What does the road ahead look like for SkillGigs? Do you have anything new coming up?

As we talk about innovation, SkillGigs has plenty to look forward to in the short-term and long-term. This year, we are launching a series of significant platform and mobile application upgrades, including features to support pay negotiations. With a growing user-base, we have taken feedback into our development process, and we look forward to the improvements being launched. Productizing the way people understand their skill value to set realistic pay expectations will only help further support transparency in the hiring process.

About the Leader

Kashif Aftab, Founder & CEO

Kashif is not afraid to tackle the “seemingly impossible.” He is the visionary behind the marketplace and heads SkillGigs, Inc.’s product, developer, and engineering teams to ensure that the company delivers on its promise – to make the hiring process easier. Aftab is a tech entrepreneur at heart. He possesses an innate need to continually challenge what is possible and find ways to achieve success. 

“Direct sourcing and recruiting are the future of hiring for the contingent labor in a labor market where skilled talent is in shortage. We feel that SkillGigs is leading the charge on this.”