Working trends have strayed away from the typical "nine to five" workday or the average 40 hour work week and moved toward more flexible times, gig oriented jobs, or digital only employment. The dawn of technology has allowed employees to work at any time and on any day but perhaps all the options have resulted in an overworked environment.
But even with those changes, many aspects of how human resources departments interact with employees remain the same. Two Texas start-ups are attempting to use artificial intelligence (AI) and other software innovations to transform the HR department.
“We are disrupting the 1099 contractor ecosystem,” says Craig Lewis, founder of Gig Wage, which sells payments software aimed at helping companies manage and compensate contract workers. “We’ve all been contractors at some time in our careers and dealt with the headache of being paid.”
Four-year-old Gig Wage’s client roster includes gig economy businesses that provide food delivery and on-demand babysitting services, for example. But Gig Wage also helps customers pay professionals such as insurance inspectors and adjusters, Lewis says. The start-up’s software enables contractors to make payments to freelancers, and it also gives those workers a financial portal they can use to track payments.
Having a central place for documentation is attractive to workers because it provides the sort of corporate salary history that can be required when seeking loans, Lewis says. “Banks require proof of income and a lot of gig workers have a hard time with that,” he says. “They can print a contractor report to show how much they’ve been paid, the frequency of when they get paid, the industries they are working in.”
Features beyond payment processing give Dallas-based Gig Wage an advantage over other tech-enabled tools such as PayPal or Venmo, Lewis argues. As gig work becomes more common, contractors will cite the compensation method as a factor in deciding who to work for, he says.
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