For managers

Introducing: the Airwork Rotation model

August 4, 2023
minute read

🤕 Temp staffing problems you might be facing 🤕

You’re actively managing full time employees but you’re understaffed. In a pinch, you try to solve this by hiring more temporary workers, but:

  1. Candidates don't show up to interviews
  2. Recruiting and training takes time, which you don’t have
  3. After hiring them, workers keep canceling shifts and showing up late

Eventually, they either leave the company themselves, or you realize it’s not a good fit and let them go. Now you’re back to square one.

💪 How Airwork helps fill shifts 💪

Airwork gives you instant access to hundreds of local pre-vetted workers ready to work immediately. We only accept the top 5% of temporary worker applicants, and our software automates everything, allowing you to request workers just hours before their shift starts.

You might be wondering: “yes this sounds good, but our training process is very specific, and while we need temporary workers, we prefer the same people to consistently come back every day”.

Airwork has a model that supports this, but it only works if you follow the ultimate guiding principle of our platform: flexibility.

In particular,

- Managers create shifts whenever they want.
- Airworkers pick up shifts whenever they want.
- Once a shift is locked in, last-minute cancellations result in penalties to either party.

So long as we all continue to operate with the principle of flexibility in mind, Airwork is capable of achieving astounding results (99% fill rate, <2hrs average fill time, 90% backfill success rate, etc).

With that being said, let’s jump into our best practices for finding quality and qualified temporary employees!

🌀 The Airwork rotation model 🌀

This is Airwork’s official recommended model to fill daily shifts with regular workers you’ve already trained. Let’s set up an example scenario!

Example staffing scenario

You need to fill 2 shifts every work day from Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm. The work requires existing experience, a few certifications, and at least one week of training with yourself or a supervisor.

Step 1: Find employees

With as much notice as you can, create a series of training shifts on the Airwork business portal, requesting around 8 workers. Usually 1 week prior is sufficient notice to get enough applicants. Make sure to mark the shifts as “Public” as you want to notify all Airworkers.

Step 2: Meet and train temporary workers

Your training shift should be scheduled for a time when you or a supervisor can afford to take the time required to train workers.

🔑 Tip! The number of workers we recommend you train is 4x the number of daily shifts you wish to fill.

Step 3: Approve and block workers based on performance

Once you’ve booked your trainees and start the training shifts, you’ll start to notice that some workers perform better than others. This is expected and intended, as the goal is to identify the top workers in your training pool and narrow it down.

🔑 Tip! The number of temporary employees we recommend you keep in your roster is 50% the number of trainees.

In this case, that means approving 4 workers that perform well:

And blocking the other 4 workers that don’t:

Please note that these numbers are only rough suggestions for temp staffing. Sometimes everyone you train for temp jobs works out. Sometimes none of them do. The key is to keep trying out new workers until you build a healthy roster of trusted Airworkers.

🔑 Tip!  We recommend your approved worker list has 2x the number of daily shifts workers

Step 4: Rotate shifts between approved workers

Once you’ve completed your training shifts, you should have 4 workers you reliably trust to do the job.

From here, there are 2 rotation approaches you can take, both of which work:

  1. First come first serve: post private shifts every day, give the shifts to the first 2 approved workers that sign up.
  2. Primaries and backups: have 2 workers be your primary workers with the assumption they take every shift, every day. When one of the primaries can’t make a shift, book in one of the backups.
  3. Please note that you can have as many backups as you want, but the less shifts a backup gets, the more likely they’ll end up getting a job elsewhere.

Step 5: Top up your temp staff roster

Naturally as time goes on, some temporary workers will start to pick up less and less shifts, whether it’s because their school schedule got busier, or they found another job, or they moved cities, etc.

In order to make sure your roster is well staffed, when you notice shifts start becoming hard to fill, open up a few more training shifts, and repeat Steps 1-3.

Step 6: Use automated backfilling for urgent shifts

Occasionally you have some critical work that needs to get done but no matter how hard you try, you just do not have enough approved workers who have requested to booked the shift.

In this case, we recommend you use the “Update shift type” feature at the bottom of the Create Shift page. If your private shift is not filled within X hours, the shift is automatically updated to a public shift where all Airworkers are eligible to book. Given that hundreds of Airworkers are near you, your likelihood of filling this shift is 99%.

But wait, how does this work with roles that require certifications, specific skills, or training?

Well the truth is it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean backfilling isn’t still helpful. Sometimes all you need is for a helper to get some of the tedious work done (organizing, moving, cleaning, preparing, etc) while the skilled, trusted Airworkers can focus on the harder work.

🎉 Congratulations 🎉

And that’s it, if you followed all the steps above, you should now have a healthy roster of trusted temporary workers, or as we like to say, Airworkers, that can fill every one of your shifts!

If you have any more questions about how to use Airwork for specific temp staffing scenarios, feel free to reach out directly to Gary at 647-220-0290 or

Airwork is one of the leading gig economy platforms in Canada, and we're here to help you find employees right for each of your jobs!

Gary Lin is the Founder & CEO of Airwork. He was a Forbes 30 Under 30 Toronto recipient, a YCombinator W22 alum, a former software engineer at Facebook, Yelp, and NVIDIA, and a University of Waterloo Computer Science graduate. By the time he was 23, he had experience working at 10 different tech companies, and started his first ventured-backed startup by age 25, raising capital from the co-founder of Uber, the co-founder of LinkedIn, and the founder of Gumroad.
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