It’s been a full year since we caught wind about a new Uber business venture here at tilr HQ. We heard the whispers in late 2018 from publications like TechCrunch and then all went silent until October 3rd when Uber formally launched Uber Works, their new on-demand work application headquartered out of Chicago. Over the last year, Uber Works has operated in stealth mode, beta testing their product in the Chicago area. This blog will share what we know about Uber Works and discuss the similarities and differences between Uber Works and tilr. The best part – as a worker, you can use both!
What is Uber Works?
Uber’s suite of gig-centric offerings has expanded to include one more. Joining the likes of Uber Eats, Uber Freight, Uber Bikes, etc., Uber Works is Uber’s version of an on-demand platform that facilitates open employment options to workers who are looking to make extra money. Uber Works is its own separate mobile app and has no association to the Uber rideshare platform. Workers who are interested in Uber Works can download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
How does Uber Works work?
When a worker initially opens the Uber Works app they are able to see three revolving screens that state Uber Works’ mission and promise: work that works for you, schedule freedom, and upfront earnings. During the in-app portion of the onboarding process, workers are asked about potential roles of interest, with most falling into the hospitality category – mostly restaurant opportunities. From there, workers are able to schedule an onboarding call if they have a Chicago area zip code. This will obviously change as Uber Works looks to expand outside of Chicago, and eventually go nationwide. Once an onboarding call is complete, workers are emailed paperwork to fill out and submit with their local staffing branch (more on this below) and then complete a skills assessment test.
Once a worker has been vetted and all paperwork is complete, they are ready to look for opportunities that suit their preferences. Workers can look for jobs on the app by scrolling through available positions that disclose the job’s pay, location, and required skills.
tilr vs. Uber Works
Right off the bat there are some obvious differences between the Uber Works model and tilr’s model. Uber Works partnered with two staffing agencies, PeopleWorks and TalentBurst, therefore anyone who works on the Uber Works platform is an employee (W2) for one of the two staffing companies. You are given a choice between the two staffing agencies during the sign-up process, and it appears that there is no difference between the two options. By choosing to partner with staffing agencies, Uber Works does not have to be the employer of record or even facilitate payroll. This is all taken care of by PeopleWorks and TalentBurst. Simply put, Uber Works works with staffing agencies to leverage their technology, platform, and search capabilities. If you’re reading this, then you may know that at tilr, we classify workers as independent contractors (1099) which means that there is no employer of record, and tilr takes care of payroll. tilr gives workers the best of both worlds, allowing for flexibility as an independent contractor while building out an offering that rivals W2 employee perks, such as education, financial, and healthcare opportunities.
The barriers to entry are higher with Uber Works, understandably so, given that workers are employees. There is an app sign up process, an onboarding call, and then 10 documents to be read and signed back plus a background check before you can start to look for job opportunities. With tilr, there is an in-app sign up where we learn everything we need to learn about you in order to make great matches, and an onboarding call and background check. Our onboarding process is easy, designed with limited barriers to entry to get you working as quickly as we have opportunities.
The way in which workers will work are different. Uber Works allows workers to search on their app for open opportunities that meet their interests and skill set, while tilr takes the search right out of the experience. tilr Community Members are sent opportunities that fit their skill set and preferences.
Both Uber Works and tilr believe in the importance of upskilling – learning new skills. Uber Works partnered with Arizona State University to give workers access to online classes. tilr has partnered with Cengage to do the same, plus more upskilling options to come.
tilr welcomes Uber Works into the staffing and recruiting industry, after all, it only substantiates the concept and drives the need for a new way to hire and approach talent. Although Uber Works and tilr operate entirely different from one another, our missions hold a similar sentiment.
As we learn more about Uber Works in the future, we will continue to update this article.