February 7th, 2024 | Sterling

How to Control and Manage Your Gig Worker Onboarding Costs

The gig economy is experiencing consistent growth, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where an increasing number of individuals are joining the industry as freelance, contractual, ride-hailing, delivery, or temporary workers. In Singapore, the gig economy constitutes 13.6% of resident workers, totalling around 248,500 people. The Philippines stands out as one of the fastest-growing gig economies, with up to 1.5 million Filipinos registered on international online platforms for freelancing services. In Malaysia, the gig economy is gaining popularity, encompassing about four million individuals, which is over a quarter of Malaysia’s workforce. 

With the rising popularity and growth in demand for freelancing jobs and services, gig businesses in the APAC region face a significant challenge in balancing the need to establish a sufficient pool of productive and profitable gig workers with the associated onboarding costs. Sterling addresses this challenge by offering flexible options for gig clients, enabling them to pass on upfront screening costs as needed. Once suitable gig applicants are identified, the ability to onboard them quickly and efficiently becomes crucial for the success of the gig platform, allowing businesses to benefit from their contributions and productivity sooner. 

Furthermore, the nature of onboarding gig workers introduces potential upfront risks, particularly concerning the costs associated with mandatory background checks. Some cohorts of applicants may only generate minimal revenue or might struggle to get started on the platform, negatively impacting the return on investment (ROI).  

Background Check Cost Control and Increased ROI 

Gig companies can control their costs and protect ROI by passing on all or part of the initial screening cost directly to the applicant, so that they pay for their background checks as part of an initial, streamlined screening process. With Sterling’s easy-to-use Applicant Self-Pay tool, gig clients can minimise their cost exposure by passing on the upfront screening cost at the point of onboarding. 

How Self-Pay Works 

The Self-Pay step is integrated seamlessly at the end of the application process so the candidate simply makes the necessary payment once they’ve provided the required information for the background checks to be conducted. Gig companies can choose to have the applicant pay upfront for all the background checks, or a portion of it, in currencies including Euros, Canadian Dollars, Great British Pounds, or US Dollars (USD).  When it comes to payment methods, we accept all major credit or debit cards, and Google Pay, processed as part of the mobile-responsive, intuitive, application process. 

This straightforward cost containment strategy helps Sterling’s gig clients to manage and control their onboarding costs. It also provides gig clients with the opportunity to incentivise workforce productivity levels, retain talent, and protect profit, with applicants being reimbursed for the onboarding costs they’ve covered once they hit certain targets such as number of hours worked, or jobs accepted. 

Clients have complete control and flexibility over when they want to pass screening costs on to an applicant, allowing them to easily align with changing business objectives, market conditions, and talent acquisition strategy, at point of onboarding. 

Sterling supports gig clients around the world with services like Self-Pay and more. Learn more about how Sterling’s background checks and tech-enabled tools can help you to improve your workforce management and business success by contacting us

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.