What is On-Demand Recruiting?

As an HR professional, you live and breathe at the vanguard of change and new trends in the work world, and have undoubtedly felt the seismic shifts in how people work and approach the concept of employment in recent years. In fact, if you’ve been in the business long enough, your job today may barely resemble what it was when you first got started. 

It’s no stretch to say that the old rules of work and hiring are drifting away and are being reshaped and reimagined by a tidal wave of post-pandemic workplace changes—such as revamped candidate expectations and the rise in digital work environments—as well as continued technological innovation, economic and cultural shifts, and more. 

One response to these changes that has emerged in recent years is on-demand recruiting—and depending on your industry and business needs, it may drastically alter how you approach candidate sourcing and meeting the hiring needs of your company. Let’s take a closer look at what it is and what it may mean for you.

What is On-Demand Recruiting

On-demand recruiting is the process of specifically filling a certain position at a certain time. This primarily applies to hourly positions or project-based employment. On-demand recruiting can serve as an extension of in-house recruiting, as it allows for faster hiring directly where the company’s needs are and can be scaled up or down as needed.

Why On-Demand Recruiting Works

Massive advances in technology in recent years have led to what has been coined the “on-demand economy,” which basically means that today’s mobile, agile, digital work world and marketplace have empowered companies to meet the immediate needs and demands of customers by providing goods and services faster than ever before. The on-demand approach to business has spread across industries, and people on both sides of this economic model—both customers and companies—expect things to continue to go down this bold new path.

Today, the immediate staffing needs of businesses—whether it’s for a long-term project or just for a one-day gig—can be met by people looking for income opportunities of various shapes and sizes. What’s more, an entire industry of on-demand-centric companies with the goal of quickly connecting employers to available staff has risen up to take advantage of this new way of on-demand recruiting.

The Pros of On-Demand Recruiting

Companies and hiring professionals are divided when it comes to the concept of on-demand recruiting. Those who have chosen to embrace this new way of hiring are typically eager to stay on top of new trends in the work world and recognize the value and utility of being able to quickly meet their immediate staffing needs—often saving money in the process by keeping overhead costs at a bare minimum.


Arguably the top benefit of on-demand recruiting is the flexibility that it adds to the recruiting process. When used in conjunction with in-house recruitment, on-demand recruiting can round out a company’s talent acquisition process. It can also create flexibility within the HR or recruiting team, as on-demand service can be used specifically at times of need.

Ability to Scale

On-demand recruiting also makes it easy to scale your recruiting efforts. Because the service is utilized at times of need, it can be easily scaled up or down depending on hiring needs. This is especially effective when on-demand recruiting is used as an extension of in-house recruitment efforts.

The Cons of On-Demand Recruiting

Those who are more skeptical about it feel as if it’s creating legions of uncommitted employees who may have the requisite skills, but not the deep knowledge of a company’s history and workflow, to perform at the highest levels. 

Employee Experience

This disruption in culture can extend into the employee experience in general. Critics of on-demand recruiting argue that, rather than empowering employees and providing them with greater work flexibility, it’s just another way to pay them less and not provide them with the benefits that typically accompany full-time employment.

Overall Efficiency

In order for on-demand recruiting to work, companies need to have effective onboarding processes in place so that new on-demand talent can quickly fill the gap. If this isn’t the case, then overall efficiency will lag, and the designed benefits of on-demand talent can fall apart.

Keep Up with On-Demand Recruiting

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of on-demand employment, it doesn’t look like it’s going to disappear anytime soon; as an HR professional, it’s in your best interest to stay on top of the latest and greatest trends and continually reevaluate your company’s hiring strategies in order to best meet its needs and achieve your target goals.

With the gig economy and digital workforce growing, it’s important to assess how on-demand recruiting can benefit your talent acquisition strategy.

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