The Rise of the Gig Economy: Wonolo

Wonolo, which stands for Work Now Locally, was co-founded in 2014 by Yong Kim and AJ Brustein. They both previously worked at Coca-Cola and noticed that the operations team was often faced with a stream of jobs that needed to be done immediately that they weren’t able to anticipate demand for. This led them to want to solve the problem of How do we ensure cans are always on the store shelf? They created wonolo as a project for the Coca-Cola Founders Program which is a startup incubator.


So what exactly is wonolo? It is an on demand temporary staffing platform that connects businesses and available workers in real time and is free to users. It takes out the issue of trying to find workers, posting to job sites, screening candidates, and dealing with cancellations and poor quality workers. All workers registered on Wonolo are pre-screened and choose the job themselves based on their skills and strengths. Wonolo was created to solve the problem of unpredictability in the workplace and they serve hundreds of companies from startups to fortune 500s like Coca-Cola and Uniqlo.


The process of using Wonolo is pretty easy. A user starts by downloading the free app and signing up, then creating a profile and going through the onboarding process which verifies the rules, has a background check, and has you upload a profile photo. Next, you can browse through jobs in your area, compare pay, job ype, company, and hours. You can look further into a job by clicking on the listing where you can see the average rating, breaks, what you will be doing, and the requirements and skills needed. Lastly, after you complete the job, you will get paid through the app which is linked to your direct deposit or debit card once the job is marked as completed.

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The way Wonolo keeps track of their workers behaviors are through badges and breaches. Businesses rely on reliability, attitude, and communication and Wonolo can ensure these standards with this system. While most wonoloers are consistently excellent, there are consequences for those who are not. Users accept a contract when they sign up that they will show up on time, have a good attitude, and communicate. A wonoloer receives 1 breach if they withdraw from a job within 12 hours of the start time, if they withdraw from 3 jobs within 30 days, and if they receive a rating of 1, 2, or 3 from an employer. If a wonoloer is a no show or cancels after the start time, they immediately receive 3 breaches. The first breach means 3 days restricted access to job notifications and removal from any accepted jobs, the second breach means 7 days, and a third breach means permanent. After 30 days if no other breaches have been given then the breach count returns to zero

Users can also earn profile badges or industry specific badges in 4 categories of fulfillment and warehousing, delivery, administrative, and events.There are 3 levels of bronze, silver, and gold which are achieved through 10 or more approved jobs and a 4.9 or higher rating, 25 or more, and 100 or more respectively. When you achieve a bronze badge you receive $20, for a silver badge you receive $50, and for a gold badge you receive $100 and 3% bonus pay on all jobs completed in that category. This system is used to incentivize good performance since a higher rating means better opportunities with better pay are presented.

Wonolo has two different types of competitors: direct, which means they are businesses that provide the same service essentially such as ShiftGig and indirect which means they are businesses that don’t provide the same service but could satisfy the same consumer need such as Uber. All of these competitors are aiming to cater to people looking for temporary or hourly work where they can set their schedule and have flexible hours.


Wonolo is a big part of the future of work that is known as The Gig Economy. It has 3 main components: the independent workers paid by the gig, the consumers who need a specific service, and the companies that connect the worker to the consumer in a direct manner. This economy style is not a new concept, but the share of the US workforce in the gig economy rose from 10.1% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015 and is mainly fueled through the digital revolution which makes this possible through easy platforms.

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Looking specifically at traditional vs on demand staffing, Wonolo is the future of employment within the gig economy. On demand staffing helps positions get filled within minutes whereas traditional staffing takes days or even weeks. The average fill rate with on-demand is 90% vs the traditional fill rate being 34%. The cost structure of traditional staffing is much higher than on demand because digital platforms get the word out easier, further, and faster. On demand staffing within the gig economy is transparent and easy to use for all users and is completely customizable based on the schedule wanted and needed.

Wonolo is supporting the changing economy and it will definitely continue to help with all staffing needs across many industries. I think that Wonolo is the future of staffing!








2 thoughts on “The Rise of the Gig Economy: Wonolo

  1. A good introduction of Wonolo but I was hoping you can include some extra information other than what you presented. But overall, great post! It’s the first time I have heard of the “gig economy” and apps like this. I am very intrigued by this idea and the fluidity in the system. Although it seems like the gigs are mostly on-demand jobs for now, as someone mentioned in class, an expansion into other industries would benefit a lot.
    How crazy to think that technology are replacing intermediaries and are connecting people directly (thinking about Airbnb, Uber, and now Wonolo)


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