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The Real Super Bowl Winner: Food Delivery

How the hourly workforce is driving the on-demand industry and reshaping how companies hire

We’ve all had a few days to recover from the Super Bowl. Some of us may still be relishing in victory, wallowing in defeat, or have already moved on to March Madness preparation. No matter what the outcome was, however, one thing is certain - you probably ate your fair share of hot wings, pizza, burgers and relied on food delivery to make this culinary dream come true.

No matter which team you rooted for, the undisputed winner this year was food delivery. Consumers across the US took to all our favorite food delivery services like UberEats and GrubHub. Orders were up 41 percent on Super Bowl Sunday from the previous Sunday, and up 53 percent from last year's Big Game.

Instacart was awarded MVP by winning 20.4 percent of all online grocery sales. The food delivery king, however, was UberEats with 27.3 percent of food delivery orders on Super Bowl Sunday, up from 16.6 percent sales from the previous Super Bowl. The runner ups were Seamless and GrubHub each scoring 17 percent of sales, followed by Doordash, at 13.8 percent.  

So what does this food delivery showdown tell us?

Yes, food delivery is a beautiful combination of eating and not having to leave your couch but it’s also a sign of the times that convenience and on-demand service are here to stay. The idea of calling a restaurant and giving a stranger your order has now been replaced with going into an app on your phone, selecting your order, and promptly receiving updates letting you know how far your precious cargo - and the delivery driver - is from your door.

These delivery drivers, however, are not just high school teenagers and struggling musicians. This group of workers is now part of the largest growing workforce and it’s expected that 43% of American workers will have independent contractor jobs by 2020. Independent contractor jobs offer flexibility and freedom to people for whom a traditional 9-5 job is not possible or something that fits their needs. With the proliferation of so many new delivery services, the need for this growing workforce means more people who are qualified to work as delivery drivers are entering the workplace.


Food delivery is growing but their hiring practices are not

We see on-demand companies like GrubHub and UberEats flourishing while other food delivery services fall behind. If delivery is a must-have, why are food service businesses struggling to meet this demand? The answer is simple - their hiring practicing are outdated and keeping them from their full potential. Furthermore, a tight labor pool means that all these companies are competing for the same delivery drivers.

While the required number of delivery drivers for a business changes based on supply and demand, there is no doubt that delivery drivers are the backbone of the food delivery industry. The big players like UberEats and GrubHub are consistently ahead of the game because they are always hiring. So how do others compete with these food delivery giants? They need to start hiring smarter not harder.

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How to hire like a food delivery MVP

Make the entire application process mobile

It’s estimated that 78% of job seekers use mobile devices to find jobs. While many industries still use traditional job posts, emails and phone calls to communicate with applicants, the leaders in the on-demand space make the entire hiring process accessible through the applicant’s mobile device. As a result, employers are able to make the hiring process easy and convenient for on-the-go workers who rely on their smartphones, don’t check emails, and don’t have time to schedule interviews over the phone.

Having the entire hiring process available on mobile also ensures that required documentation can be completed without the applicant having to click out of the application process. For people applying for delivery driver positions this is particularly important since employers need to run Motor Vehicle Reports on all qualified candidates.

The bottom line: making the application process totally mobile ensures you get more qualified applicant through your hiring process.

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Respond to candidates immediately

The average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. While this may be the industry average, however, this doesn’t fly in the on-demand world. The longer it takes for employees to contact qualified applicants, the more likely those candidates will accept jobs with other companies that respond sooner. While it’s not cost-effective or efficient to just hire more people to contact every candidate (especially if you have hundreds or thousands of people applying), you can use automation to make this process completely seamless. Automation allows businesses to send messages to candidates immediately so they are contacted before competitors have the chance to reach them. As a result, on-demand companies are able to communicate with applicants in less than 24 hours or even within 30 minutes.


The bottom line: you want to respond to qualified candidates before your competitors do. The best way to do this is to use automation and cut out the manual effort and let candidates know you are interested in hiring them!


Use SMS messaging to communicate

Remember, hourly workers are most likely working multiple jobs and on the move. Sending emails and leaving voicemails will only cause bottlenecks and deter qualified applicants from continuing the hiring process. Sending text messages are becoming the new norm. In fact, 43 percent of job seekers younger than 45 years old considered recruiters who use text messaging as professional, according to Entrepreneur.

Sending SMS messages is a quick and convenient way to keep these busy people engaged. They can respond immediately, receive reminders, and be prompted when they need to continue to the next step of being hired.  

For employers, however, they don’t have to actually text hundreds of applicants. As mentioned above, automation does this on behalf of the employer. All qualified applicants receive an SMS message letting them know they are being considered and need to complete the next step. If a question comes up, the candidate can message the employer. The employer, in turn, can respond from either their mobile device or from their dashboard. This enables them to juggle multiple conversations at the same time while also providing personalized messages. Sending SMS messages is the clear winner in driving hiring funnel conversion.

The bottom line: Using SMS messages to communicate is the most effective way to move qualified candidates through your hiring process quickly and seamlessly. This provides candidates a convenient and personalized experience while ensuring you hire qualified candidates quickly.

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