It’s been an incredibly fast (and exciting) six months since we first opened our office in the eclectic and culture-rich city of Glasgow, Scotland and it’s been a whirlwind two months since we started operating in Edinburgh. As with any growing business, geographical expansion always brings a sense of anticipation and we certainly haven’t been short in supply. However, the reception has been absolutely fantastic - an adjective that we certainly don’t take for granted. After all, being successfully grounded in London doesn’t guarantee success throughout the rest of the UK.
So why has it become such a success and what has the journey entailed? We sat down with our Head of Regional Business, Janette Graham, to find out.
How has gig been received in Scotland, especially at the Glasgow office?
It’s been a big first half to the year and the response has been great! Since we first opened our office in Glasgow, the “GIG Lifestyle” has been well and truly adopted by the city and I think the simplicity and flexibility of the app is a reflection of that uptake.
Due to the buzzing hospitality industry in the region, a plethora of events, festivals, stadiums, hotels and bars in and around the city that often require workers at a moment’s notice. It feels like Glasgow and Edinburgh, the largest cities in Scotland, have been crying out for this sort of platform for quite some time.
In fact, it was actually quite surprising for us to find that the market here is rather new to the idea of on-demand, online temp staffing – especially when it comes to benefits like our instant check-in/out system for workers. It’s really exciting to realise how eager workers are in adopting this sort of platform too and we’re only half way through the year.
Why do you think is the reason for GIG’s success so far in Scotland?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly but I believe the GIG Lifestyle suits the big cities of Scotland, just like it has in London. the type of feedback we’ve received from workers has been that of surprise – most notably at how easy it is to come in, register and be working that week. It’s a benefit our Glasgow Seekers have really taken to.
I believe there is an energetic, ambitious generation of young workers that are keen to take more control over their working lives. Our Seekers so far are predominantly in their twenties, which tells us that there’s a growing trend towards adopting a flexible work-life from younger generations. However, within this group we also have a range of backgrounds and skill sets.
We’ve found that it’s not just students looking for flexible work around their studies, we also have a number of full-time workers looking for extra cash, people looking for a career change, as well as working parents looking for a better work-life balance. This brings a much wider range of skill sets to the table, which has given our Seekers a bit of an edge and ensured our Providers with an experienced, high-quality service.
Some of our top events have included the Scottish Grand National, La Mans Spa, The Rolling Stones, Liam Gallagher, The Highland Show, Lets Rock Festival, TRNSMT festival as well as the Tartan Bars, Hotel Ibis, and Bar Soba.
What were some of the challenges in expanding into Scotland?
Some of the biggest obstacles we’ve faced are typical of any business expanding into a new location – making a name and building a reputation within a new market. There were a few little hurdles to overcome too, such as the different regulations surrounding hospitality work in Scotland; we have to ensure our Seekers comply with certain standards and complete a two-hour bar license training course, which we provide in-house.
As a temp staffing service, we obviously have to balance the number of companies/event organisers we have with our pool of workers. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a delicate game, especially in a new market where we’re trying to build a reputation from the ground up.
Where have the GIG Seekers of Scotland been working?
With over 250 Seekers on the books so far, we’ve had the privilege of sending workers to some of the best events and venues in Scotland. Some of our top events have included the Scottish Grand National, La Mans Spa, The Rolling Stones, Liam Gallagher, The Highland Show, Lets Rock Festival, TRNSMT as well as the Tartan Bars, Hotel Ibis, and Bar Soba.
It’s important that we keep expanding and diversifying our portfolio of Providers for our Seekers and thanks to Glasgow’s growing hospitality and events industry, I have no doubt they will continue to have plenty of options available.
What’s been the standout event/s so far?
I would have to say that in terms of how many Seekers we got through the doors and the positive feedback we received from both the providers and workers, the Ayr Races has got to be one of the biggest highlights for GIG in Scotland.
We provided staff to six race days at the course, comprising of two race days in March, as well as the Scottish Grand National in April, The Sun Racing in June. Over the six days we checked-in (and out) 190 experienced Seekers, providing a high quality of service that allowed each worker to earn good money, be a part of the team and take part in one of Scotland’s most exciting and prestigious sporting events.
We also provided our Seekers with transport to the event, which we were able to inform them of and keep updated with through the GIG app. On top of this, each worker received a free breakfast and took part in our lucky-dip sweepstake, with the winners receiving Amazon vouchers. It was a great team experience and I believe our workers felt that little bit more motivated and involved in the overall goal for the day – to provide an excellent quality service, while also having fun.
What do you think set GIG apart from other temp agencies providing for Ayr Racecourse?
As mentioned earlier, the market here is even younger than that of London’s, meaning small aspects of our app, such as the check-in/out system, were a standout at the event. In doing so, we were able to get our Seekers through the doors and down to work much more efficiently than other temp agencies.
Our workers are also of a high quality, often with at least a year’s experience on their belt and they of course have the mandatory hospitality license training needed when
working in Scotland.
We’re excited to bring our Seekers to more bespoke events this year and it’s through the small things like a lucky dip sweepstake, providing transport to and from a venue or even providing a free breakfast that gives our workers that extra bit of vitality and passion to work. It’s been an exciting first half to the year, where it’s felt like a new event and challenge each week! However, it’s been incredibly rewarding to see it go from strength to strength and we’re excited to see what the second half of the year brings!
If you’re interested in learning more about what GIG can provide you as either an employer or a worker in the city of Glasgow or Edinburgh then please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org