Staffing platforms attract top talent and reimagine the worker experience with embedded payroll

September 20, 2022
David Sokolow

General Manager, Staffing & EORs

David Sokolow

Today, we’re excited to share an update on a previously quiet side of our business: Check for staffing platforms, talent marketplaces, and employers of record (EORs)

Check has a vision: make paying people simple. For staffing platforms, this vision couldn’t be more relevant. With pandemic-driven labor shortages and the explosion of the gig economy, contingent labor has become a key hiring strategy for companies across the US. Despite breakthrough technology powering gig-style working models, payroll has remained largely untouched. Staffing platforms and talent marketplaces are still forced to use outdated, third-party applications that hold them back — resulting in disjointed worker experiences and operational inefficiencies around payments and support. We’re excited to change this by enabling the staffing industry to embed payroll into their own apps, streamlining client and worker experiences and unlocking greater scale through programmatic payroll.

The rise of staffing platforms in the new world of work

Contingent labor has become a mainstay in the US economy. Over the past 10 years, temporary labor has grown by approximately 75%, compared to 15% growth in the broader private employment market. In sectors such as healthcare, this growth accelerated during the pandemic as nursing shortages forced hospitals to seek new ways to fill the gap. Enter staffing platforms, talent marketplaces and employers of record (EORs).

These platforms enable companies to hire W2 or 1099 workers on demand, without taking on the additional administrative burden of back-office people management. Staffing platforms like DirectShifts, Eats2Seats, and Buildforce offer quicker access to labor, higher quality talent, and fewer headaches related to HR and payroll management. While staffing and temporary labor sourcing has been around for decades, these entrants seek to disrupt the legacy, manual processes that fuel the industry today.  

These new staffing platforms offer a better experience for workers as well. Workers can now sign up through an app, be algorithmically matched to jobs, and manage their whole employment lifecycle without directly interacting with a recruiter. Ultimately, this makes it easier for workers to find jobs and companies to hire more quickly. Everyone wins.

Embedded payroll helps transform staffing platform experiences at scale

While many of these companies have set themselves apart with modern technology, payroll has served as an ugly duckling of outdated infrastructure. Driven by complex regulations, most platforms still rely on huge operations teams and third-party applications to run payroll for thousands of workers each week. If they pay both 1099s and W2s, they likely need separate third-party systems to manage both. At Check, it’s our goal to make this better.

Through embedded payroll, staffing platforms and EORs can now build payroll directly into their application, improving worker experiences at scale. This means:

  • Onboarding can be managed completely in-app, including everything from setting up bank accounts to selecting relevant tax withholdings based on their workplace address. 
  • Platforms can take time and attendance data and programmatically create payrolls for thousands of workers via the Check API, without ever having to manually enter hours. 
  • When it comes time for taxes, Check handles all of the tax filings and payments in the background, similar to a traditional full service payroll provider. 
  • Finally, platforms can embed tax documents in their app, so workers will return to the app at the end of the year to access their W2 or 1099. 

Embedded payroll allows platforms to treat payroll as a technology capability, instead of a manual task, which helps scale operations, streamline conversion and drive worker retention.

Staffing platforms are doubling app engagement with embedded payroll 

DirectShifts, a two-sided clinical staffing marketplace, came to Check because they wanted to transform the staffing experience for clinicians and administrators. Building on its sourcing, recruiting, applicant tracking, onboarding, and timesheet platform, DirectShifts was looking to solve a major pain point for healthcare employers and workers: the ability to process payroll more easily and efficiently, without the confusion and inconvenience caused by third-party providers.

“Check offered us the foundation we needed to build an experience from the ground up in a way that really suited all our needs,” said Vamshi Gunukula, Chief Operating Officer at DirectShifts. Now, instead of the multiple systems required to manage 1099 and W2 payments outside of the platform, everything is in one centralized place. It has resulted in a much better experience for clinicians, who can navigate the platform seamlessly from initial job search, to submitting timesheets, to getting paid. Workers now revisit the app every time they need to access or review their pay stubs, effectively doubling app engagement with the launch of embedded payroll. 

Having payroll data all in one place also makes it significantly easier for DirectShift’s internal teams to manage support. Queries about payroll and payments were cut by 50% in the first two months post-implementation, which significantly reduced operational pain for their teams. “Troubleshooting is much easier because information access is much easier,” says Gunukula. “The team can see everything in one place, so they can respond faster, with the right answers, the first time.” The result has been a 20% reduction in the time spent onboarding, processing, and tracking payroll. 

In addition to DirectShifts, Check partners with a number of staffing platforms across healthcare, construction, hospitality, concession and other industries. Partners such as:

  • Buildforce: Hire and pay skilled tradesmen across multiple construction sites 
  • Eats2Seats: Staff concerts, football games, and other live events with students and other young adults
  • GravyWork: Connect hospitality workers to flexible, hourly jobs at top brands like Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt via a next-generation platform
  • Greenlight: Manage independent workforces through one employer of record

What’s next for Check

At Check, we couldn’t be more excited to watch how these customers innovate on top of our embedded payroll infrastructure. With each new partnership, these staffing platforms, talent marketplaces and EORs make it easier for people to get paid quickly and seamlessly across the US. Whether you’re looking to launch a payroll business or pay your own employees with code, the Check platform makes embedded payroll possible in a fraction of the time, for a fraction of the cost. Ultimately, we believe the Check platform will power payroll for every employee in the US, and this announcement brings us one step closer to that goal.

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