A hotel receptionist at the front desk on the phone

How to Hire the Right Subcontractor

McKenna Janzen | Feb 20, 2020

When it comes to hiring subcontractors, knowing how and where to find them, especially good ones, can be challenging. Using temporary staffing agencies or larger companies that connect you with subcontractors can be costly, and often they can’t find someone quickly enough. Hiring a subcontractor from Craigslist can leave you with a Worker that isn’t qualified for the position or someone who doesn’t end up finishing 100% of your job. With GigSmart, you can find great insured, background-checked subcontractors on our easy-to-use hiring platform.

In this blog post, we’ll go through some of our top industries to outline positions and jobs that are suited for temporary labor. Read on to see how you can better utilize subcontractors to help retain full-time staff and grow your business.

The Top Industries for Hiring a Subcontractor


Coming from a hotel background, I have a biased opinion that no industry is better suited to accommodate subcontractors than hospitality and restaurants. With so many different types of positions available, many of which do not require formal training or degrees, there are endless possibilities to fill shifts. Some of the best work opportunities for subcontractors in a hotel are:

  • Front Desk Agents – Between last-minute callouts and the never-ending struggle to hold onto an overnight agent, subcontractors can be an excellent solution for quick fills and interim overnight staffing.
  • Doormen and Bellmen – You can never have enough backup on a busy day. If you’ve ever worked in hotels and seen the madness that is luggage storage, you know the extra hands are always needed.
  • Housekeepers – With the option to hire background-checked Workers, GigSmart will help you add and remove housekeeping staff at your hotel based on demand. When busier times hit, you can use the additional staff to ensure rooms are still getting turned around on-time for newly arriving guests.

Want to learn more about how temporary Workers can help your hotel? Read this blog post to understand better how temporary labor perfectly suits the hotel industry.

Similar to hotels, restaurants are always in need of on-demand subcontractors to pick up shifts. When an unexpected rush hits or you have employees call out, don’t sacrifice service standards by exhausting your traditional staff.

Hire subcontractors to help cover shifts and keep customers happy. Some of the best ways to utilize subcontractors in a restaurant are:

  • Bartenders – Drinks are the first thing guests will order, and inadequate staffing causing delays will start their experience off negatively. Make sure to delight from the beginning and hire subcontractors to supplement your full-time staffing.
  • Waitstaff/Hosts – Hiring subcontractors allows you to open up additional seating sections, and take guest’s orders faster. This helps improve customer experience while allowing you to serve faster, accommodating more diners.
  • Dishwashers/Bussers – With the rest of the restaurants running smoothly, don’t let cleanup hold you back. Hire subcontractors to refresh tables, and get dishes cleaned.


As an event business, you may require larger amounts of staff depending on the day or season. Some weekends may be packed with weddings, concerts, art shows, and farmer’s markets, while others have only one or none at all! Don’t weigh down your payroll with unnecessary full-time employees. Supplement your staffing by finding good subcontractors as business demands require it. Some great positions to supplement by hiring subcontractors are:

  • Security – Only certain events require security making them the perfect fit for utilizing good subcontractors.
  • Setup/Teardown – Depending on the size and scale of the event, subcontractors may be required to help supplement your full-time employees.
  • Photographer/Videographer – Using subcontractors for photos and videos is the standard, and often doing the extra research can prevent you from paying costly markups that accompany wedding and special event businesses.

For catering businesses, peak and slow seasons are inevitable. Depending on the month’s event schedule, you may need ten Workers or a hundred. The best ways to utilize subcontractors for a catering business are similar to the best ways to utilize them for restaurants, so check out the recommended jobs above!


With jobs ranging from minor home improvements to building a house from the ground up, it’s hard to retain a full-time construction staff. Some projects may be completed by one or two people in a matter of days, while others might require multiple specialty crews over several months.  Hiring subcontractors allows you to complete projects faster, exceed client expectations, as well as give you the flexibility to continue taking on additional projects at the same time.

Consider the following jobs as it relates to hiring construction subcontractors:

  • Painters – Most jobs require a fresh coat of paint after all the work is done. Don’t hold your full-timers up and use a subcontractor instead.
  • Electricians – Hire skilled subcontractors to help with more specific projects you may not staff for full-time.
  • Handymen – There’s always last-minute tweaks and details that need fixing. Hire subcontractors to help with the final touches before finishing a job.

Read our blog post to learn more about the benefits of utilizing temporary labor for your construction business.


The warehouse industry is a perfect match for temporary labor. Most experience seasonality, which means you can utilize temporary Workers to help supplement your staff when busier times arrive. Don’t overwork your full-time employees and instead hire experienced subcontractors to help with seasonal rushes and larger orders. Some common uses for subcontractors in a warehouse are:

  • Packers & Shippers – You can never have too much help getting orders ready to leave the facility. Hire additional help to prevent delays in shipment.
  • Stockers – More online orders mean more online returns. Prevent losing merchandise and disorganized shelves, and hire additional help for a smooth-running warehouse.
  • Machine Operator – Many warehousing machines require a very specialized skill set, but may not always get used. Access subcontractors with the skills to utilize these machines without running up your payroll.

To learn more about the ways to recruit experienced, temporary warehouse labor, read our warehouse recruiting blog post.

Commercial Moving

It’s an exciting time when you outgrow your space due to increases in staff or production, or when you expand into new cities! Don’t let the stress of moving bring down that feeling! Hire reliable subcontractors to make sure your move goes smoothly, so you can keep your stress down. Hire these types of subcontractors for your next move:

  • Packers – There’s nothing worse than the last-minute scramble to get all the miscellaneous items packed. Let professionals get the job done, and even help you unload once you’re in your new space!
  • Movers – Don’t worry about lifting heavy boxes, bumping or scratching furniture, or losing items in transit. Let experienced moving subcontractors help make your move easy.

As you can see, properly using subcontractors can offer a variety of industries lots of benefits. If you’re ready to take the next step in your subcontractor hiring journey, GigSmart can help. Create your free Get Workers hiring account to get instant access to insured temporary Workers across 3,000 different skills. And if you need any assistance creating a free Gig post or sourcing the right temporary Worker, we have you covered there too. Our staffing support team is standing by, and they would love to help you find and hire your next sub-contractor.

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