While she’s only been a part of the Shiftgig team for a couple of months, Andrea Wagner, VP of Enterprise Sales, has already jumped in head first to her new role.
Prior to joining Shiftgig, Andrea spent two years at Bullhorn Staffing as the VP of Enterprise, and before that, served eight years as Director of National Sales at CareerBuilder.com.
Here, we talk to Andrea about her career in the staffing and HR industry, and the direction she sees the gig economy headed.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you originally from? Where did you go to college?
Originally, I’m from the northwest suburbs of Chicago — Hoffman Estates. I went to Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and then moved to Chicago when I was 21. So I’ve lived in the city for half my life!
You’ve worked for several major players in human resources — CareerBuilder, Bullhorn. What attracted you to the HR industry initially, and then what kept you on that career path?
I was attracted to the talent acquisition industry, because I graduated with a liberal arts degree and had no idea what I wanted to do for a living! A friend mentioned that I should get into recruiting, so I did. That was 1996, and I’ve since stayed attached to the industry for the last 20 years.
I’ve stayed in the industry because I like that we’re changing people’s lives, helping them get ahead, or move to the next stage in their career. I also like that within HR and staffing there’s a high percentage of female executives who hold high level positions, and I think it’s because women tend to be nurturers so we’re naturally drawn to this line of work.
What drew you to come to Shiftgig?
I was working for a great company out of Boston, but Chicago is my home, and it’s where I’m raising my family— my life is here. I also loved the idea of being part of an exciting Chicago-based start-up.
When did you first start hearing about Shiftgig?
I first started taking note of Shiftgig at industry events. There was a lot of buzz around the platform, and whether it would be a threat to the traditional staffing models. As I became more aware of the Shiftgig value proposition, I realized it’s not a threat, but a technology that can enable all talent acquisition companies to become more relevant and appeal to a more modern workforce.
What are some of the initiatives you’re excited to work on at Shiftgig?
Internally, I’m looking to put Shiftgig on the map as an employer of choice in Chicago; a company that a tech savvy person wants to join. I truly believe working at a growth company like Shiftgig can be a great launching pad for someone’s career that will help them get to the next level.
I’m excited to continue to build a great culture here, and generally it’s a really fun place to be, at a very important point in the industry’s evolution.
Where do you see the gig economy headed?
I think the gig economy is going to continue to grow and grow. It’s taking a lot of criticism lately because — like traditional temp work — people don’t see it as a means to full-time employment.
But the gig economy is a way for people who do have a full-time job or other commitments to earn extra income, on their own schedule. Or for someone who’s in school to pick-up work on summer break. Our lives and our schedules are so complex that not everyone can — or wants to — commit to a nine to five schedule, and the gig economy allows them that flexibility.
The desire to work in this way is also increasing at a rapid rate — and it’s not just with Millennials. Year over year the number of people who applied to be Shiftgig Specialists increased by more than 90%. And I think moving forward, we will see this number increase as other groups join the gig economy — stay-at-home-moms, new retirees, and really anyone who sees the benefit and impact of this type of work.
What trends do you see coming to fruition in the HR space in the next few years?
I think you’re going to see a lot more people freelancing and working from home, becoming “free agents.” When I first started my career people stayed at their jobs 10 to 20 years, and now people stay three to five years, and I think even that will start to lessen. I see people starting to go to companies to take on a project, complete it, and move on.
OK, last question: tell us three fun facts about you?
I’m a mom of twin seven year old girls. I went gorilla trekking in Rwanda for my honeymoon, and…I am one of the world’s greatest Fleetwood Mac fans.
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