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October jobs report: Workers are facing ‘immense challenges,’ Nowsta CEO says

Nowsta CEO Nicholas Lillios joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss jobs data, flexibility, and the top cities for workers.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

AKIKO FUJITA: Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in October with 35,000 jobs added for the month, although the sector as a whole is still 6.5% below its February 2020 level. Joining me now to discuss trends in the sector is Nicholas Lillios. He's the CEO of Nowsta comprehensive workforce management platform.

Nicholas, good to talk to you today. Let's start by talking about how exactly you are sort of at this intersection here. You've got pretty good visibility on the hiring in this specific space, but how does your software support all that?

NICHOLAS LILLIOS: Yeah, great. Thanks for having me here. I'm excited to tell you about what we do. So at a high level, we're an operating system for hourly gig and flex workforces. As we all know, there's been immense challenges that these workforces are currently facing. What our platform does is help employers find workers, and it also helps them manage them.

We're really oriented around helping employers transform into flex and dynamic workforces, moving away from the traditional 40-hour workweek and allowing them to better access different pools of labor. We have a platform called Flex Pool that aggregates a bunch of labor sources in a particular area and essentially gives employers access to logistics and other opportunities to engage with this workforce, so they can ensure that they're fully staffed. So it's kind of what we do.

AKIKO FUJITA: So what does the data that you have there through your platform, what does tell you about how many workers are looking for a little more flexibility, but more importantly, how competitive the pay is for those who are looking for those types of jobs?

NICHOLAS LILLIOS: Yeah, absolutely. So workers are looking for flexibility. I think employers have been slow to embrace the idea that flexible work is here to stay. And they're struggling to find workers who are willing to work 40, 50 hours a week. Workers want to be able to choose when they work. They might want to work 15 hours this week, 20 hours the following week, and they have to adapt to the fact that workers have preferences that don't necessarily align with what employers want.

And so what we've been really oriented around is helping them better access pools of labor that allow them to work with these types of workers. We give them tools to help them schedule. We allow them to better and more easily track these workers. So there's a fundamental change in the labor market. And employers are just struggling to find people. It's very challenging out there.

AKIKO FUJITA: And we're showing on the screen there some of the top cities that are most attractive for Flex workers right now-- New York, Atlanta, LA, Denver, and Dallas. We have seen employers increasingly turn to a little more flexible work schedule, largely because of need. What are you hearing from them about their ability to fill these job posts once they add a little more leeway into the scheduling?

NICHOLAS LILLIOS: Yeah, so they're seeing huge increases in their ability to fill jobs when they adopt Flex. They're realizing that workers are more productive. They're happier. They're more able to work when they can choose the terms on which they work. And so employers that have embraced it have seen tremendous results with that.

Now, it doesn't mean that employers aren't facing challenges with the increased complexity with flex work, but on the whole, the employers who adopt flex work are seeing much higher fill rates than employers who have not.

AKIKO FUJITA: And who are some of the biggest employers on utilizing your software?

NICHOLAS LILLIOS: So we work with dozens of pro sports teams, most of the major hotel and hospitality brands like Marriott, Milwaukee Brewers, those types of entities. We also work with Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 big box retailers, warehouses, distribution centers, those types of entities.

AKIKO FUJITA: Nowsta CEO Nicholas Lillios joining us in our New York studio. Good to have you on today.

NICHOLAS LILLIOS: Thank you.