[Case study] Growing Warehouse Operations 10x Overnight Using Instawork


Farmstead is a grocery delivery service based in San Francisco. With COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandates, they saw business increase 10x almost overnight. 

Problem: Keeping up with unexpected 10x increase in customer demand

To meet customer needs, Co-founder Kevin Li and his team needed to hire warehouse workers to pick and pack grocery orders, quickly. But given the care their Operations team puts into recruiting full-time employees, this seemed an impossible undertaking.

Solution: Using gigs to fill immediate and long-term staffing needs

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Farmstead’s operations team worked closely with Instawork to meet both their quality standards and staffing requirements. This includes:

  • Vetting process to ensure every warehouse associate met their requirements, including having a strong work ethic and written English skills
  • On-demand, 24/7 booking platform where they can request shifts with short notice, minimizing overbooking costs
  • Feedback rating system to identify and retain the best Professionals that fit their culture
  • Online roster and shift settings configured for same group of Professionals to return every day, saving time on training
  • Live support team that proactively triages call outs resulting in a nearly 0% no-show rate

Results: extra 15 workers per day and 4 full-time hires

Close collaboration among Warehouse Leads, Ops team, and even Product created a smooth staffing process.  Even with many shifts required with short notice, Instawork has delivered:

  • 460+ shifts using 70 Professionals, within one month
  • 100% fill-rate 
  • .44% no-show rate (that’s 1 out of 200 gigs!)

What’s better, both Farmstead and Professionals can test each other out before committing to a full-time position. The temp-to-hire strategy has resulted in four Professionals so far and with likely higher retention too.

Need to better way to hire warehouse workers quickly? Visit instawork.com to learn more. Or, book a demo below.


Written by

Frances Liu

Marketing at Instawork