HR departments need to provide a streamlined onboarding process for gig workers: Sudhakar  Raja, Founder and CEO, TRST Score 

In an exclusive interview with Express Computer Sudhakar Raja, Founder and CEO, TRST Score HR tech startup speaks about the evolution of the gig economy,  some tips on hiring decisions for organisations, digital initiatives of his company and cybersecurity issues 

Edited excerpts:

  • How will the transition to the gig economy affect HR departments and change the nature of employment?

Types of gig workers: 

There are 2 kinds of gig workers:

  • The on-premise gig workers come to work either via outsourced contract companies or individuals who are brought to either supplement or fill a gap in the talent pool in the workplace. 
  • The work from home or remote location gig workers are other types of gig workers who operate remotely. 

Companies should look at each job role and decide whether such job roles require a permanent staff or a gig worker. Many times, the availability of talent plays a vital role in such decisions. The transition to employee gig workers may also be due to financial constraints. 

Talent acquisition: The HR department should ideally be involved in a talent acquisition strategy that focuses on recruiting and engaging gig workers. This includes developing a strong employer brand that resonates with gig workers to build loyalty, optimizing job descriptions for gig workers, and leveraging social media and online platforms to attract the right talent. Project-based short-term assignments may be far better suited for a gig worker than a role-based assignment. This will lead to a large-scale restructuring of how organisations design jobs to ensure that the organisation and the gig worker continue to have a smooth working relationship.

Onboarding and background verification: HR departments need to provide a streamlined onboarding process for gig workers that includes clear expectations, relevant training, and support. This can include virtual onboarding and training, as well as providing resources and tools for gig workers to succeed in their roles. 

Most companies today do not understand the total scope of the risks associated with onboarding gig workers. They operate out of a false sense of security assuming that gig workers do not bring in as much risk as their employees. This is seen in their risk mitigation efforts where they do BGV and other checks on the employee yet none of this is done for gig workers. Companies should upload the gig worker’s work history in TRST Score to ensure that records are maintained and risks mitigated. Checking the TRST Score and verifying the documents of all gig workers is essential to ensure the person is genuine. 

Company culture: As gig workers and employees work side by side, employees will come into contact with people who are outside the current culture of the company. There is going to be an exchange of pay packages, benefits etc which could disrupt the status quo and potentially add newer dimensions to an already fluid situation. It is important to have a welcome kit and orientation for these gig workers to ensure smooth working and transition into the company culture.

Performance management: Companies must invest time and resources to educate gig workers as much as their own workforce to make sure they align with the standards of the company. This may involve setting clear project-based goals and performance metrics, providing regular feedback and coaching, and implementing recognition and reward programs to motivate gig workers. Another area they must focus on is the period of transition. As they move more to the side gig work, they will have gig workers and full-time employees engaged in very similar functions yet, having very different metrics for performance and compensation. 

Compliance and legal issues: HR departments must ensure that they comply with the relevant labour laws and regulations for engaging with gig workers. This includes properly classifying gig workers as independent contractors or employees, providing necessary benefits, and managing any legal risks associated with gig work. Establishing clear company policies around roles and the decision of why certain roles are deemed open to gig work eases the process of assigning jobs to gig workers. Without such clarity, conflict within an organisation can be a big issue. 

Retention and engagement: HR departments need to create engagement strategies that retain gig workers and build long-term relationships. This can include providing opportunities for upskilling and professional development, offering competitive compensation and benefits, and creating a positive and inclusive work culture. The quality of output will become one of the defining aspects of whether companies choose to continue their relationship with gig workers. HR will need to create systems that track and focus on individuals who can provide quality output and build relationships over time. Managing such relationships will be a newly added exercise for HR professionals.


  • Could you share some tips on making the perfect hiring decision for organisations?

Organisations can increase the likelihood of making the perfect hiring decision by selecting candidates who not only possess the required skills and qualifications but also align with the organization’s culture and values. Here are some ways to achieve this:

Have clear job requirements: Create a detailed job description that outlines the specific expectations and responsibilities. Start by clearly defining the skills, qualifications, and attributes necessary for success in the role. This will help you attract candidates who possess the right qualities and qualifications.

Find the right talent pool: Although finding the right talent is very important it is more important that we find the right talent pool as we require not a single resume but multiple resumes to shortlist from. Companies restrict themselves to the five major job portals which in turn causes a demand-supply issue which can be addressed by looking beyond these job portals such as Sector Skill Councils, Labour Ministry and many other private job portals.

Companies can utilise open platforms such as which can be integrated directly to your HRMS software and job portals. 

Filter candidates early: There are many types of candidates. Many interviews for jobs as an “explorers” who are not actively looking but trying to see what is out there. Their lethargy in attending interviews and also slowness in scheduling interviews or even missing them are signs of such candidates. There are candidates you will see who has been out of a job for a long time. This could be because of high expectations of salary but are not as competent as they would like to think of themselves. During the hey days, they got more salary than their capabilities but are now unable to find jobs due the peer pressure and other issues at the same pay packages they drew before. Hiring such candidates could cause a toxic work environment.  

There are many candidates who apply for jobs without looking at the company background or job description. This seems to be a particular problem in India. Depending on the job role, you might want to filter out such candidates, for example a sales job. A strong salesperson does research about his potential clients and the fact that this candidate didn’t bother to do so is a red flag. 

Should the position require “on-premises” work and the candidate asks for a virtual interview, this is another red flag and you might want to filter such candidates. 

These are examples of how one can filter out candidates and focus on interesting candidates. 

Build strong interviewing processes: Develop a structured interview process that is designed to assess the candidate’s skills, experience, and cultural fit. Use specific techniques that require behaviour-based examples that ask for specific examples. Today we have Visual and Audio-based AI that helps assess the candidate acting as a co-pilot for the recruiter in the hiring process. This will help you gather consistent and relevant information from all candidates. 

Improve the offer issue to joining ratio: 54% of candidates accept offer letters and do not join. It is important not only to select the candidates but also to bring it to closure by making sure that they join the organisation. The first is to mitigate this issue by using a product like TRST Score to find out if a candidate has accepted an offer from a different company already before even you decide to issue an offer letter. The next step is to continuously engage with the candidates during their journey before they join. There are many platforms that offer such a solution for continuous engagement. 

Assess cultural fit: Evaluate how well candidates align with the organization’s values, mission, and work environment. Consider incorporating culture-fit assessments, team interviews, or trial work periods to gauge compatibility. This will help ensure that the candidate will thrive in the organization’s culture and contribute positively to the team.

Background checks: 1 out of 3 companies that fail, fail because of Human Risk issues. Use platforms like TRST Score to conduct instant checks and mitigate your risks. Reach out to the candidate’s previous employers or professional contacts to gain insights into their work ethic, performance, and character. Reference checks can provide valuable information to help validate the candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role. This step helps verify the candidate’s claims and gather additional perspectives on their suitability.

Communicate transparently and provide feedback: Throughout the hiring process, provide timely and clear communication to all candidates. This includes acknowledging receipt of applications, providing updates on the status of the process, and offering feedback to candidates who have been interviewed. Transparent communication helps build a positive employer brand and ensures a positive candidate experience, regardless of the outcome. It also promotes a positive reputation for the organization.

  • What are some of the digital initiatives your organisation has taken and what has been its impact?

TRST Score is the World’s Only Human Risk Mitigation Platform. Most organisations make huge efforts to mitigate risks from their employees by taking on BGV Services and checking for references and so on, yet the BGV process is rather passive and does not achieve any active risk monitoring. With the gig economy gaining acceptance the necessity for a CIBIL-like platform that captures and reports instances of fraud, bad moonlighting, misconduct, breach of contracts, intellectual property theft etc is becoming evident. TRST Score offers you the ability to instantly go through the work history of a person and understand their background. Being on TRST Score helps gig workers build a trusted profile that spans across all their assignments giving them the opportunity to market themselves better on the basis of their record and access benefits like loans, insurance cover, salary accounts etc. 

In addition, we have built Automated Risk Services through which companies can conduct checks like Aadhar, PAN Card, PF Records, court case checks, prior employment checks, etc, instantly on the platform for the price of a cup of coffee. This allows you to verify the basic details of candidates before hiring in minutes. This is a novel initiative by TRST Score to make the process of verification as easy as possible for companies. The ability to verify such details along with TRST Score will go a long way in ensuring that employees, gig workers, agents etc are held accountable for their actions by reporting the risks associated with them. 

  • How can a hybrid workplace culture reconcile flexibility and productivity?

Organisations can create a hybrid workplace culture that balances flexibility and productivity. Here are some simple tips on how you can establish the same:

Define clear expectations: Establish clear expectations for both flexibility and productivity. Communicate the organization’s goals and performance standards to ensure that employees understand what is expected of them in terms of deliverables and outcomes. The clarity in expectations helps employees prioritize their work effectively.

Enable flexible work arrangements: Embrace and support flexible work arrangements that allow employees to have control over their schedules and work locations. Provide the necessary technology and infrastructure to facilitate remote work, such as collaboration tools and secure access to company resources.

Foster effective communication: Implement communication channels and practices that promote effective collaboration and information sharing among team members, regardless of their physical location. Encourage regular check-ins, virtual meetings, and clear communication channels to maintain connectivity and transparency within the team.

Focus on outcome-based performance: Shift the focus from monitoring hours worked to evaluating outcomes and results. Measure performance based on key objectives and milestones achieved rather than solely on the number of hours spent in the office. This encourages employees to take ownership of their work and fosters a results-oriented mindset.

Provide resources and support: Offer the necessary resources, tools, and support to ensure employees can perform their work efficiently and effectively in a hybrid environment. This may include providing training on remote work best practices, offering access to virtual collaboration platforms, and supporting the physical and mental well-being of employees.

  • How can HR departments help in curbing cyber-security-related incidents in an organisation?

HR departments can contribute significantly to curbing cyber-security-related incidents in organizations. It requires collaboration with IT teams, ongoing employee education, and the establishment of clear policies and procedures to create a secure and vigilant workforce. Here are five keyways HR departments can contribute to enhancing cyber security:

Employee training and awareness: HR departments can organize regular cyber-security training sessions and workshops for employees. This training should cover topics such as recognizing phishing attempts, creating strong passwords, practicing safe browsing habits, and identifying potential security threats. By increasing employees’ awareness and knowledge about cyber security, HR can help prevent human errors that often lead to security breaches.

Implement strong HR policies: Develop and enforce strong policies that address cyber-security practices and guidelines. These policies should include guidelines on data protection, acceptable use of company resources (e.g., computers, email, and internet), and expectations for maintaining the security of sensitive information. Clear policies provide a foundation for employees to follow secure practices.

Role management and restriction: This involves ensuring that employees have appropriate access privileges based on their roles and responsibilities, implementing multi-factor authentication, regularly reviewing access permissions, and promptly revoking access when an employee leaves the organization. By managing access effectively, HR can reduce the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information. 

Reporting and recording incidents: HR departments can establish clear procedures for reporting cyber-security incidents and promptly responding to them. They should encourage employees to report any suspicious activities, data breaches, or security incidents they come across. HR can work closely with IT teams to investigate incidents, mitigate risks, and take appropriate actions to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

Employee exit and data protection: When employees leave the organization, HR departments should have processes and automation in place to ensure the secure offboarding of employees. Automation of exit includes revoking access to company systems and multiple places where such access has been provided. Retrieving any company-owned devices, ensuring that all company data and sensitive information are properly handled and protected. A smooth offboarding process minimizes the risk of data breaches.

Use TRST Score:

TRST Score can help in multiple ways. Many a times employees or gig workers exit by making copies of data they are not supposed to example customer data, sensitive intellectual property, code etc. Many a times, employees can also leave loopholes for unauthorized entry which could pose a bigger risk. The existence of TRST Score will act as a deterrent for such behaviour. Reporting such issues is key to mitigating such risks as well. 

Digital Initiativesgig workersHR departmentsTalent Acquisition
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