The U.S. has nearly 3 million temporary workers, and while the job category is changing the work landscape, the process of finding, vetting, and interviewing these employees is outdated and cumbersome.

However, Carisa Miklusak believes that her company can remove some of this tediousness.

Miklusak is one of the co-founders of tilr, and she serves as the company’s president and CEO. Miklusak say the organization was created for two specific reasons. “I believe the current recruitment model is broken, and the traditional workforce structure of W2’s and 1099’s no longer supports a soon-to-be majority of our workforce.”

Most of the traditional methods of locating, vetting, hiring, and paying employers is designed for full-time, long-term workers. “I fear without immediate and lasting changes, and alternatives to seek work and be hired differently, we will find ourselves in an unsustainable ecosystem with uncared for, and hence, less engaged and productive workers.”

She says two of the specific trends that drove urgency to establish tilr are as follows:

  • The workforce is quickly changing and soon over 50% of the U.S. workforce will generate revenue via a nontraditional or independent contractor status. This puts pressure on employers to hire differently and to learn how to not only reach – but manage – a multi-category workforce.
  • Current search technology is broken and creates a fictional skill gap on top of an already concerning actual skill gap. With a focus on titles and keywords, traditional search technology misses opportunities to reallocate talent, costing employers excessive time and money.

However, Cincinnati-based tilr is different because it takes an algorithmic approach that completely automates the process of recruiting temporary workers. “tilr is not, and does not operate as a recruitment or staffing firm; it’s a technology company,” Miklusak explains. “We’ve created an algorithm that matches people to local work opportunities based on their skills, not titles or past experiences.”

It’s also an objective process, since there is no human involvement. “tilr’s marketplace application automates recruitment from sourcing to selection with a focus in the on-demand economy,” she says. “Because tilr matches on skills, it opens up new types of opportunities to workers, and it opens up a larger talent pool to employers.”


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And there’s another advantage: the algorithm eliminates the need for sourcing, screening, interviewing, and finally, selecting a candidate. As a result, Miklusak says tilr can find the perfect match in a matter of seconds, as opposed to days, weeks, or months.

“In addition, tilr offers an enterprise solution that allows companies to skill map their existing employees and use this data to better allocate talent or make important business decisions.”

While recruitment companies usually try to narrow the field of applicants by screening people out, Miklusak says tilr’s technology is designed to screen people in.

“Minority worker groups such as veterans can use tilr as a tool to realize the relevance of their skills in their local marketplace,” she explains. “tilr empowers workers to be in control of their own experience at all times, but also drastically cuts traditional costs and time associated with recruitment for employers.”

Trends in the independent workforce

Miklusak identifies 5 trends that will shape the independent workforce of the future:

  • The demand for flexibility and the ability to manage one’s schedule are core values to independent workers. It seems that this trend continues to dominate over traditional values.
  • The worker is in control. The market continues to be cyclical in that the independent tends to move from nontraditional work to traditional work throughout their career, maintaining control versus giving up this control to any one employer.
  • Independent contractors continue to show an interest in working with multiple companies or clients at one time. This stabilizes income and also stimulates development and learning, an additional core value to the independent worker.
  • Independent contractors will begin to form teams to increase the economic opportunities. This will strengthen the importance of networks and create new labor pools for employers.
  • The income spectrum for independent workers will continue to be very diverse. While some workers earn hourly wages that average $12.00 – $15.00 per hour, 20% of the independent workforce makes $100,000 or more!

However, it’s also important to remember that independent workers may not have access to such benefits as company-sponsored healthcare, 401(k) options, and training opportunities.

“Ensuring that our country creates a system to care for independent workers, ensuring they have legal access to these basic benefits, is very important to me personally and is a passion we’ve infused through tilr,” Miklusak says. “We’ve built an association to service the independent market and partner with companies like Honest Dollar and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to ensure that workers have access to portable benefits.”

Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

As a woman CEO, Miklusak believes it’s important resist being defined by gender or gender differences. “I have excelled by focusing on solving problems for my customers and innovating for my employers, and eventually my own companies,” she says. “Women have the same right to gain respect and earn credibility in the way that men do in the business landscape – through the results they create via calculated efforts.”

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