Tente — Manufacturing

4.99 rating of Upshifters
92% return rate


When Tente started the partnership with Upshift during the post-pandemic staffing shortage, they had a few challenges to overcome:

❌ ”All the workers disappeared after COVID.”
❌ Staffing agencies pull from the same pool of people and can’t offer a better quality or quantity of people.
❌ ISO regulations make it difficult to keep retraining new staff.

Interestingly, Tente has been working with Upshift not only to staff for their seasonal peaks but they decided to have 5-10 hourly workers from Upshift every day all year round.

Tente is an example of a company that adopted the new “flexible contract labor” model and they share our belief that flexibility is the future of work.

We’ve interviewed their Employee Relations Manager, Shelly Kohls to tell us why.


1. “I think your rating system is what sets you guys apart. We feel like we are getting the best of the best.”

-Shelly Kohls further explains.

Initially, the challenge was to get enough hands.

But after the initial staffing shortage was overcome, the goal was to find high-quality workers who can be relied on and will work well with the internal staff.

Shelly believes that one of the reason why she’s getting high-quality staff from Upshift is the strict disciplinary policy:

“As far as I know, you guys are pretty strict about staying on top of your strikes.”
“They've got one chance, if they blow it then they've just messed up a great opportunity for them to have the flexibility that fits into their lives.”

2. Getting “regular” Upshifters who don’t need to be retrained.

Many ISO regulations make it hard for Tente to train new temps constantly.

However, they started seeing the same people over and over again who are already trained. “The supervisors love it when we get what we like to call regulars and I'll favor them. Because they liked us, they would grab our shifts quickly.”

It works both ways - Tente’s team has put a lot of effort into creating a great work environment. This makes it appealing for Upshifters to keep returning and results in Tente having one of the highest return rates and a very engaged “flexible workforce”.

3. Motivated Upshifters put (positive) pressure on internal employees

Shelly believes that because Upshifters choose where they work, they’re more engaged,

“Because people have such flexibility with Upshift, they're usually excited to be here, ready to work.”

That creates a little competition that increases productivity.

“Our existing employees who've kind of gotten real relaxed and think we can't find anybody and we're desperate. They see these Upshifters come in with a fresh perspective and they work circles around them.”
- Shelly Kohls

It’s no secret that good workers like to work among other good workers. Having high-quality Upshifters can boost the internal team’s productivity as well.

4. There’s a big pool of people to help fill shifts on-demand.

One of Tente’s departments runs only Monday through Thursday and slows down on Fridays. Hiring people flexibly allows for higher productivity and not having to pay employees during the slow days.

“Upshift gives us the flexibility to increase our numbers only during a certain time and not worry about having to onboard them and then turn around and fire them.”

Upshift also helps Tente get workers when the demand is really high:

“If we get in a crunch, we know that we've got Upshift there to help fill us in that crunch.”

5. Being able to try out staff before hiring them full-time.

At Tente, the bar for internal hires is high and the employees need to fit their culture.

Many of Tente’s internal employees are Upshifters who performed well and liked the idea of joining the company full time,

“The reason we like converting Upshifters is we kind of get to try them on before they are actually our employees.”

Summary - “We will always have 5 to 10 Upshifters in the building permanently.”

Strict disciplinary policy and flexibility make Upshifters motivated and accountable. Tente decided to not only use Upshift to fill shifts during their peak season but to also have 5-10 Upshifters every day all year round to optimize costs, boost productivity of the internal staff and source new, proven candidates for full-time positions.

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