Hire Talent with Side Hustles: Why Moonlighters Might Be Your Best Bet

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Apr 9, 2024
In today's evolving job market, hire talent with side hustles can be a strategic advantage for companies. Here's why:
A creative individual engaged in design work, surrounded by colorful swatches and a laptop displaying architectural sketches.

In today’s evolving job market, hire talent with side hustles can be a strategic advantage for companies.

Managing Moonlighting Effectively involves clear communication, setting specific guidelines, offering flexibility, and fostering a culture of trust and openness. By doing so, companies not only harness the benefits of employees’ external ventures but also promote a supportive and innovative workplace culture.

Suggested Policies for balancing side gigs and main responsibilities include avoiding conflicts of interest, protecting company secrets, and maintaining open communication. Regular check-ins can ensure that both the company’s and employees’ needs are met, leading to mutual growth and success.

In summary, the rise of side hustles represents not a challenge but an opportunity for businesses willing to adapt and embrace the multifaceted talents of their workforce.

Why Hire Talent with Side Hustles? – Understanding Employers’ Concerns

Companies are sometimes worried to hire talent with side jobs. But these worries are often based on old ideas. Here’s a look at what companies usually worry about versus the good things that can come from letting employees moonlight:

A table comparing traditional concerns against the benefits of allowing moonlighting, such as better time management and new skills for the main job.

Productivity: People think that if someone has a side job, they won’t focus as much on their main job. But studies show that people with side jobs get really good at managing their time and tasks. They end up being more productive because they know how to handle different responsibilities.

Conflicts of Interest: Some companies are scared that a side job might compete with their business or cause secret info to leak. But having clear rules about what employees can do on the side can prevent these problems.

Legal Issues: If a company sets clear rules about what’s okay and what’s not, side jobs usually don’t cause any more legal issues than any other personal project an employee might have.

Reputational Risks: Instead of looking bad for the company, hire talent who do extra work on their own show they’re ambitious and hardworking. This actually makes the company look good.

Smart companies know that the skills employees learn from side jobs, like how to market something, talk to customers, or design things, can really help the business. With the right approach, side jobs can be more of a benefit than a problem.

Why Moonlighters Bring Value

A woman sitting in a cozy indoor setting using a smartphone with a laptop open on the table next to her.

Moonlighters, or people with side jobs, can really help companies. They bring in new skills, fresh ideas, can do many things at once, and offer different viewpoints. Let’s dive into why they’re so valuable.

Unique Skills and Experiences

People with side jobs learn things they wouldn’t in their main job. For example, someone who does marketing on the side learns about social media and how to get people interested in products. Companies should be happy about this. It means employees can bring new skills to work. Like, a designer who learns about animation can make cool social media posts for the company.

Innovation and New Perspectives

Side projects make people think differently. They might come up with new ideas for products or better ways to do things at work. For instance, someone who sells crafts might figure out a better way to make things at their day job. Or a weekend photographer could suggest new ways to take product photos.

Flexibility and Initiative

Handling more than one job makes people really good at organizing their time and getting things done. They’re great at dealing with surprises and taking charge of projects because they’re used to running their own side business. This means they can handle tough situations at work without getting stressed.

Diverse Perspectives

Working with different kinds of people in a side hustle helps someone see things from many angles. This can make them more creative and understanding in their main job. Like, someone who teaches students from around the world will know better how to talk to international customers. Or a coder who sells crafts might make tools that a lot of different people will like.

hire talent with side jobs can really benefit a company. It brings in new skills, ideas, and ways of thinking that can make the business better.

Case Studies: Marketing Success with Moonlighters

Two people collaborating and placing sticky notes on a whiteboard filled with marketing planning processes and data charts.

Companies that are okay to hire talent having side jobs are finding out that it’s really good for their business, especially in marketing and coming up with new ideas. Here are some stories about how teams have done better by hiring people who have other projects on the side.

Fizzle Coaching Finds Designers Through Side Projects

Fizzle Coaching was looking for a graphic designer who could make their brand look fun and lively. But most designers they met had very serious, business-like work to show.

Then they met Lisa, a designer who also sold her own jewelry and posters on Etsy. Her creative work there showed she could make the kind of exciting social media posts and ads Fizzle needed.

After bringing Lisa on board, Fizzle’s social media activity went up a lot. Her unique style and experience in selling her own products helped make their posts more noticeable.

Accounting Startup Boosts Video Marketing with a Moonlighting Animator

A company making accounting software wanted to do more with video but didn’t have the right skills in their team. They made great software but couldn’t show it off well in videos.

They hired Devon, who made animation videos on YouTube as a hobby. Devon’s talent and experience with videos helped the company make a bunch of good explainer and promotional videos fast.

After they started using Devon’s videos, 21% more people signed up for their product. Devon’s fresh take on things, coming from his background as a comic artist, brought new ideas on how to show what the software could do.

DIY Retailer Harnesses Passion Projects for Better Email Marketing

A close-up of a man's hands typing on a laptop with an email notification on the screen, indicating online communication or work.

A big hardware store was having trouble with their weekly emails. Customers weren’t really interested. But they noticed that some of their staff, like cashiers, had their own craft projects and Etsy shops.

They asked a few of these employees to help write their emails, hoping to make the content more interesting and personal. These employees used their own DIY experiences to write emails that gave readers fun project ideas for the weekend.

As a result, a lot more people started opening and clicking on the emails. These emails, written by real DIY enthusiasts, felt more genuine and got customers excited about trying new projects.


These stories show why it’s a good idea for companies to be open to employees having side projects. People who work on what they love in their free time can bring new ideas, creativity, and a fresh perspective to their main job.

Marketing teams, in particular, can benefit from employees who know how to grab people’s attention, promote stuff, and think outside the box.

If companies offer flexible work schedules, let people work from home when needed, and are clear about what side jobs are okay, they can get a lot of value from employees’ outside projects and freelance work.

The way we work is changing. Companies that understand people can do more than one job well will be the ones that come up with new ideas and succeed.

Managing Moonlighters Effectively

A business meeting in a light-filled office with a diverse team and one person seemingly explaining a point or leading a discussion.

Companies can really gain to hire talent who do extra work on the side, but it’s key to have clear rules and talk things out to avoid problems. Here’s how to do it right:

Communicate Openly

Talk with your employees about their extra work. Make sure they know what’s okay according to the company’s rules and that you’re behind them in their extra efforts. Chat about any possible issues and set some boundaries. This helps build trust.

Set Clear Guidelines

Have clear rules about what kind of extra work is okay and what company info or resources shouldn’t be shared. For instance, working with direct competitors is a no-go. Make sure everyone knows how to keep company secrets safe.

Offer Flexibility

Try to be flexible with schedules so employees can work on their side projects. This makes them more loyal and eager to work. You can ask them to always put their main job first or to hit certain deadlines and goals.

Start Small

When you hire talent new who has a side hustle, begin with a short trial period. Set small goals and have regular check-ins to sort out any issues early on. Give more support as you see the benefits and build trust.

Reward Open Sharing

Encourage your team to share what they’ve learned from their side projects. It’s good to talk about what didn’t work out too. This way, everyone can learn from each other’s experiences. Give a shout-out to those who bring new ideas from their side work.

Review Regularly

Have regular talks with your employees about how their side projects are going and if there are any problems with their main job. Be ready to adjust the rules and how you work together as needed.

With a thoughtful approach, side projects can really boost your team’s skills and make their work more exciting. Being open and flexible with employees who have side hustles creates a work environment where everyone benefits.

Suggested Moonlighting Policies

A person holding a clipboard with the title "Policies" and a pen, indicating a review or discussion of company policies or documents.

To help employees balance their side gigs with their main job while keeping the company’s interests safe, here are some simple rules:

Avoid conflicts of interest

  • Don’t work for companies that are our direct competitors.
  • Let us know if your side job might clash with your work here.
  • Don’t use our tools, data, or anything from work for your side job.

Keep secrets safe

  • You’ll need to agree to keep our secrets, even about your side projects.
  • Don’t share anything private about our work, like secret projects or client info.
  • If secrets get out, it could mean losing your job.

Be open

  • We encourage you to talk to us about any side jobs you have.
  • We believe in being open and trusting each other about work outside the office.

Ask for flexible hours

  • If you need a different schedule to fit in your side job, just ask.
  • We’ll try to work it out, but we have to think about what the company needs too.

Check in with us

  • Every 6 months, let’s chat about how these rules are working out.
  • If there’s a problem, we might need to change things.

By setting these simple rules and talking openly, we can support your passion projects without stepping on each other’s toes. Regular catch-ups ensure we keep everything running smoothly and everyone knows where they stand.


A young woman working from home, reviewing a document while recording or live-streaming, indicating a remote work environment or online content creation.

Key Takeaways
  • More people are doing side jobs these days. They’re looking for extra cash, wanting to follow their passions, learn new things, and try out business ideas. In fact, over a third of Americans are into gig jobs.
  • In the past, companies weren’t too keen on their workers having side gigs. Now, they see the upside. People with side jobs bring in a mix of skills, fresh thinking, know-how in managing their time, and different viewpoints.
  • Marketing teams can really benefit from folks who have side projects. They’re good at getting people interested, creating catchy content, and thinking outside the box because they’ve got their own things going on.
  • Companies can make it work by setting clear rules about what’s okay and what’s not, especially about keeping work stuff safe and being flexible with schedules. This way, side jobs don’t get in the way of the main job.
  • It’s important to keep talking about how the side job policy is doing. This creates a place where everyone feels okay to talk about their side projects. This can bring out new ideas and skills that help the business.
  • The way we work is changing. Companies that are cool with people working on their passions and believe that folks can handle more than one job will stand out. They’ll attract great people and come up with new ideas.

Letting people have side jobs can really help a business, especially in coming up with new marketing ideas. If companies are open to it and manage it well, side hustles can make things better, not worse.

Companies that get this right show they care about their people’s interests and growth. This can lead to better skills and ideas coming into the business. Just be clear about the rules, keep the lines of communication open, and be willing to adjust. This approach can help your business grow in new ways.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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