Last week I wrote about new hospitality focused recruitment tool and community hub Dippla. I talked about how they would face tough competition in the face of well funded startups such as OneShift and Workible. Especially in that hospitality and entry level job market.
I couldn’t have been more correct, as this week Workible confirmed with Startup Daily that they are about to set live a new feature called “shift swap and cover”.
For those unfamiliar, Workible is the reinvention of cofounders Alli Baker and Fiona Anson’s flexible workers job site Hire me Up.
Released late last year, Workible has been making its mark in a space that’s seeing a rising number of players. However Baker and Anson say there is a big difference between Workible and other platforms that are out there.
Baker says that Workible is a real triple threat, and they’re doing something that no one else is.
I disagree with the concept that they are doing something no one else is – there are plenty of examples of applications where you can find casual or temp work. I would however say it is fair that Workible is Australia’s strongest (and only that I know of) mobile based player in this space. It has been built from the ground up as a mobile application and then later enhanced with a desktop interface. Mobile first has made a huge difference to their capabilities.
Baker told us that being a true mobile solution not only means that they can deliver solutions to problems that have never been properly addressed, but they were reaching people where they spend most of their time, on their smart phones.
The new feature has what the cofounders call “internal recruitment” covered. Whether that’s recruitment for vacant roles from within an organization or to cover last minute shift vacancies.
The premise of the new feature, shift covers, was explored in early 2013 by Shiftr (Startmate Alumni) whose founders took the concept to the US, but have not seemed to get the traction they needed. Baker says with Workible, the shift covers comes as an added benefit so they are finding the platform is more sticky.
Workible’s strategy seems to be working very nicely, with some major players as clients in both the hospitality and retail sectors (their key markets) such as Dymocks, Max Brenner, Coco Cubano, Adriano Zumbo and some major hotel groups, the list is growing daily. With a sales hit rate of around 90% on first visit, Baker and Anson say they have proven solid product-market fit and now have their eyes set on big growth.
Baker and Co-Founder, Fiona Anson, have both spent considerable time in the US this year researching the market there and making VC and client contacts, scoring the Fairmont Hotel group nationwide in just a 20 minute meeting among others. The feedback they got while there, is that there Workible is a “game changer” and it’s a market they’re looking to conquer in 2015.
Startup Daily were able to confirm that Baker and Anson are currently raising a series A round but are keeping tight lipped about with whom and how much. What they will say, however is that it’s with some major players. The big question is – Australian or US?