Aussie startup Workible aim to be the Linkedin of the flexible workforce
Workible officially launched this month after some intense BETA testing. Founded by Allison Baker and Fiona Anson who originally founded flexible / part time work website Hire Me Up which has since been rebranded in the same design spirit as Workible as well as integrated into the overall solutions that the company offers. Although attracting healthy traffic and growth, a year into HireMeUp the co-founders realised that the mechanics of an online classified job board model just doesn’t work well enough for the flexible workforce and their employers.
Over the past 6 months the ladies have been in stealth mode talking and meeting with large corporations around Australia spruiking the Workible platform and now things are starting to really pull together nicely. Companies currently using the platform include Dymocks, The Commonwealth Bank, Optus Retail and KFC and other big names are currently testing the platform and discussing white label options a service that was part of the pivot the company has undergone.
“Through working with our clients, we realised that there are two main problems that both those in employ and who employ part time, casual and temp workers have – the need to find staff fast and, when they have them, manage their flexibility needs”, says Baker. “And traditional job boards just don’t handle either”. A year in development, the recently launched Workible answers both of those needs – and more.
Baker and Anson spent the best part of 6 months just strategizing before start development on Workible. “We realised that the need to find people fast was the major pain point so we focused our energy on answering that need first and foremost.”
That led to Workible’s “reverse recruitment” model. “We took a cue from LinkedIn which more and more companies are using to source candidates directly and thought, ‘What if we could do the same – but create talent pools of candidates based around industry segments and skill sets – and even for companies internally but across locations – so that when our employers need to hire they can find better people faster,” says Baker.
The result is the foundation on which Workible is built – a community-based platform that allows workers and job seekers to join company-based, skill-based or industry-based “Shortlists”. Now, when people need staff, they simply tap into the “shortlist” that suits them best.
“We also wanted to create some legitimacy around this workforce which contains highly-skilled, highly-motivated and career-centric people and we were tired of everyone else in the recruitment game treating them like “also rans”. Through Workible, our users can build professional and dynamic profiles that show off their industry skills, their experience, their references and – most importantly – their availability so that they can truly show themselves off in the best light.”
Tackling the instant needs dilemma led Baker and Anson to the conclusion that it all had to be built on a mobile platform. “Mobile is the only way to deliver these needs instantly so we knew that we had to go there. People these days are not glued to computers anymore, they’re walking around with phones in their hand – and a mobile website just doesn’t do enough hence our decision to built a sophisticated app that takes care of it all. When our clients need to contact candidates they simply post what they need and matching candidates are push notified instantly”.
But the pair are passionate about Australia’s small businesses as well realising they are the back bone of Australia’s economy.
“We didn’t want to limit Workible to being only for the big guys. While it’s scalable to any size and need, we’ve also built it for the small business in mind with specific SME models and relevant pricing,” says Baker. Employers with up to 5 staff can use Workible for free and solutions for larger businesses start at just $97 per month.
Since the pivot and relaunch, Workible is now attracting some big interest from investors across the US, and although a focus on Australia’s market is paramount right now, expansion overseas is definitely part of the plan.