Some founders may have launched their start-up after experiencing a life-changing moment, but SimpleJobs started a little more subtly. Growing up, I worked at different establishments on a part-time basis to earn extra pocket money for myself. Working different part-time jobs over a period helped me learn of supply and demand problems in the manpower marketplace. Even after years has passed, I still see similar issues faced by the younger generation – the lack of control over their own work schedule to suit their own timetable once they are working for an employer, not being aware of other job opportunities especially during their school holidays, and worst of all, late or non-payments by unethical employers. I have personally experienced all these problems myself.
As I entered the workforce and was tasked to engage part-timers for minor projects, I started to understand the concerns of employers. Are they skilled? Are they reliable? Can they commit for a minimum period? Where do I find part-timers at the last moment for my operational needs? These are the most common questions employers have when they need to hire part-timers. Most of them build their own pool of part-timers over time, but they must constantly maintain that pool as people move on to a different phase in their lives (such as graduating from school). I was not fortunate enough to have any pool of part-timers to tap on and had to source them myself. This proved to be a challenge as the people I hired had no real proven record of reliability. True enough, I experienced my fair share of disappointing hires.
“What if there is a way to solve some of these issues both parties face? What if we allow part-timers to choose jobs that suit their schedule? What if we create a centralised pool of reliable part-timers that employers can tap on when there is a need?”, I thought to myself. It was with this realisation that I decided to investigate further and talk to people about this. Friends in the industry as well as those who are still in tertiary institutions thought that if there was a platform that can solve these issues, they will be sure to give it a try. Convinced that there is a real possibility here, I decided to try getting a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) going to test my hypothesis. I have three strong believes that drives me forward with SimpleJobs:
- If available jobs are more accessible, there will be higher take-up rates on those jobs.
- If jobs are broken down into bite-sized components instead of long blocks of the period, it will be easier for Jobbers to commit, and Hirers will get to fill those job positions quicker, solving their manpower needs.
- If there is a centralised pool of skilled and reliable Jobbers that are readily available for work, Hirers can spend less time finding and worrying about part-timers and more time on their core business.
After months of development to build the MVP, we finally launched to a small group of users in Q4 of 2019. It turned out to be quite successful, with both Jobbers and Hirers telling us how useful this app is and how convenient it is to use. A total of 33 jobs were created, with 73 Jobbers working, and over 400 hours clocked for our MVP trial. This gave the team the confidence to continue moving forward with this and that begins our journey with SimpleJobs.