Finding temporary workers at short notice can be an administrative headache, but a new mobile-friendly app aims to combat that, discovers Cath Everett.
Ever found yourself tearing your hair out trying to find enough temps or contractors to fill the next shift? If so, it might be worth giving “tabs” a go.
No, I’m not advising you to take up smoking to calm those frayed nerves – let alone start calling cigarettes by their Geordie name. This week saw the launch of temporary assignment booking system – or tabs for short – which claims to reduce the management time spent recruiting for short-term positions by between 20% and 30%.
This is essentially a web portal that you can log into from any digital device, including your mobile phone.
Once logged on, you can send a request to see if any contacts in your network – whether mediated by a recruitment agency or of your own making – are available for work at a given time and place.
The system will then match your demands with their skills and designated availability. Booking, acceptance and rostering are all automated processes as are timesheet sign-off and invoicing. You can even rate workers on a star system so you know who your best people are.
Skills in clicks
Greg Wixted, MD and founder of innovation agency Xpert Inventions, which backed tabs, believes that there is nothing else like this on the market for shift workers.
Sites such as Peopleperhour.com allow freelance workers to offer their services on a flexible and short-term basis, but arguably do not offer hiring managers the same level of visibility.
With the temporary recruitment market accounting for 9% of the global employment market and worth €306 billion, this could be a lucrative business for Wixted.
He says: “I believe that we can take out between 20% and 30% of management time in recruitment terms. There’s currently lots of admin around the process so it’s very inefficient and takes a long time.”
Wixted adds that because tabs takes all the “hassle and friction out of making sure people are in the right place at the right time”, it could really shake up the recruitment market.
There is an upfront cost, however. Potential customers, either employers or recruitment consultancies, pay an initial “customisation” fee to integrate their systems with tabs as well as a per user, per month fee of between £0.50 and £2.50.
This means that a smallish agency with revenues of about £15 million could expect to pay roughly £100,000 in upfront costs and about £1.50 per active worker per month.
Return on investment
Wixted argues that the cost is worth it because “you can see the payback and return on investment is huge – and very quick”.
Next stop, meanwhile, is the US and Canada, where a second office will be launched in New York with a partner company at the end of March.
Australia is also slated to act as a springboard for Asia Pacific at some point in the future. For a start-up conceived only 11 months ago, tabs might have hit a sweet spot in the market.