Sunday 19 May, 2013
Published on the Australian Small Business Commissioner webpage here
Start-ups: think big or you'll always be small
In 2012 Genevieve George came up with a brilliant idea. After spending the summer working in the hospitality industry and watching her friends in similar employment finding it difficult to coordinate long working hours with other commitments, Genevieve started talking to businesses. She talked to them about their thoughts on flexible and short term employment, and even the idea of hiring staff for just 'one shift'. Genevieve received an enthusiastic response to her idea for a more open hiring structure and as a result launched OneShift in June 2012. OneShift is an online job network which directly matches job seekers to employers in order to provide temporary or permanent part-time employment. The network's format is similar to a dating website; a seeker's availability, location and skills are visible to a business searching for a suitable candidate. The internal database only matches those employees whose profiles are exactly what the job advertisement requires. This means that time and resources are not wasted during the often prolonged recruitment process. The idea of 'one-shift' was embraced predominantly in the hospitality sectors of Sydney but has inevitably expanded so that the network now includes both casual and part-time employment across all industries in Australia. So how is OneShift changing the employment scene? Firstly, the hiring process is online. Every day, more and more Australians are connecting via the web in order to achieve and accomplish even the most mundane activities in their lives; shopping, communicating, researching and studying. With more people living and breathing on this online world, it is no surprise that when they are searching for a job that they turn to the web. OneShift is an online network which makes this job search, an often pained and prolonged process, so much simpler. Secondly, OneShift is embracing this idea of flexibility in the workforce. Whilst they recognise that there is still a place for full-time work positions, they are embracing a new, more flexible, employment structure which hopes to get more Australians working. As a start-up business, the greatest challenge for OneShift is keeping up with the growth of their site. They are making daily changes to their platform as they discover new industry skills and qualifications which need to be included for a more specific match. Trying to understand and adapt their business so that it suits their customer needs is also a challenge. Ideally, they want to provide a platform which assists all types of industries in finding the staff they need. Each business is different and has their individual employment needs and requirements. Creating a single mould is not an option for them. Genevieve has this advice to offer to other start-up businesses: 'Always remember your core business values and try to stick to these as your business grows, changes and develops. It's these core values which were the reason why your business was successful in the first place. Remember to think big because unless you do, you'll always be small. Everything about starting a business takes three times longer (and is three times more expensive) than what you originally think.'?