Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Thomas Amos, CEO and co-founder of Sidekicker.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Sidekicker provides businesses with an on-demand workforce through our easy to use platform where customers hire, manage, pay and rate temporary workers, all in the one place. Sidekicker’s community of ‘Sidekicks’ are available to help with business admin, customer service, hospitality, events and promotion. We are an independent and growing Australian company aiming to change the face of resource management in Australia and New Zealand through technology and innovation.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We are 100% focused on customer experience and constantly growing improving this. Currently 75% of client signups come from referrals and we are eager to continue along this path. We also focus heavily on growing existing business clients, educating them on the best way to use Sidekicker to change the way they manage their short term hiring needs. This strategy provides us with a sustainable growth engine.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
We face two major challenges at Sidekicker. Internally, scaling out and hiring has been our primary challenge. We went from a team of four to a team of 16 in four months which brought with it a lot of smaller challenges. To solve this we focused on hiring smart adaptable people that could perform a number of roles. In a startup you need people that are multi skilled as you’re running lean teams.
Externally, we’re focused on changing behaviour around hiring practices; we are changing the way businesses hire short term and temporary staff and most businesses that sign up to Sidekicker have never hired someone in this way. To overcome this we have taken a very hands on approach and have dedicated customer success people who guide every client through the system from making their first request to hiring their Sidekick.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Our clients love Sidekicker as we make the process of hiring short term or temporary staff faster, more cost effective and more transparent. These are our key differentiators.
We are a faster option as a business simply makes a request and within a couple of hours has the required Sidekicks. Throughout February, 80% of requests had the required applicants within four hours. We are an online service so businesses can make a request at any time of day.
Once a request is made our system automatically notifies the most appropriate Sidekicks via our mobile app and they apply if they like the look of the request. This strips out a lot of the costs that traditional agencies incur and allows us to deliver cost savings to the business.
Transparency is an important element, and businesses can choose which Sidekicks they want to hire. For example, when one of our hotel clients makes a request they can view the detailed rate and reviewed profiles of the staff before hiring them. All Sidekicks have been screened, interviewed, skill tested and on-boarded by our recruitment team.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
The iPad Notes app with the Apple Pencil; I have completely fallen in love with it. I’m someone who needs a pen in hand to really think and be creative. The Apple Pencil allows me to do this and then to share notes and flow charts with the team.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of business advice I’ve received is that persistence wins. Nothing in life comes easy and the people who win have usually worked harder and been unrelentingly persistent in achieving their goal.
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