What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards about?
The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More
Sidekicker [WINNER, Mobile Business]
Category: Mobile Business, Coolest Company
Two uni friends, Tom Amos and Jacqui Bull, were having a beer one Friday afternoon, after a long day crunching tax returns as accountants.
Then, a simple idea sprang to mind.
Create a platform where anyone needing a service would be able to easily connect with anyone willing to provide it.
From this idea ‘Lend Me A Hand’ (featuring a strange penguin as its mascot) was born. In true startup fashion, the team completely disrupted its product and, soon after, launched Sidekicker – a faster and simpler way for businesses to source and manage workforces.
Sidekicker is an on-demand staffing platform that helps businesses hire staff at the click of a button, specialising in the temporary and casual recruitment space.
It does this by connecting businesses directly with an engaged pool of over 11,000 skilled workers (Sidekicks) who are actively seeking flexible working opportunities. It’s basically Uber but for the recruitment industry.
In the old-world, finding temporary staff involved an expensive middle-man, it was timely, involved many phone calls, came with hefty management costs and you had no idea who you were hiring. (Plus, it was hard to re-hire them again.)
Now, with Sidekicker a manager need only jump online, request staff and wait for the applications to roll in. Then, they can view the profiles of the workers, check out their ratings and reviews, before finally accepting or rejecting applications.
It’s simple, but revolutionising the casual recruitment industry. Sidekicker’s clients include large enterprises, like Uber, Airbnb, Deliveroo, SCG, Newscorp, and small ones too, like Blake’s Feast and Going Gourmet.
“Our competitors are excel spreadsheets or traditional temp agencies, which provide a phone or email service to fill shifts for our clients. We cost up to 40% less than a traditional temp agency as our technology cuts out the middle man,” Kate Duckworth, Marketing Manager at Sidekicker told Anthill.
“We have also built a feature where companies can build their own talent pools, making it easy for them to hire the same staff again and again — a huge pain point in the traditional temp agency world, as you never know who is turning up to a shift and it’s difficult to request a group of workers again.
“As for spreadsheets, as one of our clients so eloquently put it ‘Before Sidekicker, our seasonal recruitment process was a hot mess of spreadsheets, begging our friends to work for us and paying our casuals twice the amount when we got desperate.’
“Many of our clients now use Sidekicker to manage their entire casual workforce, inviting their staff to join the platform, as it’s so simple to communicate shifts and it completely eliminates paperwork. We take care of payment, tax, superannuation etc.”
What makes Sidekicker so cool?
The startup has employed over 25,000 Sidekicks, with 11,000+ using the platform today, and it pays them super, tax and offers them other benefits for being a Sidekick.
Sidekicker is helping new mums have more flexible working opportunities while getting back into work. It’s helping uni students ace their exams by not having to ditch their ‘usual shifts’ at exam times. It’s also saving entrepreneurs time and money, helping businesses scale and grow easier.
“Our favourite customer story is from a startup called Bike ‘n’ Blend. The Founder Lena had a great business model – riding a bike while blending your smoothie – but she couldn’t afford to hire and fly staff around the country,” Kate said.
“She nearly gave up on national expansion until she came across Sidekicker. Tapping into our city supply in Melbourne, Bris and Sydney, she requested Sidekicks in each city and was able to hold events and activations to launch her brand, saving her thousands in recruitment and airfares. She’s now a national sensation in the bike and blending world.
Kate went on to share with us Sidekicker’s best, most embarrassing startup story: When Jacqui, the co-founder, went undercover as a Sidekick to a client job a few years back for market research purposes.
“She arrived way too early for your typical promo staff, and was soon caught out by the owner of the company as she was asking waaaaaaay too many questions that really had nothing to do with the job she was meant to be doing.
“Subsequently, Jac turned bright red and panicked, embarrassed that she’d been caught out. Luckily, the owner of the company was really excited to meet her and share some feedback for what other features she’d like to see in the platform.”
Sidekicker is also on the brink of launching its Sidekick UNLEASH Program, which aims to support Sidekicks professionally and personally.
“We are partnering with businesses like Audible for on-the-go education, GoGet for easier transport, health clubs for wellbeing and various entertainment groups as a reward for being part of the Sidekick community. We have also partnered with various TAFEs across Aus and NZ who work with us to upskill our Sidekicks, so they can apply for more jobs and learn new skills. We cannot wait to launch this!”
Lastly, aside from celebrating birthdays with giant wheels of cheese, letting teams have the day off if they smash their targets, playing mixed footy, the CEO having a strange karaoke addiction, encouraging flash mobs during an Amazing Race team building exercise or offering country managers a weekend on a deserted island paid for out of the boss’ personal income if they meet ludicrous sales targets, there isn’t much unusual stuff that happens in the land of Sidekicker motivation.
“Simply having the opportunity to work with a company that has a sheep dog as the office dog is motivation enough,” says Kate.
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