Gen George used her frustration at being unable to find temporary work in Europe as a motivation to start her business. It’s called OneShift and it helps business owners find temporary staff. In the past year, the site has grown to over 100,000 members and 45,000 Facebook likes thanks to Gen’s determination.
What were you doing before you started the business?
After getting back to Australia from a working holiday in Europe in 2012, I started work at Colliers International while doing a test site of the concept. I had around 300 students signed up and businesses like the Eastern and Soho using it for promo staff.
How did the idea for OneShift come about?
When I was in Europe I was told I couldn’t start work for a period of time and so had to find a temporary solution to hold me over until my circumstances changed. Then I decided why couldn’t more people and businesses take on work as they needed it and adjust to suit as their circumstances changed.
For example: small businesses or startups especially need an inexpensive and super-quick way to manage their employment requirements, particularly to remain dynamic with the seasonal changes of the market.
What has been the most difficult challenge you have had to overcome while starting out?
My biggest challenge has been keeping up with the growth of the business. In twelve months OneShift has grown to over 100,000 users around Australia. It has expanded from our original focus: hospitality and catering, 18 – 24 year olds; to all sorts of jobs such as a CT radiographer and BAS agents and an age bracket of 14 and 9 months to 78 years old. What has been the most effective form of advertising for your business?
A combination of Google and social media. The reason for this is because we are an online network and therefore it is easy to promote the site to people already in this space. The virility of the concept has been accelerated especially by social media and search as we launched in Sydney and have now naturally grown to be in all states and territories in Australia.
How important is social media to your business?
Social media has been a huge driver for the business. Without it, we would not be able to connect with our network on a more casual and personal level. Our Facebook page has over 45,000 likes and is a great place for sharing tips on profiles, funny videos and hearing what users have to say about our user experience.
What do you think Federal and State Governments could do to help make it easier for small business owners?
Removing the carbon tax would be an important first step towards reducing the cost of overheads for small business and encouraging more investment within Australia. Changes to the Fair Work Commission to incorporate the various state and federal small business commissioners would make the organisation much more bipartisan and fairer to employers as a result. Similarly, the Federal Government could address the excessive amount of paperwork required by the Australian Tax Office to administer a small business.
States could lobby the Federal Government to increase their financial assistance by way of increasing GST. This would be in return for abolishing inefficient and counter productive state taxes such as payroll and stamp duty. Another important service the states provide is advice and assistance to small business owners trying to manage their business and deal with government regulation. Ultimately I would like to see the states look closely at ways to reduce the overall cost of living. Such as looking into high utility bills, which have a dire impact upon small businesses.
What are your plans to expand the business?
OneShift is an interesting business as it really has no boundaries. The technology is geo-centric so it really follows users wherever they go. With this in mind, OneShift is launching in New Zealand early this year and really allowing people to have that flexible lifestyle they have always wanted. For businesses it means a larger pool of skilled candidates with video introductions, star ratings and resumes that they can draw from when they need temporary staff for one off shifts, part time work, contract work etc. We have an app launching as well.