In the world of professional workers, LinkedIn has established itself as a hub: a social network optimised for people in knowledge and related industries who are looking for jobs or recruiting to fill job openings; for people to connect with others in their profession; and for those who are contemplating the world of work and professional development.
Today, JobGet, a company that aims to develop a similar sort of centre for paid or hourly employees, has received $52 million in investment to help it achieve its goals.
In addition to job listings and the opportunity to network with others in their field, JobGet also gives users access to recruiters who can use it to find qualified candidates for openings they may have, as well as future tools such as training and development that can assist them in moving up the corporate ladder.
Founder and CEO Tony Liu remarked, “Our ultimate goal is to become the home for the hourly worker, not only job search but career growth, interacting with their community, and more.”
A Series B investment of $40 million in equity and an additional $12 million in venture loan is being made available to the company. Both JAZZ Venture Partners and Sanabil Investments, as well as Pillar VC, are participating in the funding round. As Liu said in an interview with CNBC, the debt is there to “offer us optionality” for future collaborations and acquisitions, while the equity will be used to expand the company’s workforce and expand its product line naturally.
Hourly employees in many nations are now in the midst of a recession and are dealing with increasing inflation, both of which might lead to an increase in hourly workers’ unemployment rates. Even if that were to occur (which it hasn’t), Liu feels that a platform like JobGet would be necessary regardless of the current state of affairs.
According to him, “Recession is a two-way street.” There’s always going to be individuals looking for work, whether they’re job seekers or employers. “We haven’t observed any influence on the market so far,” says the company.
However, there are still 10 million job opportunities, and even though unemployment is decreasing, there are still 6 million unemployed Americans in the United States.
Already, JobGet seems to be making success in linking hourly employees seeking job with firms seeking to recruit them. There have been more than 2 million downloads of its mobile app (the company does not disclose the number of active users) and more than 10 million visits to its website, Liu added. In the meanwhile, the platform now has 50,000 organisations posting, up from only 1,000 three years ago when the company originally opened for business. In addition to Home Depot and California Pizza Kitchen, Showcase Cinemas and Taco Bell, the firms on the list are:
There are now more than 300,000 conversations taking place every month on this platform, with many more taking place through email.
As a percentage of the overall number of shift workers, such amounts are a pittance by comparison. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that amount stands at more over 83 million people in the United States.
In the same manner that many new ideas are born out of personal experience, Liu came up with the idea for JobGet. He was raised in a “blue collar immigrant household” when his parents came to Canada from China.
His mother ended up working in a kitchen as a chef because of his parents’ low English language abilities. He pondered why his mother’s career possibilities and the manner she went about seeking for jobs were not more like how others in paid professions sought for work, having grown up on a different trajectory and been exposed to other sorts of demographics.
One of the positive outcomes of all of our technological progress has been the ability of some entrepreneurs to identify the gaps between these two labour demographics; to understand that just because you’re a lower paid shift worker doesn’t mean you don’t deserve and expect nice things; and to build to fill that need. And that’s what JobGet is attempting to do here, too.
A human-centered product strategy is what Liu is striving to achieve.
The firm is now looking for new employees and has recently made several notable senior appointments, including former ZipRecruiter CPO Ryan Eberhard and former Headspace VP of People Louisa Cartwright.
As far as the company’s product pipeline and business strategy are concerned, they are still in their infancy. Job postings are now the major source of income for LinkedIn, with no plans for advertising or paid subscriptions in the near future.
This also begs the issue of why we need a “LinkedIn for hourly employees” since LinkedIn already looks to offer quite a few services aimed at these individuals.
Liu says LinkedIn may be “unnecessarily more difficult” than it needs to be for shift workers. This is more of a ‘white collar’ kind of thing, he said. A dishwasher application, for example, had “so many queries,” he said. Just a little off-kilter.” Many other companies, like Facebook, have also attempted to do more in this area, and in fact Workplace, the version of Facebook targeted at businesses with a high number of shift employees, might establish a foundation that would allow it to serve that particular audience. Liu, however, noted that it seems to have a long list of other issues to deal with.
JobGet sees this as an opportunity to step in and compete.
In a statement, Zack Lynch, managing partner of JAZZ Venture Partners, stated, “We are happy to continue to support JobGet’s tremendous development.” It has strengthened its leadership team with a wealth of knowledge that will help them accelerate their efforts to improve the employment search for hourly employees.
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