Libby Reid Catering used Sidekicker to hire five staffers to work Oaks Day. Image courtesy: Sidekicker Facebook

Melbourne startup Sidekicker helps businesses find last-minute staff

Pauline Morrissey

Businesses of all sizes are often in need of reliable staff at the last minute, however, when time is limited, this need can be quite tricky to fulfill. Tom Amos and Jacqui Bull, co-founders of Sidekicker, have caught on to this gap in the labour market.

In 2010, while Amos was working at Deloitte, he was also studying and playing golf for his local club. Amos didn’t have a lot of spare time so he relied a lot on his mum to help him out with errands.

"They want to be connected with someone at a reasonable price and without a lot of hassle.”

“I kept thinking, ‘I’d pay someone to do this for me,'” says Amos.

TaskRabbit had just started operating, so he knew there was a business model around the concept of personal help. But it wasn’t until he had begun working on Sidekicker that he and co-founder Bull realised the bigger need was within small businesses, rather than the individual market.

“Business owners are time poor,” says Amos. “We’re dealing with people who've got projects or events and they just need to scale up quickly. They don’t want to be looking through applications. They want to be connected with someone at a reasonable price and without a lot of hassle.”

“We are seeing a trend towards blended workforces."


Sidekicker co-founders Jacqui Bull and Tom Amos. Image courtesy: sidekicker.com.au

Amos and Bull viewed the traditional models for hiring short-term staff to be time-consuming and costly. As such, they have created a technology solution that allows clients to quickly access temporary staff at a fraction of the cost.

“There was an issue with businesses not knowing anything about the staff they were inviting to work for them. They were just bodies to fill the shift,” says Amos. “Sidekicker allows clients to view the detailed, rated and reviewed profiles of all staff before hiring them.”

In other words, if a bar finds that a staff member has called in sick, they can use Sidekicker to find a ‘Sidekick’ to fill that shift. Hirers can view a Sidekicks’ profile and ratings from previous jobs they have completed.

“We are seeing a trend towards blended workforces were companies are operating with core lean teams and adding temporary staff to deal with fluctuations in workload or specific skill requirements,” says Amos. “This goes for businesses such as technology upstarts like Uber to Hotels like Park Hyatt and to SME’s like Sofi Spritz, all of whom hire our Sidekicks on a regular basis.”

“We can’t wait to show how a little company from Melbourne can become the world’s leading on-demand labour platform.”

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to Sidekicker’s success. Earlier this year, the business secured an investment from the world's largest online employment marketplace, SEEK Group.

“In the last six months, we have also had such incredible growth that we’ve quadrupled our own staff headcount,” says Amos. “We’ve actually brought on a number of Sidekicks to become permanent staff.”

With the goal to expand to other major Australian cities as well as into new sectors such as retail and aged care sectors, Sidekicker has set their eyes on the bigger picture.

“We can’t wait to show how a little company from Melbourne can become the world’s leading on-demand labour platform.”

Pauline Morrissey

Pauline is a Sydney-based journalist for Domain and is frequently featured amongst various Fairfax Media mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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