Can WorkHere solve the nation’s $2 trillion talent shortage and turnover dilemma?
It’s finally happened. Baby boomers have mostly aged out of the workforce and the talent shortages hitting nearly every industry are costing American companies more than $1 trillion in lost revenue. Worse still is the fact that finding and hiring employees is only half the battle, as voluntary turnover is costing employers an additional $1 trillion in lost productivity.
Founders of the Indianapolis-based software scale-up company WorkHere say they’ve evolved their business model and really cracked the code on not only finding the elusive talent employers are looking for, but on helping to eliminate unforced errors and other factors that cause turnover. Specifically, the company has added a services layer that sits on top of their own or other job boards that delivers a candidate experience and vetting process most employers simply cannot offer on their own.
“When we founded WorkHere four years ago, we knew that the job market would eventually look like this, where labor is very tightly constrained with difficulties in both finding and retaining workers,” said Mike Seidle, co-founder & COO. “The importance of location and proximity was our original premise and we were definitely right. A quarter of the American workforce quit their jobs last year because of their commute.”
What WorkHere discovered through its own research with early adopters of its original geolocation-powered job board was that people who live closer to work–within 2.5 miles to be exact–are more likely to accept a job and more likely to stay longer. One customer conducted a survey of its 87 stores and found that 85% of the workers who had been with them for five years or more lived within the two and a half mile perimeter.
As the labor market has gotten tighter and tighter, however, WorkHere has leveled-up from “creating a better job board,” which co-founder and CTO Rick Wehrle has actually done twice now (See original profile.), to helping employers fill their pipelines not just with active job seekers, but passive ones too.
Passive job seekers or passive candidates are people who are currently employed but would consider appealing new opportunities. Some research shows as many as 85% of passive candidates would consider taking a new job, even though they aren’t active on job boards or applying for positions.
Today, WorkHere markets itself as the first chat-powered, hyperlocal candidate delivery platform. They target closeby talent using geofenced mobile, social, and job media advertising–meaning they focus display ads and other digital marketing tactics on active and passive job seekers in the Northeast side Fishers Nickel Plate District, for example, rather than the entire Indianapolis metro like most job boards and recruiting services do.
“For a typical job board or service you may get 2% or maybe 3% conversion from out-of-the-blue job seeker to pre-qualified candidate who is worth spending human resources time and attention on,” said co-founder and CTO Rick Wehrle. “We are realistically getting 18-25% conversions and delivering more hirable candidates to our customers than they have ever seen from a single recruiting source like WorkHere. We’re delivering 10x or better returns on our customers’ existing HR advertising spends and becoming their number one candidate pipelines.”
Next, candidates who respond are routed within seconds to a chat conversation with a trained, professional WorkHere agent. Work here created integrations and custom software to conduct these chats in SMS or through social media DMs where the job seeker never leaves the platform they are on, and everything is stored and accessible even after the chat is suspended or closed. After a WorkHere chat agent confirms interest, vets basic qualifications, and answers the job seeker’s questions, the qualified candidate is referred to the employer’s recruitment team.
“Our expertise in geolocation and geofencing coupled with insights and research with our advisors like Doyle Groves [Dice.com, chief data scientist] and Will Bunker [Match.com and GrowthX founder] has placed WorkHere in the center of the hiring universe with software and services that solve some of the biggest and most expensive problems facing basically every single kind of company you can think of,” Howard said..
The results speak for themselves. As a force multiplier for both the advertising spend and the recruiting infrastructure, WorkHere customers are saving 40-70% on recruiting costs, and they are cutting the time it takes to hire candidates from months or weeks to just days using the Workhere platform. For one specific large enterprise customer, WorkHere was able to demonstrate a possible forecast increase of $200 million in revenue through hiring efficiencies using the WorkHere platform and services.
“We’ve reached this ideal product-market fit and we’re getting excellent traction–in fact we’ve signed some of the largest customers out there with more than 100,000 employees and 5,000 storefronts,” Howard said. “This is a significant inflection point for our company. We’re starting to take off nationally and I think this fall and into the New Year you’re going to see some big things from WorkHere.”