The gig economy continues to grow and thrive. However, high turnover rates remain as a prevalent pain point. This space, according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) has the second-highest turnover of all major industries the Bureau covers at 78.6%.
SNAPSHYFT created an app to address that problem. Their app connects industry professionals with businesses who are looking to fill a suddenly open position. We covered them as a Top Deal last month.
This week we sat down with founder Thor Wood to talk about how SNAPSHYFT began, how it’s been received so far, and what the future looks like…
For those who don’t know, what is the genesis story of snapshyft?
Believe it or not the story begins with me waking up on the bathroom floor with a massive hangover— I felt like I was sleepwalking in a way— having literal visions of how the staffing industry is broken— specifically for hourly workers in the food service/hospitality field, and seeing numerous ways to potentially remove friction in the process. A combination of too much sun & beer, the realization I had become a father, and an innate disdain for the status quo led to an obsession. So within 10 days, I took my business plan, low-fi mockups, and market research and began soliciting feedback from industry players, friends, and my co-founder Stephanie. In the time since that hot Florida day, what began as a way to help businesses recruit workers became a way to help the people— the severely overlooked & underserved workers in the industry. We realized by taking care of them as priority #1, and making it easier for workers to parlay their skills on-the-fly, we can actually better help the businesses and by extension the community at large. The staffing status quo has been literally killing businesses and handcuffing millions across the country, and by taking a worker-first approach we can supercharge the way those businesses staff up— blending the best parts of the gig-economy with comprehensive support, and an ever growing pool of actual seasoned industry pros ready to work. SnapShyft enables access to fully vetted and experienced workers on-demand… In short, we’ve been able to remove multiple points of friction to enable maximum worker mobility.
What are some early reviews of your product?
Here are some example business and worker commentary about SnapShyft:
Owner, Tijuana Flats, Indianapolis, IN
“SNAPSHYFT brings the quality of workers we need, ready to work, taking the pressure off of us. The quality of the workers and the quality of the support is top notch. Our guests no longer see that we are understaffed because we’re using a resource that solves the problem reliably. Sales are actually up double digits and that’s because we can put more product out for our guests to enjoy.”
Owner, Roots Burger Bar; Founder, Scotty’s Brewhouse, Indianapolis, IN
“Where I need help is when an employee calls off and leaves a hole to fill, and not having employees to plug in. SNAPSHYFT has created a bridge to filling this hole in the schedule by instantly filling it with competent hard working industry pros. I know they are vetted out and capable of working in multiple settings. We are constantly dealing with call offs and no shows, and now we don’t have to search, train, and hope people show up when we need them. We have access to a qualified pool ready to go and an instant answer to my problem.”
Director of Event Operations, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN
“As the guy responsible for staffing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the largest single day sporting event in the world, I find SNAPSHYFT to be a thrilling breakthrough in the ability to solve staffing issues.”
“I’ve been in the industry for 7 years and people don’t want to come in on time or at all, so it affects everyone on the team. At some point every restaurant experiences this. SNAPSHYFT is the most genius concept ever. It works and I’m excited to see it continue to expand.”
“SNAPSHYFT is really easy to use, and when you’re available you can go select a shift that fits your schedule. It’s a great way to make easy fast money. It’s helped me to broaden my horizons, meet tons of people and see new places. Everyone should try SNAPSHYFT.”
How do you ensure that a worker is qualified for a gig?
All approved workers must be presently employed or have verifiable experience in food manufacturing, food service, hospitality, and any other related experience for various shifts that are offered. And all workers are thoroughly screened with background checks, I9 verification, and sex offender registry check, and of course reference checks. The core tenet of our marketplace is accountability— enforced through our Community Guidelines. We have strict policies on performance, behavior, etc in order to remain as an approved worker.
These workers choose SnapShyft as an alternative to having multiple employers, in exchange for near-instant pay (typically within 30 minutes of shift conclusion), access to great banking, healthcare, telemed, and even retirement. As an aside, a portion of the worker pool actually come from outside the F&B space (academia, fire protection, IT/technology), because they have previous industry expertise. Think about it— the best workers are not looking for employment commitments. Businesses will not attract a James Beard chef to wash dishes or be a food runner for example. They are not filling out job applications. But with SnapShyft these types of workers can easily grab a shift as a dishwasher, do the job, get paid, and in their way without friction or hassles.
How do you plan on allocating funds raised in this round to scale the business?
Predominantly in scaling the sales through our account based sales effort, and expanding the product capabilities for all end users.
Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?
We do have competition‚ specifically the $140Billion temporary/contract staffing industry in the US (temp agencies, staffing firms, digital staffing alternatives, et al). In short, according to our customers we innovate and differentiate from the competition in 3 key areas: Our network— plug and play-factor with different position types and the higher caliber of professionals on the platform. Our Product— higher platform performance is better than the competition specifically due to quality, consistency, and reliability factors. Our Service— concierge/premium services i.e. taking on the tasks our customers don’t have time to do (or the time to do well) provides a better overall experience, and the guarantee-factor adds further peace of mind. At the end of the day it’s all about fulfillment, and we are 3X better than existing staffing solutions in the market.
What are the biggest risks associated with your business?
Liability is an integral factor not to be overlooked— it is why we have built-in checks and balances when it comes to activating a user or business, and monitoring activity on the platform. As we are seeing with the COVID-19 pandemic— most businesses are impacted to some degree, and certain verticals have reduced needs, while others have seen significant increased demand due to being deemed essential. It is in good economic periods as well as downturns and disruptions that we continue to see our value-add impact operations. End-to-end quality control which encompasses liability, accountability has led to our industry-leading fulfillment rate.
How is your team uniquely positioned to win out in this market?
We are well positioned due to the historic staffing & retention benchmarks for the Food & Beverage/Hospitality and Food Production/Manufacturing industries through normal operating cycles and economic downturns. Current conditions notwithstanding, our ability to mobilize a higher caliber vetted worker pool has led to the highest fulfillment rate in the industry. We believe we can eliminate the friction & bias inherent in staffing, while generating positive socioeconomic outcomes for the businesses that use SnapShyft, the professionals on the platform, and the community at large.
What does your business model look like?
We set out to make a transparent model. Businesses are charged a success/booking fee of $20-$35 per shift worked. They can also elect to join various monthly membership levels based on the additional resources/benefits they require of the platform. But otherwise it is free for a business to create an account and begin posting open shifts. We elected to keep the platform 100% free for the workers, and because we don’t take a percentage of the shift charges, the workers receive 100% of hourly shift rates and any tips/bonuses earned. We let the businesses set the rate they wish to pay, allowing the marketplace to determine whether or not a shift is worthy.
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like?
SnapShyft makes it possible to support workers seeking to add variety, supplement their incomes and move freely from opportunity to opportunity without friction or burdens— generating positive socioeconomic outcomes for workers, businesses, and the community. Having the freedom to control finances and enabling people to “work to live not live to work” means empowering the often overlooked and displaced segments of the population. SnapShyft provides this— as a result our platform and the ecosystem we are building becomes highly valuable.
We are excited to see where Thor and his team take the company! SNAPSHYFT is currently raising on Netcapital.
About: Olivia Strobl
Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.