The startup community in Sydney may not be quite as vibrant as in Silicon Valley, but it definitely has some great stories to share.
Airtasker is a social, demand-driven community marketplace that connects people seeking to outsource everyday tasks and errands with trusted, reliable people who can complete those task. They’re known as ‘runners’.
Airtasker is essentially a global version of the “supermarket notice board” available in the cloud – either online or on your mobile.
In less than 7 months, the startup has brought together a community of over 35,000 people ready to complete everyday chores and errands, including cleaning, deliveries, office admin and IT help. It has created more than $400,000 worth of tasks and errands from individuals and businesses alike.
Farina Schurzfeld, the General Manager of Airtasker believes that changing technology and consumer behaviour led to the development of Airtasker as a worldwide labour aggregation and distribution platform.
As an open platform inviting anybody to join, providing evidence of quality and trust was critical to their strategy.
In response, Airtasker decided to introduce a new AirtaskerPRO premium program, improving the overall standard of services provided.
Existing references, reviews and a social ‘security mechanism’ allow users to verify the runners’ identity via social networks.
In addition, AirtaskerPRO runners receive a badge on their profile after completing a screening process. The badge recognises their status and reliability, therefore allowing them to earn more income on the platform.
At the same time, users can be confident their task and errands will be serviced with the highest attention and dedication.
Launching the AirtaskerPRO program within the community would mean a lot of work. To decide which runner should be awarded a badge, the Airtasker team would have to interview each applicant personally or alternatively outsource the process. And for a young startup with limited time and resources, it seemed almost impossible or at least extremely expensive.
The Airtasker and RecruitLoop teams had initially met through the Sydney startup community in mid August 2012.
They started chatting about development plans and opportunities for their businesses. Given the challenge of the AirtaskerPRO program, RecruitLoop CEO, Michael Overell, suggested that they may have a solution to help.
RecruitLoop’s video interview offering allows candidates to be screened quickly without time-consuming face-to-face meetings. It could possibly be the easiest and cheapest way to solve Airtasker’s issue with the launch of their new program.
The alliance started just seven days after their first casual meeting.
“I was surprised how easy and smooth the launch of RecruitLoop’s video interviews to our platform has been,” says Farina.
“We were concerned about the amount of time and money we would have had to spend on screening all runners before granting them PRO status. Fortunately, partnering with RecruitLoop was a simple solution that solved those issues. It significantly accelerated the launch of AirtaskerPRO, and we screened 300 applications in just six weeks.”
Every applicant was emailed a link to RecruitLoop’s recorded video interview platform. One third of them completed this stage, which also made it easier for Airtasker to verify candidates who were serious about their application.
Farina couldn’t have imagined a better way of launching AirtaskerPRO and improving the quality of service its platform provides for its users.
It is a partnership that benefits both parties, and an example of how startups can help each other grow, by staying connected in the community.
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