“Humans helping humans”: The platforms helping stood down employees get back into the workforce

Weploy

Weploy co-founder and chief Tony Wu. Source: supplied.

Recruitment startup Weploy has launched a new, free platform, designed to help workers who have been stepped down find new roles quickly — and to help employers find them.

Founded in 2017, Weploy provides a marketplace for hiring on-demand and at short notice, with a focus on the hospitality and retail sectors.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced restaurants and bars to close, and bricks-and-mortar retail to slow to a near standstill, swathes of employees in these spaces have found themselves out of work, either stood down or made redundant.

While many may qualify for the JobKeeper wage subsidy stimulus, short-term casuals and temporary visa holders are not catered to under the scheme.

Weploy founder Tony Wu said in a statement he and the team have re-purposed the original technology to create the WeployConnect platform, designed to match hiring employers with stood down employers quickly, “without any cost to either party”.

Now, Wu is on a mission to get 1,000 people hired within 10 days.

Vietnamese food chain Roll’d has jumped on board as an initial partner, with 500 of its furloughed staff onboarded on the platform.

“We take our corporate responsibility for these well-loved staff members very seriously,” Roll’d chief Bao Hoang said in a statement.

Jobs up for grabs on the platform include tech positions, roles in customer service or marketing, delivery drivers and even alternative retail roles.

Early employers signing up include the likes of RMIT, startup generator Antler, and online education provider Academy Xi.

Wu said the platform is intended to put the startup’s tech to good use, in order to support the very community it was built for.

“Humans helping humans is what’s most important during times like these,” he said.

“COVID-19 has forced a large portion of Weploy’s employer base to make heart-breaking decisions to stand-down or let go of staff, and we felt there was an opportunity to provide some form of relief,” he added.

“We strongly believe now is not the time to focus on profit, but rather stepping up and doing what we can to help Australians get through this stressful time,” he said.

Weploy joins others

This is not the first offering that has emerged to help get displaced workers into new roles.

Student recruitment platform Hatch, founded by The Iconic co-founder Adam Jacobs and Zip co-founder Chaz Heitner, has also launched a spin-off product, designed to help stood-down employees to find temporary roles elsewhere.

The site allows businesses that find themselves short-staffed during the pandemic to list jobs, and promises to provide a shortlist of candidates within 72 hours.

In its first week, Hatch Exchange saw almost 7,000 staff register for the platform.

FinTech Australia has also launched its own Talent Market, to help techies who have lost their jobs pick up new roles at startups that are still growing.

Run through a private LinkedIn group, the platform also offers job-hunting tips, and can connect potential employees with hiring managers and startup founders.

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