Hannah Wrixon, founder of Tempii: ‘We have identified the UK as our first overseas market because culturally it is very similar to Ireland but with an even bigger swing towards the gig economy and flexible working opportunities.’
Many companies in the hospitality sector have been devastated by the coronavirus lockdown, but for Hannah Wrixon, founder of temps management platform, Tempii, meeting the challenge head-on sparked the idea for her new business.
Pre-coronavirus, Wrixon’s company Get the Shifts provided experienced temporary staff to the hospitality industry on demand. When the pandemic hit, her business suffered immediate collateral damage and Wrixon quickly tweaked its booking system for other sectors such as office administration, industry, sales and database management. This pivot also made her realise that she could sell her system as well as her service so she set about turning her company’s proprietary software into an off-the-shelf staff booking and management system aimed at international markets.
Wrixon developed the Get the Shifts booking system from scratch four years ago based on her own experience of shortcomings in the hospitality industry. She comes from a business and management background and Get the Shifts was designed to solve a problem she constantly encountered as a manager – a shortage of suitably qualified temporary staff.
Since then, she has built a business that employs eight people and has a database of almost 2,500 casual staff located around the country. “The approach to temps was haphazard and unsatisfactory so we developed an online booking system that allowed hospitality managers to find and hire appropriately qualified staff seven days a week with as little as three hours’ notice,” she says.
“Our ‘superstars’ run their own calendars, they flag their availability and our clients can browse hundreds of pre-screened workers (who must complete our e-learning training modules before they join us) to ensure they get the right person.”
Tempii is based on this existing system and it will be aimed exclusively at export markets. “Tempii will give users access to staff in real time. They can hire people in minutes, see their shifts filling up and there is no limit to the amount of people you can have on a database,” Wrixon says.
“As far as we’re aware, no one else is white labelling our type of software so there is a huge market opportunity for us. We will sell our platform, which combines web and mobile applications to recruitment companies, healthcare agencies, staffing agencies and anyone else who is trying to manage large volumes of staff.
“We have identified the UK as our first overseas market because culturally it is very similar to Ireland but with an even bigger swing towards the gig economy and flexible working opportunities. The Brexit effect has also created huge opportunities for our solution as it has caused a shortfall of approximately 60,000 hospitality workers in the UK. Our software has global potential and we feel we can move quickly into the space. The cost of developing Tempii has been about €75,000 which we have largely self-funded with support from LEO Limerick.” Tempii will operate on a subscription model and Wrixon is now looking to raise €500,000 to launch and promote the platform overseas.
Tempii can be customised and branded to suit customers’ needs and Wrixon says its strongest selling point is that it maximises workflow by streamlining the recruitment process and automating many of the application and paperwork processes. “We saw a 30 per cent improvement in our productivity and profitability when we had the system up and running at Get the Shifts and Tempii is offering people a turn-key solution that handles candidates from application right through to rostering. There are other systems that do parts of the process. We can do it all,” Wrixon says. “We will also be offering add-ons such as payroll and staff management which includes things like induction. All going to plan, Tempii will be officially launched at a major trade show in the UK in March.”
Courtesy of Olive Keogh Irish Times