The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Sidekicker takes the lead in staff selection

Sidekicker takes the lead in staff selection

Based in Auckland, Sidekicker is reinventing how businesses hire temporary and casual staff. Backed by SEEK Investments, Sidekicker says it provides a better way for casual and temporary staff to work with hospitality businesses.

Sidekicker connects 2,500+ carefully pre-screened Sidekicks (employees) with businesses in New Zealand, including Spark Arena, Ticketmaster, Te Papa and 200 more others, providing choices for job seekers through its app, delivering many options for them to choose from and select when and where they want to work.

For businesses, Sidekicker’s two-way rating and review system drives accountability and reliability of staff, while its transparent platform allows companies to choose their ideal workers.

Key Objectives of Sidekicker

Sidekicker’s mission is to reinvent temporary and casual staffing by building technology and scale to deliver better outcomes for both sides of the market. Sidekicker aims to be the #1 platform for hiring temporary and casual staff in the market.

Key Values of Sidekicker

Break barriers: You identify opportunities when they arise; create them when they don’t.

Own it: Accountability, it drives your initiatives.

Show good judgement: You make good calls on the next best action.

Unlock potential: You have a growth mindset.

Get involved: Create connections and contribute to your community.

Sidekicker New Zealand case study: Spark Arena

Spark Arena is a 12,000-capacity multipurpose arena in Auckland, New Zealand, attracting the biggest names in the world of sports & entertainment since 2007.

Case study : –

The issue: – As an events-based and seasonal business, Spark Arena was experiencing several issues as a result of its staffing, namely: –

High churn: Due to inconsistent work, casual employees were churning quickly, seeking more regular hours.

Time and cost of recruitment: Due to this high staff churn, Spark was constantly recruiting, which was expensive and time-consuming. The return on this was insufficient, given the short tenure of casuals.

Loss of productivity: It takes an average of 3 months for employees to reach full productivity; thus, Spark’s workforce was functioning almost constantly under-capacity. Every shift, 30-40% of staff working had never worked at the arena before, negatively impacting the customer experience.

Sidekicker’s solution

Phase 1: Temporary Staffing

Attracted to the ease of use and transparency of Sidekicker and its rigorous interviewing and screening processes, Spark Arena started using Sidekicker to top up numbers of hospitality workers for large events.

“Sidekicker makes hiring temps easier and faster than anything we’ve ever used before. I can post a request for staff–whether I need 5 or 200–at the click of a button, and select my Sidekicks based on experience and ratings, or if they’ve worked with us in the past, making hiring the right people simple,” Michael Swan, Catering & Hospitality Manager at Spark Arena.

Using private Talent Pools, they could efficiently allocate shifts and re-hire the same staff repeatedly, improving staff repetition.

Phase 2: Workforce as a Service

Due to the superior staff quality, ease of use, speed to fill shifts, and ability to re-hire the same staff, Spark Arena’s workforce was increasingly made up of Sidekicker staff.

Seeing an opportunity to eliminate the admin burden of constant casual recruitment and consolidate the management of their workforce onto a single platform, Spark Arena invited their internal casuals to join Sidekicker.

Sidekicker became the employer of record for Spark’s casual workforce and took on the recruitment responsibility.

Spark now uses the company to:

Hire staff and allocate shifts–assigning shifts first to Talent Pools and seamlessly hiring new staff using detailed staff profiles when required

Schedule their workforce

Manage timesheets and payments easily online

Give their casual staff access to a fast and easy way to accept work, submit timesheets, and manage their schedule via the Sidekicker employee app

Promote and up-skill Sidekicks into supervisory and management positions

Leverage Sidekicker’s transparent platform with 2-way ratings and reviews to motivate staff and drive high performance and reliability

The results

Increased repeat staff per shift (i.e. people who had worked at Spark Arena before) from 60% to 95%

Save over $20k annually, previously spent on casual recruitment and temp agencies

Significantly improved quality and efficacy of staff, which resulted in queue reductions from 10+ metres to 1

Used cost savings to build an innovative onboarding and training platform used by all external hourly workers and internal permanent staff alike.

Short commentary by Tom Amos, CEO and Co-founder of Sidekicker, on the New Zealand hospitality industry

“Our new NZ Jobs Index shows positive trends for both businesses and workers. The acute labour pressures are easing for businesses, while workers are enjoying a modest uptick in wages. Overall, there’s been a 67% year-on-year increase in the number of casuals being hired per business, while hourly rates rose 4%. We also saw more than 211% increase in the application-to-shift ratio year-on-year, and a 24% rise from May to June. This was driven predominantly by international registrations, up 600% year-on-year.

“New Zealand businesses are now, on average, requesting the same amount of casuals as their counterparts in Australia. A year ago, Australian businesses were hiring twice as many casuals, but New Zealand businesses have now caught up, indicating a recovery in key sectors such as events and hospitality. The application-to-shift ratio in the industry improved almost 200% year-on-year, despite the average business posting 126% more shifts year-on-year. Hourly rates also rose 4% year-on-year in this sector. We’re also seeing a continued improvement in worker reliability, which means the previously wide gap between worker reliability in Australia and New Zealand has now closed.”

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