Jobletics, a Northeastern-linked venture that allows restaurants to find on-demand staff (and restaurant workers find on-demand shifts) to handle fluctuating service demands, has been live for the masses for the past few months and it’s already exponentially grown. Now, the company that’s making employment in the restaurant industry more flexible and less miserable is in the midst of raising a round of funding with plans to expand to Boston’s suburbs and beyond.
The venture officially transitioned from closed beta to full launch three months ago. And in that time, Jobletics has grown its shifts 846 percent, according to Rahul Sharma, founder and CEO of the company. On the restaurant side, everyone from caterers, to food trucks to brick and mortar eateries are finding temporary, flexible staffing through the platform. On the worker side, the startup has been careful to bring on only contractors who can perform.
The company has added two people to the management team – Gabe Ellis-Ferrara and Amanda Dupuis. The latter has been spearheading a better vetting process to verify whether “Jobletes” will cut it in the kitchen.
Dupuis “is a PhD student at Northeastern who’s studied Cognitive Psychology,” Sharma said. “She’s helped make our vetting procedures that more stringent… We have an eight-percent acceptance rate for Jobletes.”
We observe their thresholds for taking stress.
Sharma explained they’ve now rolled out, “cutting-edge cognitive and psychometric testing.” For example, while screening potential Jobletes, they’ll have each one sit in front of the team and count backwards from a number in increments of 13 and watch how an applicant reacts.
“We observe their thresholds for taking stress,” he told us. “To work in restaurants, you have to be able to think on your feet and maintain a certain level of calmness.”
In general, Sharma finds the feedback Jobletics has received promising for the restaurant industry, for both businesses and workers.
“It’s really being proven out now: Workers are truly finding the advantage of being at home, feeling ready to go to work tomorrow or even today and getting shifts at really cool places in the city for when they want,” he explained.
At the same time, restaurants, who are charged by shift for booking staff, have been reporting back that their experiences with on-demand workers have been agreeable. Potentially because the structure of Jobletics has prevented familiarity breeding contempt among workers continuously picking up shifts in new places.
Sharma said, “They’re bright-eyed and capable people willing to do work at the drop of the hat, crank it out – in some cases – even better than existing staff.”
So far, all of the growth Jobletics has experienced has been in Boston proper. Around 60 percent of their new users have come from referrals, not marketing, Sharma said. The company is in the middle of raising a round, the funds from which will be used to expand to Greater Boston and then New York soon after. Sharma hopes investors he’s in talks with will have enough pull to help them easily enter new markets.