Like Uber and Pokemon Go for job hunting, WorkHere, based in Carmel, is making it easier for small businesses and job seekers to find work. Seidle talks to NFIB about the future of hiring in a digital world.
WorkHere, launched in 2016, is one of Indiana’s newest and most innovative startups. Like Uber and Pokémon Go for job hunting, WorkHere, based in Carmel, is making it easier for small businesses and job seekers to find work.
Earlier this year, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered the company a maximum of $2,800,000 in conditional tax credits.
“Across the state, Indiana companies like WorkHere are developing new technologies to solve 21st century challenges,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger in a statement. “In the central region, tech firms are adding new jobs at more than twice the speed of the U.S. average thanks to the great minds and dedication of Hoosier innovators. Over the next 10 years, Indiana will invest $1 billion in innovation and entrepreneurship to help fuel start-up and scale-up firms like WorkHere to help take the Hoosier economy to the next level.”
Why did you join NFIB?
WorkHere is designed to help businesses find workers, and most businesses are small businesses. It’s location-based, which is the most important factor in a job search. You can pull your phone out, and look at who is hiring around you on a map. NFIB is the best association for small businesses.
How many employees do you have?
We’re up to 13 employees at this point. We’re a technology startup, and we have ambitions to be big. We’ve raised over $2.3 million in seed capital. That’s what we’ve been going on for now. We want to keep building that Indiana worker network, and then we’ll expand. One of the things about being a startup: You’re a small business for a long time.
You designed your app for small businesses. Why?
Our app was actually built for more of the high-volume kind of hires, more of the hourly, part-time, full-time, low-skilled, semi-skilled, middle-skilled workers. So we built our app for recruiting the opposite kind of workers that you’ll find on LinkedIn. If you look at most businesses, they will hire seven of those kinds of workers for every three higher-skilled knowledge worker. It turns out no one is focused on that worker market. We knew that if we built the app so that it worked for a small business, we could scale that up so that it would work it for a bigger company.
Tell us more about the app.
It’s a social network. We’re Indiana’s largest worker network. We have over 40,000 users. And we’ve built them since April 28 of last year. We continue to grow at the rate of 200 to 500 workers a day. Our customers have 200 to 500 chances to make their next hire.
What makes Indiana a good place for your small business to operate?
There’s a lot of great things about doing business in Indiana. Let’s start with access to talent. We have years and years of track records of tech companies succeeding here. We have really good universities. We have Ivy Tech, the world’s largest community college. It’s easy to find the right people. Indianapolis is family friendly. Indiana is family-friendly. That makes a big difference.
The state gave us a strong package of tax incentives that make it highly attractive to be in Indiana, and position us for growth.
The other thing that Indiana has going for us is the Venture Tax Credit. It takes the edge off of investing for investors: 70 percent of the capital that has come into WorkHere has come from Indiana investors. That’s because of the Venture Tax Credit.