Looking for part-time work in Europe a few years ago proved a job in itself. Gen George had an idea. Three months later she abandoned her search for part-time work and launched her own business. OneShift matches job seekers to employers for all job types and currently specialises in roles in hospitality, sales, retail and admin/office. Gen George is only 24, but already she’s a self-made, successful businesswoman. It all started with an idea that grew into a company which is now worth around $18 million.
What was your first entrepreneurial experience as a kid?
In high school I created what became known as ‘The Babysitter’s Club’. Parents at the school would pay me to babysit their children, and before long there were too many babysitting jobs and not enough of me. The solution: friends were happy to take on the babysitting jobs and I kept $5 for every $20 babysitting job. Well, the novice business carried on for a couple of weeks until my parents noticed, explained what minimal wage was and the ‘business’ was quickly shut down.
In the beginning, what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur wasn’t always my dream, in fact in the beginning I wanted to be a chef. However, the idea behind OneShift came to me in 2011 whilst working overseas. I was working on yachts and I noticed I was spending far too many hours scrolling through job ads in between jobs. I realised that the whole job-seeking process would be a lot easier if there was a way to be matched to the roles I was qualified for, and for employers to be matched with the right candidates when hiring.
How did you bring your idea to life?
Once back Australia I realised there was nothing that catered for job seekers in similar situations and was inspired to create something new to fill the gap. At first I used a blog to post job vacancies and manually matched the right person to the position. The response from testing the hospitality industry was so overwhelmingly positive. From this I created the online site OneShift which now hosts a range of jobs from all different types of industries – from retail and sales to taxi-driving.
What systems have you set in place to help OneShift grow since you started?
The OneShift team has been vital in company growth, and I’m lucky to have such a supportive team. The Sales, Marketing and IT team have grown considerably which has enhanced our skillset and inspired strong internal communication.
In one word, characterise your life as an entrepreneur.
Chaotic. Of course the positive kind of chaotic, one where everyday you learn something new, and everyday there is a new challenge. Luckily we have a strong team here at OneShift who help to keep the chaos under control, but I’ve found that the energetic environment helps to inspire creativity and a solid OneShift team unit.
What creative things do you do to develop a likeable company culture?
I think it’s important to have a solid company culture. I’ve encouraged this in the team with regular social team outings (at least one each month) and an informal working environment where people are not afraid to speak up and every person has a voice. We have relaxed breakout areas for staff to enjoy – think colour, photos, comfy seating and a ping-pong table.
What would you say are the key elements to starting and running a successful business?
Passion for what the service or product stands for, a strong understanding of the key messages and objectives, adaptability to change and being able to learn from failings or challenges.
Do You use OneShift?
Yes, except for senior management level, pretty much everyone within our company has come through OneShift. You have to use your product because if it doesn’t work for us, then it’s not going to work for anyone!
Head over to the website – you might just find yourself (another) job!
If you fail, it means you know where not to step and how to get their quicker, and next time you’re going to run twice as fast. It’s a lot more fun to fail than to just not do anything at all.
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