Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google…also know by their initials. FAANG.
None of these companies solved a problem as most investors expect you to do. They all defined a new era. Facebook re-defined social relations, Amazon shopping, Netflix entertainment…
Who do you think is going to be the next initial in that list?
I suspect the next big tech company is going to be the one that re-defines “work” not for the minority (white collar) but for the majority (restaurants, call centres, retailers, warehouses, shopping malls, transportation etc).
Problems in the white-collar jobs are good-to-have’s. Sure, we could all work from home or a fancy co-working office, have better conferencing app's than Zoom, more organised work chats than Slack or a cooler version of Figma...
But problems in the blue/grey collar sectors are things that will cripple our way of life.
Few really know…
Yet, few of us are aware of it. I mean of course we all know restaurants and call centres have high turnover but do we really know the scale of the problem and what it’s going to morph into if work is not re-defined?
I am the co-founder of a job marketplace that has been in the blue/grey collar sector for the last five years. We are the market leader in Turkey and expanded into Latam recently. We have more data and anecdotes on this issue than anyone else I know.
And I can tell you not as an entrepreneur but as an economist. Nobody really understands the scale of the problem.
What if your bank or VC had the same problems?
Let me tell you how your life would be if your bank or VC had the same turnover as a restaurant in Mexico City or Istanbul.
You come to work…every single day…knowing that your analyst or associate might not show up to the ‘pipeline meeting’. You’ll ring him/her up but get ghosted. No warning, no excuses. So you go through all the decks by yourself, try to look at his/her notes.
In the afternoon, your IT guy goes for lunch and doesn’t come back. You call him up and he tells you he quit because he doesn’t like the chairs in the office. You promise to buy new chairs, the best ones, he says ok, he’ll come but doesn’t.
You decide you need a new analyst and IT guy asap so put a job listing for it on Linkedin. You get 12 applications for the analyst and 3 for the IT. You invite them all for an interview in your office on Thursday at different times. You clear out your schedule for the entire day. No one shows up. No one. You call each candidate up and no answer.
Out of despair, you contact a placement agency. They charge you almost two month’s salary to find someone. You agree.
After about 4 weeks, you finally find an analyst. You begin the training. Next day, you arrive at work only to find your associate just started with your competitor. No warning, no excuses.
2 weeks later, the analyst from the placement agency doesn’t show up to work.
6 weeks in, you still don’t have an IT guy.
You are running late for your 9 AM meeting but the people you are supposed to meet call you to say the office is closed. You learn that the office boy didn’t come to work and never will. You’re getting a shit rep among the community.
You learn your lesson. You drop everything and overhire. Instead of one analyst, you hire three. Instead of one IT guy, you hire two. You realise your payroll is too much for your revenue. But even then you spent a third of your time trying to find people because more people equals more turnover, more problem.
If you think there is any exaggeration in any of this, it is a sign that you are not aware of the scale of the problem.
There is a Malthusian dynamic at play in the employment market
When we first started in 2017, restaurants had a tough time finding dishwashers. As last mile delivery picked up, restaurants had a tough time finding delivery guys as well. Today, most restaurants have a tough time finding waiters. Fast-forward half a decade, they won’t be able to find cooks. Yet, the demand for these positions keep rising. Average dishwasher salary with two years’ experience is higher than a first year developer salary.
If there is no viable solution, many restaurants will have to close down. Not because they can’t find customers but because they can’t find the people to serve their customers. This goes for many sectors.
Why this is happening is not the subject of this article. It is so much deeper than can be addressed in a few paragraphs but let me give you a hint.
No one wants to become a waiter or customer support agent. No child ever said ‘I want to be a cashier when I grow up’. People do it because they have to.
The point of the article is to make you aware that employment is the greatest problem to be solved in this century.
We assume our food will get delivered when we go to a restaurant or that a customer support agent will pick up when we call our bank. Yet, few understand the tremendous effort it takes to keep things going.
So do we have the solution for it as Bonded?
Possibly. But it is not just some fancy app or a cutting-edge technology. It is not another job marketplace or placement agency. Employees and employers have to go through a paradigm shift before our solution will truly work.
That shift is happening. Some call it ‘Great Resignation’, others say ‘it’s Gen Z’. But change is here.
Our mission is to feel the market and provide the right solution as the shift happens.