An employer offering both stability and flexibility while providing a supporting community and fair wages – sounds like a dream? These are the values that made WorkBite Recruiting instantly everyone’s favorite staffing agency in Estonia.
The modern way to do short-term staffing
The whole labor hire industry is still heavily stigmatized – temporary staff is often expected to be incompetent and irresponsible. But Kreete Juurak, the co-founder and HR manager of WorkBite disagrees: “Temporary workforce consists of smart and qualified people who are able to quickly adjust to a professional situation.”
The motivation for founding WorkBite was to put flexible employment and fair wages in the same sentence. Although the company focuses on gig economy services such as short term staffing and workforce solutions, they also provide traditional recruitment to scout out the best full time employees for their clients.
Kreete says that while there are some occasional workbiters, most of the staff remains with the community long term: “Many are here for the diversity of on-demand work: the possibility to experience different work environments and leadership styles every day is a priceless way to pursue both professional and personal development. Because our staff is highly qualified, they have many fascinating opportunities opening up for them. Often they get to train new company employees, or function as frontline managers. It’s not uncommon that our temps eventually end up with a permanent contract at our client company.”
Reducing information overload with human centric software
WorkBite uses the Zelos Team Management app to distribute workbites in their community. Every staff member has their own account with skills, qualifications and preferences set in their profile. Whenever there is a new job available that matches the user profile, the person receives a smartphone notification and is able to book the gig right away.
In the end of the month the recruiters export detailed reports: how many hours should be billed to each client, and what is the correct payroll for each WorkBiter.
“We provide a lot of value to our members, but our demands are equally high. Missing work usually leads to expulsion from the community,” explains Kreete. “A customizable database and timestamped work logs for each workbite help us make sure that the community plays by the rules.”
Kreete says that a staffing app is most priceless for reducing the information overload. “We send multiple job offers to hundreds of people every day. It’s extremely important that these offers only go out to relevant WorkBiters. If we had to manually validate and approve candidates for each job, we’d also need a lot more recruiters working in our office.”
A stable job in a workbite community
WorkBite recruiters are experts in many areas. They source people for their clients to both warehouse openings and office positions. But their best efforts are currently needed in the crisis-ridden service industry.
“Many employees left service jobs during the COVID lockdowns and never returned. We help this unstable sector solve the new crisis – shortage of labor. We provide them with a sustainable and flexible source of qualified workers,” explains WorkBite co-founder Kreete Juurak.
Unlike traditional job boards the WorkBite gigs are made available for their pre-qualified community only. Each community member gets personally recruited, usually after a recommendation from an existing WorkBiter. “Our relationships with our staff are as solid and personal as with our clients. We have over 200 WorkBiters and all of our recruiters know most of them,” Kreete assures.
The community is a fun collective with opportunities to participate in events and trainings. Beyond matching people with open shifts, the staff has the full support of WorkBite recruiters. They help with preparing for the shift, remembering important information, and is always available to answer questions that come up.
Fair wages and fair hours, also for the youth
Fair wages are the number one bullet in the WorkBite list of values. This is also used to qualify their clients and partners.
“Our staff needs to be compensated fairly. We demand that our clients treat WorkBiters equally with their own employees. This means that the temp staff needs to be treated to the employee lunches and receive equal treatment with transportation compensation. If a company really wants to get an adult temp for 5€ / hour, we’re not able to outsource our WorkBiters for their cause.
This kind of values allow WorkBite to hold their service quality to high standards and make sure their staff makes it to the gigs on time, prepared and motivated.
But a fair employer also needs to function as the voice of reason, Kreete explains. “It’s not rare that new WorkBiters get excited about the fair wages and try to hoard hundreds of working hours during their first months with us. It’s then our job to save them from burnout and check that all labor laws are followed.
WorkBite recruits diverse staff of all ages and backgrounds, but Kreete is most passionate about youth employment: “Young people are sturdy and proud workers and we are excited to match them with their first work experiences. There are still many companies who doubt the skills and efficiency of 15-17 year olds. But after the first workbites they tend to call us with a request to hire the youngsters full time.”
Internal trainings guarantee staff quality
All trainings at WorkBite are practical and based on actual client needs. WorkBiters can advance their professional career by upgrading their skills and instantly gaining access to workbites that make use of their fresh qualification. Usually this is also accompanied with a higher hourly fee.
Should some training slots remain open, the opportunity is offered to the wider community. Kreete invites locals to keep an eye on their social media: “We have many friends and followers on our Instagram account who are not yet WorkBiters. We might even say that there’s always a queue of interested candidates. And many of them get their community pass by participating in our trainings.
WorkBite – the employer of the future
Kreete remains mysterious when asked about the future vision of WorkBite: “We want to be a leading employer in the Estonian workforce market. We plan to launch additional innovative workforce solutions, but it’s not yet time to reveal these secrets. Right now we’re happy to see that our worker-centric approach has already broken many ancient patterns on the Estonian labor market. We’re letting some fresh air in.”