Interview with Jim Green, CEO of Scaled Networks "a better way to hire casual staff"
In 50 words or less tell us about your business. Scaled is the new way to hire casual staff, that's quicker, cheaper and easier than using an agency.
We manage everything from timesheets to payroll and insurance – providing admin-free casual staff, with a monthly invoice, 30-day payment terms, and a guarantee that you’ll save at least half your agency fees.
I don’t like to call myself an entrepreneur, but I’ve set up numerous companies, websites and online businesses. One or two I’ve sold, a couple are still running, and most failed miserably. I’ve always been an all-rounder, but if anything my focus has been on sales and marketing.
How/why did you start Scaled Networks?
Having made some money in a previous business, I spent three years working with my partner, Robert, investing in and working with a portfolio of startups. During this time we both fully got the startup bug. Realising we had the experience and skills to do this ourselves - and no shortage of ideas - we sat ourselves in a room until we had a concept we truly believed could change the world.
What do you enjoy most about this business?
I love to go to work in the knowledge that we are potentially going to improve a lot of people’s lives - particularly those at the lower end of the pay spectrum. We’re tackling a worldwide problem, using technology to create efficiencies that, before the widespread adoption of the smartphone, simple weren’t achievable.
What was your most memorable moment so far?
There have been so many - moving into our first office, hiring our first employee, seeing peoples faces when they realise the scale and potential implications of what we’re doing… but the best moments for me have always been signing up a new investor or client. We have some amazing people on our cap table, and I feel proud every time I look at it.
In 5 years from now: How did your business change the world?
In 5 years time, 90% of the world’s casual workers will have an account on a platform like Scaled, and staffing agencies will have transformed completely. Casual work will be managed almost exclusively via digital, big-data-driven platforms, while recruiters focus on hard-to-fill, permanent jobs, where it’s the personality and fit that makes someone right for a role, not their skills, experience and reputation.
What do you think of Singapore’s Startup Scene?
The Singapore government is working hard to encourage innovation, and the startup scene is quickly gaining momentum, but it’s a nascent market, which causes challenges, especially when fundraising and finding the right people. We’ve had a lot more success in these areas outside of Singapore than inside. I think this may change when Singapore yields a headline grabbing startup - especially a ‘ unicorn'. This should give Singapore’s latest entrepreneurs and VCs more confidence, and should attract new players. I believe that’s only a matter of time.
You plan to launch in Hong Kong soon. What’s the most challenging thing about entering a new market?
The most challenging aspect is most definitely the distance. Startups typically have a limited number of people, especially those empowered to make big decisions, and splitting those people - and their focus - over multiple territories needs careful management. We have an office in London as well as in Singapore, and we’ve worked hard over the last 12 months to understand the relationship between offices, and the needs of our regional teams. In Hong Kong there’s the added dimension of multiple languages, and while English is spoken in most places, we believe there is a benefit to having a multi-lingual team there. We’ll be starting a Hong Kong recruitment drive soon.
What are 3 things you want consumers to remember about your company?
- First, and above anything else, we want to be remembered as the people who created transparency, fairness and increased flexibility - for workers AND for hirers - in the casual work sector.
- Second, by removing the middle man, we want to be remembered not only for reducing our clients' costs (and therefore increasing profits), but also for removing some of the pressure to keep wages low. We hope and expect that this will mean good workers will earn more and can increase what they earn over time by consistently performing well and being reliable.
- And thirdly we want to be remembered for creating a marketplace that’s built on a person’s ability, attitude and experience, not the opinion of a recruitment consultant, where subjectivity and discrimination is an ever-present threat.
Visit Scaled Networks to learn more. Interview by Regina Larkö