New business helps farmers find workers, fast

New business helps farmers find workers, fast


Business
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You can now hire and pay for temporary workers just like you would order an Uber.

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Workfast founder Tim Nieuwenhuis didn't expect to attract high demand from businesses in country NSW.

Workfast founder Tim Nieuwenhuis didn't expect to attract high demand from businesses in country NSW.

A NEW business has launched which promises to supply workers in a jiffy and farmers are getting on board.

Sydney-based start-up Workfast launched in September and has been flat out matching employees and employers across all sectors in metro and rural areas. Its claim to fame is it can supply workers in a process that’s easy as “ordering an Uber”.

The start-up, headed by entrepreneur Tim Nieuwenhuis, relies on a web and mobile-based platform which allows employers to log their job, set a price and connect to workers. In turn, workers are guaranteed payment when the shift or job is completed. They can also rate their boss.

“We started by filling demand for hospitality, warehousing and administration jobs in Sydney but before too long we started getting calls from around the country,” Mr Nieuwenhuis said.

Requests for workers to on-farm started flooding in. 

Now that harvest is behind us, demand on Workfast’s platform has shifted from header drivers to construction workers.

“We’ve been taking calls from businesses who need help constructing bridges and roads as well as erecting grain silos and farming sheds,” he said.

“The thing about workers in rural areas are they’re keen to work, they’re happy to do it. It’s fast becoming a favourite part of our business.”

Business at Workfast flat-lined for the Christmas period but it bounced right back in January, Mr Nieuwenhuis said.

“We had thought things would pick up after Australia Day because that’s what happens in retail and online trade but we found we had a huge jump in early January.”

While employers have been using digital solutions to find labour for years, Mr Nieuwenhuis said Workfast is the first platform which pays workers directly. It takes a 15 per cent cut from a contractor with an ABN and a 25pc cut from an employee (which covers super, payroll tax and insurances). 

Despite the fee, it can work out cheaper than other services, Mr Nieuwenhuis said.

“Whereas a traditional temp agency might hire out a worker at $50 per hour and add a management fee, Workfast would hire out the same employee for an all-inclusive hourly rate of $35 and not charge an additional management fee. That’s a saving of 30 per cent.” 

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