Founded five years ago by retail and marketing expert Lorna Davidson in response to work life and social changes, the company’s services connect employers’ specific requirements to workers with a host of different needs.
The Liverpool-based business now has over 90,000 on its national database and more than 2,000 hirers.
“Students, returning mums and dads, the recently retired or newly redundant and those on benefits, there are more than 2.5 million in the UK who want temporary positions because they fit their lifestyles,” she explains.
A former nurse, not ready to put her feet up yet, is one example of a worker now having the chance to earn and vary her days in a new role as a mystery shopper.
RedWigWam was founded five years ago by retail and marketing expert Lorna Davidson
The current recruitment model of search – post a CV and wait to hear back – is not for so many people now, especially younger ones, believes Davidson.
“Having experiences for Gen Z matters more than a traditional job. With our system they get quick access to work that suits them and companies can quickly tap into talent, often at short notice or for hard to fill positions, without incurring large overheads.”
But flexibility is never at the expense of rights and regulations and that’s where RedWigWam, which has a team of 14, has distinguished itself thanks to its bespoke technology, adds Davidson.
“Whatever the economy, gig or not, it has to be done properly. Every worker is vetted and their Right to Work checked using the latest Facebanx recognition software, that is pivotal.
“The same goes for our payroll. Payment is within 24 hours if people wish.
Online Recruitment specialist RedWigWam aims to raise £650,00 growth investment this summer
The Liverpool-based business now has over 90,000 on its national database and more than 2,000 hirers
‘Our algorithm took over two years to develop but it enables us to fill a job without touching it and show we truly understand how to acquire workers and hirers and the associated costs’
“Candidates have more power these days. All temporary workers have the same rights as full-timers with access to holiday and sick pay, pay their taxes and national insurance. We prefer Living to Minimum Wage. When customers get a booking they also get a brief, including details such as what to wear.
“Our on-the-bench system allows options and clarity for both parties. Clients that know they will need a number of workers for an event say can post that but with the flexibility that they can take on fewer if they reassess the situation closer to the time.
“Those who want to make themselves available on those terms can, so everyone has a choice and knows where they stand.
“Our algorithm took two years to develop but it enables us to fill a job without touching it and show we truly understand how to acquire workers and hirers and the associated costs.
“One move has made a lot of a difference and I wish I had done it sooner. All our IT is now in house with our own team.
“It may have doubled our costs on that side but saved us 50 times more overall.”
Many clients are big high street names, but Davidson has no qualms rejecting any client who fails to come up to scratch ethically, revealing: “I do say no, usually because of ageism or sexism. It enhances our reputation for integrity.”
Turnover is now over a million and while hospitality and retail are the main sectors, “there is not one we can’t cater for,” says Davidson keen to target security next, a sector with many more small operators needing to work flexibly, as she works towards a target of having 144,000 workers and 4,500 hirers on board by the end of this year.
As well as trade investors, part of this first round of external investment, might be crowdfunded.
That option was prompted by RedWigWam’s workers keen to have a stake and become part of what is becoming a distinctive community in its own right.
The company’s services connect employers’ specific requirements to workers with different needs
Temporary workers often feel and are isolated, so involvement is hugely important to them.
“They have said they would like to come to RedWigWam events if we organised them. We’re thinking a big Christmas party could be one,” says Davidson. “There are more human dimensions to temporary work than a lot of businesses realise.”
Support from her husband Geoff, a stay-at-home dad to their three sons, as well as Davidson’s own experience with blue chip corporates and building then selling a previous business, have all played their part in RedWigWam’s ascent in a highly competitive sector.
Looking ahead a further £2 million plus investment round is also on the cards to support development of international roll-outs for the platform in countries, such as Ireland, with short term labour opportunities.
£80 million – Davidson’s turnover target – is coming closer.