HelloStaff, building a pool of talents for Montreal events

Looking for a job can be time-consuming and overwhelming: you have to go on many different platforms and update your mailbox every two seconds for new emails, especially when working in the events industry. It is this wish for creating a more efficient tool that led Thomas and Michael to create HelloStaff.

Going on an entrepreneurial journey

Starting from scratch and jumping in the unknown… does that ring a bell? It is a prerequisite for becoming an entrepreneur. It is not for everyone and you definitely have to like taking risks and being interested in out-of-the box perspectives, just like Thomas and Michael. 

They had different backgrounds, Thomas had a degree in Management and Michael had started his career as an actor. And yet, they were both working in the events industry, through temporary contracts as brand specialists. Discussing their mutual experience of seeking jobs led them to think of a way to innovate the job seeking experience. HelloStaff was on its way.

Looking for talents 

A lot of entrepreneurs in the tech sector are developers themselves or have an experience in that field but it was not the case for Thomas or Michael. Finding the right person was their first priority.

We wasted 6 months not finding the right person to develop our platform. We understood that we needed to structure everything, working with contracts and officialising. Look for a talent that would also be interested in being a shareholder. This is how we found David.

Thomas Lussiez

With a team of three, fully invested in their project, and a developer with an already established technical expertise and entrepreneurial experience, HelloStaff worked hard on developing their MVP.

When your product is built around a technological solution, you do not have the right to make any mistake; the slightest tech glitch will not be forgiven.

Learning all the way

The startup ecosystem played a major role in our progress: we found mentoring opportunities, professional advice, and funds. Earning our first grant gave us more credibility.

From Montréal inc. to Réseau M, entreprism and Entreprendre ici, an initiative of the Government of Quebec (Ministère de l’Économie, et de l’Innovation), HelloStaff knocked at as many doors as possible to develop their legitimacy. 

Every step of the journey, building a company, I discovered a new field of work and I wanted to get my hands dirty to better understand in order to recruit the right talent.

Check out HelloStaff.ca: If you are self-employed or studying and looking for a short-term mission in relation to events, you can create a profile to get customized offers. If you are a company in the events industry, you could get access to a great pool of talents.

Bringing sustainable collaboration to freelancers in Montreal

Job seekers are increasingly choosing freelancing over traditional employment. Millennials are embracing the concept so they can work directly from their bed. How is this a real opportunity for innovating collaboration? Pierre-Luc Thivierge, a Montreal entrepreneur has decided to develop his own tool for optimal collaboration

Freelancing, for better or for worse 

Today, 2.18 million Canadians are part of the gig economy – including freelance, contract and other temporary workers (BMO, 2018). By 2020, 45% of Canadians will be self-employed, almost have of the workforce (Intuit Canada, 2017). There are several benefits to this condition that include autonomy, control and work-life balance. However, being a freelance can sometimes be difficult – financially (no benefits medical, dental, disability) and psychologically (no long-term perspectives, absence of colleagues).

In Canada, many initiatives exist for structuring freelancing: job websites (Workhoppers, Glassdoor, to mention only a few), dozens of Facebook groups, and even a freelance union but what if you could find all these services at once?

Pierre-Luc has been a freelancer himself, but he also worked on the other side – with agencies and IT companies. With his background in web development, he noticed how many freelance web developers worked with agencies and how important it was to provide them with a community and to provide agencies and companies in general with a pool of freelancers that were reputable and skilled.

I want to put the spotlight on these talents, who do not fit in the frames of traditional jobs.

Using each other in a trusting environment

(c) Albert Zablit

Collab Machine is like a mini-incubator for clients and talents to find each other. 

For two years, Pierre-Luc has deliberately kept the network at a small scale (approximately 170 members and a pool of carefully selected advisors), with most of the activity on Slack and regular meetups. Recently, he has developed a dedicated social platform that allows clients to post their requests and freelancers to apply, but also to draft and send invoices. Soon, Collab Machine will also offer public liability insurance, life insurance and other social benefits.

We want to act like a community and as such, we play the role of human resource advisors.

Collab Machine has been involved with the BEC (Bureau d’entraide aux communicateurs) and recently partnered with ADI (which stands for Acceleration, Design, Innovation – read our article about this key player in the hardware innovation ecosystem) to strengthen the community-building initiative and better retain talents.

Collaboration can only be sustainable if it is based on trust.

This conception of collaboration is truly innovative – creating a community cannot only rely on technology, algorithms and technical excellence. There has to be human values and human relations too.

Check Collab Machine website and write to Pierre-Luc to get a chance to register on this innovative platform.