This week, we got in touch with Y Combinator-backed founder, Shruti Shah, who is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Silicon Valley Bank. Shruti was previously the founder and COO of Move Loot, an online marketplace for buying and selling used furniture. We asked her to kindly share her expertise in hiring thousands of hourly workers for a successful logistics startup.
Move Loot offers a much-needed service to individuals as there is currently no option in the market that optimizes your time and money while offering an unique user-friendly experience when it comes to buying and selling used furniture. They realize that in order to avoid the hassle, you end up buying new... harming your wallet and the planet! Move Loot solved the dilemma by creating an online marketplace where users can post furniture to sell, find furniture to purchase, and select delivery personnel to complete the process.
At Move Loot, Shruti led national expansion and general business operations. Over the course of three years, she and her co-founding team raised $22 million dollars to scale the business across the United States. Move Loot was featured in numerous publications including Forbes, TechCrunch, Bloomberg Business Week, CNN, TIME, Fortune and more.
Prior to Move Loot, Shruti worked at the New Schools Venture Seed Fund working with the fund partners on seed stage Ed Tech investing and prior to that she was a public school teacher. She was honored by Forbes as a 2016 30 Under 30 recipient in Retail and E-Commerce and the Aspen Institute as an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar in reimagining capitalism.
Q: What have your experiences been with hiring hourly workers?
Shruti: At Move Loot, we hired a few hundred hourly employees to help us run our truck and warehouse operations. Our hourly workers were w-2 employees - not contractors. At times, when we were scaling quickly we had to leverage outside staffing agencies like Blue Crew and Wonolo to be able to staff up to be able to meet the needs of our customers.
Q: What has worked most for you when hiring hourly workers?
Shruti: We would often hire through Blue Crew or Wonolo with the intent to convert some of those employees to our employees but we also created a group hiring strategy where we would email all of the hourly workers that applied for roles and encourage them to attend an information session about the job. Once the session was over, we would ask those who were still interested to stay for interviews. This helped us with scheduling interviews and hiring people in batches. It also allowed us to do some group interviews to get an understanding of how an individual would function as part of a group.
Q: Where are your go-to channels for sourcing and hiring?
Shruti: Zip Recruiter, Indeed, Referrals from existing hourly workers, Craigslist, Wonolo, Blue Crew.
Q: What innovative recruiting technologies or methods have you seen recently?
Shruti: This is a tough one - other than Workstream I haven't really come across anything that innovative - hiring hourly workers can be a huge challenge for a variety of reasons including communication (not everyone checks email/has reliable phone communication), turnover, location changes etc - so what Workstream is doing is really cool.
Workstream (www.workstream.is) is an end to end hiring software built for the hourly workforce, cutting in half the time to hire and on-board workers, via SMS / text communication, automated workflows, online document signing, and more.