BenchOn CEO, Tim Walmsley, interviewed on AusBiz TV about BenchOn, our support to industry during the COVID Pandemic and key case studies about how it works.
AusBiz [00:00:00] When thousands of workers suddenly stood down as COVID 19 hit in airlines, hotels, restaurants and other sectors went into lockdown. Many tech companies came to the rescue to help redeploy those people. It’s led to a rethink who staff work for and how they work for them. And our next guest, Tim Walmsley from BenchOn, has a unique approach to how it could work. And he joins us via Skype.
AusBiz [00:00:28] Tim,.
Tim Walmsley [00:00:29] Thank you for having me.
AusBiz [00:00:30] Great to have you on, mate. When I looked up and read about BenchOn, I thought about my kids sport on the weekends when you have to get a couple of kids on your side to play for the other team for because they are short of you. That sounds a bit like your idea. Do you want to explain it to us?
Tim Walmsley [00:00:46] Yeah, that’s exactly right. Our industries are so much contract-based now or project-based, and there are always gaps, which means you have employees on the bench. So that’s why we developed BenchOn, which is the world’s first business talent sharing platform. And it essentially automatically matches companies that have demand for surge support or specialist support, and it matches that demand to the companies that have the capacity and the experience to do that. So it allows companies to manage those peaks and troughs. So in the troughs, when there’s not enough work on rather than standing down that staff or letting them go instead, what they do is they win contracts from other businesses so they can keep productive, get revenue coming in and keep those employees on the books and give them job stability. And then in the picks, when there’s too much work on and not enough staff, they can now access the highest quality staff hidden inside all the businesses.
AusBiz [00:01:39] One of the examples is Qantas and sort of, you know, working for a supermarket, helping stock shelves, the bit to understand is that you’re not leaving the business you’re originally working for. You’re kind of just being loaned out for a while is the way to describe it.
Tim Walmsley [00:01:54] Yes the employee remains an employee and the parent company. So they keep their leave and entitlements and there’s no disruption to their employment, which is really important. So that’s exactly right. Well, we don’t actually put people in, you know, take them off a company and then we employ them at another company. They stay with the parent company so that company can increase their revenue while giving job stability, which not only helps the business, but helps the staff member as well, creating a Win-Win solution.
AusBiz [00:02:22] Tim, can you just talk us through how pensions being going in practice and what kind of companies you’re working me? What sector?
Tim Walmsley [00:02:30] Yeah, sure. So we’ve been pioneering this industry since 2016. So while we’ve been able to help a lot during COVID, we were here well before it and it’s actually set us up quite well to help a number of companies. So we support over fourteen hundred companies from global enterprises, including big consulting firms through the national brands like Big Four banks and energy providers. And then right down to small businesses and startups and everything in between.
AusBiz [00:02:56] And do you have any government support? Sounds like a great initiative.
Tim Walmsley [00:03:00] Yeah, thanks. We’re working with some local councils now to stabilize regional job or jobs and bring more work into those regions so they can grow more jobs. We did talk a lot to the federal governments and state governments during COVID it about how we could use this platform to save businesses and save jobs and just never got off the ground, that there was so much that we’re doing at the time. And I think the focus was more about putting jobseekers back into jobs, which was really important at the time. And we’re more of a preventative measure. So we’ve stopped people losing their jobs in the first place by empowering businesses to keep them. So, you know, we’re sort of the next step. And I think that that will become more important over the next six to twelve months.
AusBiz [00:03:43] I don’t know how much you look at your own sort of shape to say what who’s doing what. But do you have any idea of the most interesting job swaps that people have done during this time?
Tim Walmsley [00:03:54] We just had an amazing one, which was a good news story for everyone supporting Rugby Australia and a small tech company that was just about to launch a new a new product. And they didn’t have a lot of money during COVID. To be able to launch this product and they needed marketing help. So we match them to rugby Australia, who put their marketing manager, who was actually being put on part time work during COVID, and he was now able to work full time, prop up his salary, as well as support rugby Australia to keep him on. And that’s the smaller business was able to get such high quality support from a senior person at very good rates. And it was it was an amazing thing to be able to enable.
AusBiz [00:04:33] It sounds like a really fantastic service. Can you just take us through how do you make money? What’s the benched on model?
Tim Walmsley [00:04:41] Sure. So the BenchOn model is a national platform. It’s free for any company to sign up and it’s free for any business to put their assignment requests on. So when they’re looking for support, that doesn’t cost them anything. We put a small percentage on the right of the company who’s putting the person forward. So that’s added on top, but they only pay us after they’ve been out of work. So there’s no out-of-pocket expense for them in winning that work, because we know that when they’re in a vulnerable time. Now, during COVID, we are matching to generally skilled jobs for free to try and help out wherever we can and do that, you know, to as many companies as possible. But the general platform that’s been operating for years operates on that sort of small success based commission.
AusBiz [00:05:24] And Tim talk us through your growth plans. Are you just operating in the domestic market at the moment? What are you looking at further down the track?
Tim Walmsley [00:05:33] Yes. So we’re national now and we’re across over 10 industries and we’re growing very fast in here in Australia. We’re even this year in 2020, we’ve been having 25 per cent month on month growth with our client base, which is great to see. We’re going to continue focusing in on supporting the larger end of town and helping them allocate that work out to SMEs. But we’ve got plans now to launch our product in about 16 countries by the end of the year with the current clients that we have. So it’s gonna be a very busy time.
AusBiz [00:06:06] Sounds like we’re going to have our next unicorn coming up. So ah, really great to talk with you today. Great to hear that BenchOn, is really helping people through kind of it, sort of find work and best of luck with the platform.
Tim Walmsley [00:06:19] Thank you very much. Thanks for having me on.