For service workers, holiday travel comes with extra headaches — namely getting someone to cover your shift. There’s often an arcane system of backchannel bargaining or begging to get a co-worker to fill in for you. Seattle-based startup Shyft is looking to make swapping shifts easier, and just raised a $6.5 million Series A led by Ignition Partners and Madrona Venture Group to make their mission easier. This brings the total amount raised by Shyft to $8 million (tip of the hat to TechCrunch).
At its core, Shyft is an employee communication app. It allows shift workers in retail or service settings to message with each other, offer up shifts or take additional shifts to make extra money. The software keeps track of staffing laws and compliance issues and managers can approve or reject shift swaps. Shyft says it will use the new money to focus on product development and innovation.
As noted, anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant or bar knows how much of a hassle it can be to get someone to cover for you and automating the process and bringing transparency to it is a smart idea.
We are seeing startups now focus on the pain points that come with an hourly workforce. Technology has brought about changes in enterprise HR with software like Workday, and created a new class of worker via gig economy apps like Uber.
Earlier this year, we wrote about Jobletics, which vets different skilled workers that can fill in shifts at various locations. For instance, if a company needed a line cook for a last minute job, it could turn to Jobletics to find a qualified candidate.
With more than 78 million Americans working hourly jobs, you can expect to see more innovation and more startups like Shyft addressing that market.