David Brackin, managing director of Stuff U Sell, the leading eBay trading assistant in the UK and a regular Tamebay contributor, has been using flexible, temporary staff booked through the Coople marketplace for over a year now. Today he reports back on his experiences:
Last November when most of us had never even heard of coronavirus, I wrote about Coople, the new marketplace for temp workers and how it was revolutionising the world of temp agencies. We had tried them out to help with peak period. One year on, I thought I’d reflect on the experience.
Coople is almost entirely app-based, and we’ve seen a few updates over the year and it’s looking slicker now but the basic function is the same — you write a few job description (for example warehouse picker and packer) and when you need staff in that role, you post an open shift on the app. This pops up on potential workers phones and within minutes you have a list of applicants wanting to work for you – together with their work history and ratings and recommendations from previous businesses. Pick one and they get the job. It’s a level of responsiveness that you simply never saw with the old temp agencies – you can go from looking at a busy Sunday afternoon of sales to having a spare pair of hands on Monday morning.
While we originally signed up for peak warehouse staff, we have also hired for more complicated roles – such as our listing team. By placing a repeating shift, you are able to get people on a full time basis to see how the job fits them – and to move on quickly if it’s not working out – or to go through a temp to perm process if they do.
The quality is impressive – one of our most promising listers this year came through Coople and we’ve hired several more that we’re delighted with. Of course not everyone is great, and where this is the case, the ability to move on quickly without paperwork or hassle is a real benefit. As everyone can leave feedback, it helps to build trust with agency workers and I think they have good incentives to try to do their best.
The admin, too, has been low hassle compared with other agencies we’ve worked with. We confirm the hours in the app and get a monthly bill across all our temps.
But the main thing for me remains the flexibility and simplicity of using the platform. And in 2020, goodness knows we’ve needed a lot of flexibility in the operation. Sales peaks and troughs have been like we’ve never seen before, together with staff isolating or unable to work because of Covid with little notice.
If you are wondering – as I was – how to plug that gap then I’d certainly give Coople a look.