|What problem are you solving?
|Wirkn is a candidate-first solution. We’re helping job seekers in the shift-based retail, restaurant, and hospitality industry more easily find jobs and pick up relevant skills. The current application experience of walking door-to-door handing in resumes or applying senselessly by shooting resumes to a centralized portal doesn’t work and is wasting the time of both the candidate and employer. In an increasingly part-time world of work, we’re helping fill their seasonal roles and ease the recruitment and screening of candidates.Francois Jobin, former VP HR at ALDO Group and their 1800+ stores, has been watching the problems he’s faced at ALDO towards lower engagement especially with youth. He decided to take the leap and start this venture with the increasing level of mobile penetration, dissatisfaction on both the candidate and employer ends and the HUGE market – 42% of all US workers make less than $15/hr.
|What is your solution?
|Wirkn is an end-to-end mobile employment solution designed to connect the right people with the right job. Pull out your phone, use your GPS, find a job around you, apply with a 30-second dynamic video application, and get personalized recommendations and matches.Wirkn helps retailers and restaurants save time and effort finding and pre-screening qualified candidates, reduce operational costs, and ultimately build a better team. Additionally, through its unique communication and rewards platform, Wirkn empowers employers to build relationships with job applicants and rewards/promotions to candidates that have already shown an affinity for your brand.
|How will you make money?
|Free for non profits, government agencies, and single-location stores. Standard pricing of $49/month/location
|Tell us about the market & founders, why is this a great opportunity?
|CEO – Derek Szeto: Founder of RedFlagDeals.com, Canada’s largest bargain-shopping community. Launched in November 2000 to help Canadians find the best deals online and offline while provides a targeted channel for advertisers to reach Canadian shoppers. RedFlagDeals was acquired by publicly traded Yellow Pages Group in February of 2010. Derek went on to become entrepreneur-in-residence at Kinetic Café in 2012, is an active angel investor, and is now CEO of Wirkn.Co-Founder – Francois Jobin: He first established himself with the ALDO Group back in 2001 as the director of human resources. Bringing with him 16 years of prior work experience, along with an MBA and an educational background in human resources, Jobin soon became vice-president of Human Resources at the ALDO Group.
As well as being responsible for the HR department, Jobin oversaw customer service and government relations. When it comes to his views on business, he believes in keeping things simple in order to achieve optimal results. To reach these goals, he aims to recruit the best individuals to his team and aims to provide them with the greatest possible opportunities. Equipped with these, Jobin believes his team will be able to excel and grow to their fullest potential, in everything they aspire to do.
Co-Founder, CMO – Todd Dean: First joining the ALDO Group in the 1990s, Todd Dean began at store level as a part-time sales associate during his studies. Upon graduation, he joined the head office team until 1999, when he left to pursue a six-year career in consulting. During that time, he worked for STS Consulting, a large systems provider with a focus on the retail market. His clients consisted of Liz Claiborne, Build-A-Bear, Nike and Armani. His education took Dean to study Marketing Management from McGill University and the General Management Program from Harvard University.
As of 2003, he rejoined the ALDO Group family and was soon promoted to the position of director of E-commerce in 2005, where it was his mandate to launch the ALDO transactional website. Eventually, Dean became the ALDO Group’s vice-president of Cross Channel and E-Commerce. Managing the E-commerce business, he was responsible for web marketing and merchandising, online operations and mobile and web analytics, among others functions.
In addition to his operational role as a Vice President of E-commerce, Todd Dean led the Omni Channel Strategy and implementation at the ALDO Group.