Taranaki Tech Innovation Behind Successful NZ Art Show

Friday, 30 July 2021, 4:20 pm

Last month’s NZ Art Show in Wellington did more than break records for art sales. New Zealand’s biggest art sale became the proving ground for a Taranaki-grown tech solution to finding and paying staff by the hour.

With more than 10,000 people attending the NZ Art Show and a record 3,000 original artworks sold, Executive Director Carla Russell attributes the show’s success to being highly organised and attracting good staff.

This year was the first time she used Jobhop to recruit, register and pay the 60 staff working at the event.

The digital recruitment tool was designed for businesses to book and pay casual contractors by the hour. Using Jobhop, the event organisers posted jobs and accepted applications online.

“There’s already a pool of people, and they come to you, instead of you having to go out and try to find them,” said Russell.

Because the app smart-matched candidates, automated payment, tax filing and invoicing, Russell found that using Jobhop was an efficient use of time when hiring staff. She appreciated that there was no paperwork and found that having staff paid soon after their shift ended was a huge bonus; she plans to use it again soon and recommends it.

Saving the organisers money and putting it in the hands of casual staff is what Jobhop is all about, said Gordon Heggie, Jobhop’s Managing Director. For him, the event shows a positive side to the gig economy because the flexibility of ‘hop-on, hop-off’ work helps supplement incomes, increase independence and also helps people transition into the workforce.

“Having the right people is so important,” said Russell. “People that work for us are the first thing that people see when they visit an event; they’re our first impressions.”

“There’s already a pool of people, and they come to you, instead of you having to go out and try to find them,” said Russell.

“We need lots of employment options. People want the freedom and independence that comes from freelancing, and businesses want the capability to scale to be more productive and resilient,” said Heggie.

While Jobhop was used for the NZ Art Show to source local staff, Heggie said it also has potential to create opportunities for regional work that can be done remotely. Freelance remote work can help overcome the rural disadvantages to finding work in regional areas.

Mike Botur, a communications writer in Northland used Jobhop to find remote work based in Taranaki. Botur agreed that being paid quickly, with tax deducted, can be a relief for people who need versatile work opportunities.

“When I used Jobhop, I got paid within 1-2 hours of completing each job – which is the fastest I’ve ever been paid, considering in the freelancing industry, you can wait up to six weeks to get paid if you don’t invoice before the 20th of each month”, said Botur.

“We’ve had people find sustainable, long-term employment through Jobhop, and that’s great, if that’s what they’re looking for – but that’s not for everyone,” said Heggie. “We have students, retired professionals, parents with young kids using Jobhop. We need solutions like this to empower people to find work that fits their lifestyle.”

For Russell and her team (pictured), the time that was previously spent managing interviews, contracts, timesheets, gathering personnel records and filing payment records was a valuable win for the busy event organiser.

“You save time – and that lets you focus on what you need to do, what you do best.”

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