MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Freeboh offers a new approach to shift-based HR

This home-grown start up helps jobseekers find work aligning with their schedules and commitments.

"We pioneered the concept of shift-based hiring," says Calvin Sim, CEO, Freeboh. "This means that individual work-shifts, with all the salient details, including timing and wages, can be offered to jobseekers."

With Freeboh, jobseekers can select all the shifts they can work from one or several employers in what is known as shift-bidding during the application. The work-shifts themselves are extracted from actual work schedules. This approach seamlessly links hiring to operations on an ongoing basis. This can be managed via Freeboh’s Schedo-it HR management system. Schedo-it is an online HR platform that enables employers to seamlessly integrate hiring, time-keeping, leave management and payroll. "For users, this enables them to schedule work that fits their life commitments, be it studies, childcare or caring for elderly parents," says Calvin.

Calvin founded Freeboh with Alex Pang. "We noticed a trend that there was increasing time-scarcity in our society, but tools for transacting in time were not broadly available. Broad-based, peer-to-peer real-time interaction was finally achievable with the rise of smart-phones and HTML5’s ecosystem of technologies," says Calvin. "With the labour crunch severely affecting businesses, we decided to look at offering a more transactional approach to matching employer demand and jobseeker supply."

Meanwhile, Freeboh’s Schedo-it software streamlines all management processes seamlessly, from hiring right through to payroll and post-payroll. This significantly reduces time and overheads to achieve flexibility in the workforce, from human resource allocation to pay. The system is able to roster not just part-time but also regular full-time staff. An integrated time-keeping tool helps employers capture time-stamp data of the staff to determine if the work roster has been complied with. Any changes are instantly updated and reflected in the roster. The entire team may also manage their leave and off-time using Schedo-it.

In the future, transactions will be increasingly in man-hours, not just man-days/months. Calvin notes that by working closely with businesses, Freeboh and Schedo-it can significantly reduce the overheads of organisations moving towards a more flexible workforce.

One of their success stories so far has involved working with the Singapore Sailing Federation to manage their volunteer pool. "Previously, at the end of each regatta, volunteers would be paid in cash. This led to a myriad of issues and concerns," says Calvin. "With Freeboh and Schedo-it, we not only help to find new volunteers, but those volunteers no longer required to wait around to collect cash. They can now withdraw their payout directly from the ATM as the funds would be GIRO’ed to their accounts directly."

Calvin said they have started an office in HK to serve the market there. They are also very keen on partnerships for other regions or where the underlying Freeboh technology can be applied to specific verticals.

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