OhYouHero: It’s One Part LinkedIn, With a Dash of Angie’s List
Putting yourself out there on Craigslist to find temporary work in the services section of the site can be risky and time-consuming. You post, you wait, and then you re-post the next day in order to keep your listing at the top of the page.
For small businesses looking to fill part-time jobs, it can be just as bad: you call a headhunter or scour Craigslist hoping that the person you email is a legitimate applicant. And again, you wait.
That’s where OhYouHero swoops in to save the day.
John Maden, cofounder and CMO of OhYouHero, said the company’s business plan and model is two-fold: it allows people to build on their own expertise to create a livable wage from freelance work, but it also lets small businesses pluck people from the pool of talented individuals in order to fill temporary roles, helping them avoid the messy process of sifting through unreliable listing sites.
“It’s a network first and foremost, but over time, we think it’ll grow to be a robust marketplace for people who are part-time or freelance, or independently employed,” he said. “We are really going for people in need of additional income or who have worked part-time their entire lives and haven’t had a good way to network.”
The difference between OhYouHero’s arrangements and other means of finding work, Maden explains, is that there’s no human resources department in the middle. He said the whole system is crafted around people who’ve been vetted by friends and family members in their existing social media networks.
Maden described it as Angie’s List-meets-LinkedIn with some elements of TaskRabbit and Yelp mixed in.
“People can advertise their talents,” he said. “The key difference between us and other platforms is we have the ratings, profiles, and review systems. OhYouHero helps people help friends find work, and we think that’s heroic. That’s the long-term vision. The short-term focus is making it simple to advertise your skills and build a reputable personal brand or small business around those part-time or freelance skills.”
Working out of a small space in Cambridge, with fewer than a dozen employees, the site is still in beta mode, Maden said. There are still some add-ons like online payment options that need to be integrated into the overall design as well. But nearly 1,000 people have already logged in and signed up to start using the services. “We are doing our real big push this year, and hopefully by the end of the year we will have cracked 10,000 users,” he said. “It’s going very well so far, though.”
As for the name and design? As Maden explained, going out on a limb and trying to create a personal brand through part-time work is a heroic feat, in their eyes. The name just sort of fit, and the idea to tag on a superhero theme seemed logical. “Aside from wanting to convey an upbeat attitude around finding employment and advertising your part-time or freelance skills—it’s worth mentioning that as OhYouHero is further developed, community interaction is going to be a focal point, and we think that a website like ours can play a big role in reuniting communities around preferential hiring and shared work experience,” said Maden. “Each person can choose an avatar to represent [him or herself], and we’re going to be developing additional characters and paneled story lines—which are currently Easter eggs throughout the site—based on OhYouHero’s members’ work experience and how they’d envision themselves as super heroes.”