Flexitimers is a self-service project board enabling companies to connect with consultants, freelancers, small businesses, contractors and specialists/experts for professional project work in Ireland.
The site is completely free for both professionals and companies to use. Flexitimers is a closed network – employers or other professionals cannot search through profiles. Profiles are only viewable to employers whose project matches your profile.
Ivan: New Flexitimers site is launched, the media love it, and the response has been very positive. How happy are you with the media coverage?
Well obviously we’re very pleased and I think the reason is because Flexitimers is a good news story during recession overload. Everyday we’re hearing and reading about the recession, job losses, redundancy and market uncertainty. Flexitimers is good news for a few reasons. Firstly, we’ve hit on a previously untapped sector with the recruitment industry in Ireland being a mix of web2.0 and project work – this is very new and hugely necessary. Secondly, project and indeed flexible work tended to be quite siloed – IT and design sectors largely but our intention was to offer flexibility to a broader occupational base. Traditionally I suppose IT and design were easy outsource targets because the output was so tangible but there is no reason why any company can’t outsource less tangible operations/functions such as PR, sales and marketing, admin, legal and financial roles. It all goes back to people skills and effective management and just because someone is sitting in your office 40 hours per week doesn’t always translate into an optimal solution. Thirdly, we practice what we preach – I live in Wexford and co-founder Dervla Cunningham is based in Dublin and we’ve managed to research, develop and launch a business by working remotely.
Ivan: The Recruitment industry in Ireland is changing. What role will Flexitimers play in the future?
Of course the recruitment industry is changing because it had to, it’s a bit like the construction or property sector during the boom which was synonymous with over-charging and under-delivering. Today, no company can afford to pay for mediocrity whether that’s in suppliers, staff or services.
To get back to recruitment, we believe the employment model is changing and the focus will be less on hiring full time permanent staff but will be more project driven. It’s a win-win situation for employers because they get to pick and choose the best people for each task and manage their overheads more effectively.
Flexitimers’ role is to provide companies with access to a pool of skilled and experienced professionals who are actively seeking project work. Traditionally companies tend to find project workers through their own networks but this is random and unfortunately the best people aren’t necessarily within your reach. On Flexitimers you can hire beyond your network and not compromise on quality or caliber. I suppose, Flexitimers confounds false economy and mediocrity.
Ivan: The way we live and the way we work is not the same. Flexitimers seems to be accommodating this and applying it to recruitment?
Absolutely, as the line goes ‘nobody ever said on their deathbed, I should have spent more time in the office.’ But there is one key point I want to make here: just because you want to work flexibly doesn’t mean you have to compromise your career. Take part-time work for example, typically available only in retail, catering and administrative jobs. Like I said earlier, Flexitimers is broadening that occupational base. How? We provide professionals with access to flexible positions i.e. contract, temporary, freelance, consulting and telework across a variety of roles so we’re there to help anyone who’s just been made redundant to earn income while they’re in between jobs. Furthermore, more and more of these interim project workers who join the site for interim or stopgap work find it works better for them – so now not only have they flexibility but also they’re expanding their profile, career and portfolio.
Ivan: Flexitimers – what is the next step? What is the plan for the future?
I could tell you but I’d have to shoot you afterwards! Only joking, big plans and plenty of exciting developments. I suppose the biggest news at the moment is that our service is FREE to use which again reflects the dramatic changes in the recruitment industry. We’ll of course want to build our brand and awareness over the coming months. In the background we’re working on expansion plans both in terms of functionality and geography. I speak French, Spanish and basic Dutch so who knows, maybe I’ll be teleworking from a sunnier climate!
About Joy Redmond, co-founder of Flexitimers
Joy Redmond started her career in 1996 as Marketing Director of Newmedia, one of Ireland’s first web design companies. She remained agency side working with Zartis.com and Campaign HTDS before moving client side to become online marketing manager of IngredientsNet.com (a joint venture between Fyffes and Glanbia). Before setting up Flexitimers with Dervla Cunningham, Joy was a lecturer in E-business, research and marketing in the Dublin Institute of Technology and was Course Director of the Masters in Business & Entrepreneurship. Joy also is a busy project worker doing consultant marketing and research for many blue chip companies in Ireland such as Bank of Ireland, eircom, NTL, Poster Plan and JCDecaux. She is a mentor on the Wexford County Enterprise Board and a member of the Irish Internet Association Social Media Working Group.
Joy: Thanks Ivan, a pleasure doing this interview, keep up the good work.