By Nancy Dahlberg
Miami’s welcome mat is always out for international startups, and the Magic City is making room for one more.
Meet GiGL, a London-based technology startup on a mission to solve hospitality worker shortages, a pain point South Florida greatly experiences. GiGL connects job seekers with hospitality, retail and event employers using 60-second videos, significantly shortening — and improving — the job application process, says Dan Hudson, founder and CEO of GiGL.
Already the startup has launched its service in Miami, with four big, local employers seeking workers through its mobile-first video platform and app. Today, job seekers can use GiGL to apply for jobs with Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins and massive events, the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, says Hudson, in an interview with Refresh Miami. “We are now officially live in Miami.”
Based on GiGL’s experience in London, the traditional recruitment process in hospitality would typically take a resume, a phone interview, a first-round interview and a trial shift, four steps, says Hudson, who has a background in HR and recruitment. “About 82% of our current employer base takes candidates straight through to the trial shift so [applicants] skip three steps of the process. We have people getting hired in 24 hours.”
GiGL’s process puts people instead of paper first, because the hospitality industry thrives on soft skills, not what’s on someone’s resume. Here’s how it works: Job candidates view a one-minute video job description, which shows them what the company is, what they will be doing, and who they will be working with, giving them a feel for what the job is and the environment. And then the employer asks the job seeker three questions. “They want to see your communication skills and your personality,” Hudson explains. “Their view is you need to have a great personality and communication skills and we’ll teach you the rest, and that’s exactly where GiGL comes in.”
GenZ and millennial job candidates love the platform because it’s a fast process, no resume is needed — and GiGL guarantees a response within seven days, Hudson says. GiGL’s tech will nudge the employers to get back to applicants within the time period, and in rare instances where an employer is still nonresponsive, GiGL will get back to the applicant and take them out of the process so they can move on or apply again if they wish. “Hearing nothing is one of the biggest emotional hurdles because no one wants to be treated like that so that’s why we built that into the platform.”
To date in London, GiGL has seen a 300 percent increase in downloads in the last 18 months and has over 300 employers using the platform. “Now we have three of the top five hospitality companies in the world using us,” says Hudson, who is raising a Series A round.
GiGL, founded in 2019, recently participated in an accelerator by Sodexo, one of the largest hospitality companies, and through that Sodexo would help them launch in the US. For its first expansion city and base for US expansion, GiGL pitched specifically for Miami. Hospitality is one of the Miami area’s largest industries, of course, and GiGL will join a number of hospitality-tech and future of work startups already calling South Florida home.
Yet, GiGL also chose Miami for its US hub because of the area’s reputation as an exciting, growing tech hub, Hudson said.
“We had opportunities across five or six other major cities in the US and we wanted Miami straight from the outset because it’s an amazing place. It’s a super cool, super engaging, super fun and super forward-looking city,” added Hudson, who said he appreciates how engaging the City of Miami has been. “And for me, everyone’s happy and they smile and that’s the world I want to be in.”
What’s next for GiGL’s new Miami base? GiGL is seeking to hire one or two employees and a few university ambassadors to start. Then will come a push for more employers to join the platform, social media promotion, and building partnerships with employment resource organizations, schools and more companies, Hudson said.
“It’s early days but very exciting for us. To launch with as big an opportunity as Miami and launching with the Miami Dolphins is, from a founder’s perspective, you can’t really get more of a dream come true.”
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Got news? Email Nancy Dahlberg at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ndahlberg
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