There are plenty of job boards and employment services out there today, but Work Today wants to carve out a niche in a competitive market. This company is looking to be the LinkedIn for blue collar workers, or manual laborers. Rather than putting out a mobile app, the company announced today that it has raised a $1.1 million seed round to further its mission of connecting workers with jobs through SMS.
Investors in the company include Mucker Capital, Social Capital, Hone Capital, Belgian fund E-Merge, and GAN Ventures.
Founded by HomeHero’s former vice president of growth and Handy general manager Joe Nigro in 2016, Work Today already has more than 50,000 workers using its service and says it has made more than 150,000 job connections. The company said that the most popular categories include construction, demolition, and warehousing. But Work Today is different from traditional job boards built around an app.
After signing up, workers will receive a text message when there’s a job available job in their area, along with the job description and the pay. Workers can submit themselves using SMS, and businesses will select the candidates they want to hire.
Blue collar jobs take in a variety of industries, such as working in skilled or unskilled manufacturing, mining, sanitation, custodial work, oil field work, construction, mechanical maintenance, warehousing, firefighting, technical installation, and other physical work. These are not exactly the type of listing you’d normally find on LinkedIn or other job boards, but Work Today is targeting a staffing market that’s estimated to be worth at least $134 billion.
The company takes a 20 percent service fee for every hour that a worker spends on the job — charged directly to the employer, not the worker themselves. It’s this policy that Work Today said separates it from staffing agencies and other services, which it says typically charge both the worker and the business. “We call this ‘wage theft’ and it’s a huge problem nobody is talking about in the blue collar staffing industry,” the company said.
Updated as of 7:32 a.m. Pacific on Friday: Corrected Joe Nigro’s title to state that he was HomeHero’s vice president of growth and the general manager of Handy, not the creator.