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Before it even had an app, this gig work site was scoring clients like the Selangor gov

Gig work has grown in recent times, and it can be attributed to job losses during the lockdowns. Either that or the fact that more people are willing to work on short-term projects for flexibility and more opportunities. 

With that came a spike in the demand for online promoters and warehouse crew due to increased online shopping habits and the creation of new gig work like content creators too.

It’s a trend noted by the now profitable gig economy platform, Cidekick, which newly launched an app this year to leverage on it further. We spoke to founder and CEO, Philip Phua to learn more about the motivations behind the site and app.

Emphasising the human side of work

There are already quite a few gig economy platforms and apps on the market. Some close examples include Qwork and GoGet, which also provide training for specific jobs.

Philip is confident that while he does have competitors in the field, Cidekick stands out to its 300 clients (and counting) by only focusing on the B2B market and preservation of human capital.

To elaborate, Cidekick targets the B2B market by specifically catering to on-ground manpower activation at scale with expertise on different event needs.

The app’s interface / Image Credit: Cidekick

Additionally, part of Cidekick’s mission is to create jobs that preserve human capital. What this means is, the company doesn’t try to onboard gig workers for jobs that could be phased out by automation like last-mile deliveries, for instance. 

Cidekick instead looks for online promoters, video content creators, product and service promoters, and more. Philip believes that these are the jobs that will still rely on creativity and human connection for years to come.

For instance, during the MCOs, Cidekick’s team pivoted to help their clients focus more on recruiting online promoters. These gig workers could help companies create higher brand awareness online with testimonials and usage.

“Some of these [offerings] we added helped us sustain [the business] during the tough times. Now, on-ground manpower is slowly resuming, and our Cidekicks (workers) [will be] able to perform more roles,” Philip elaborated.

A safer place to gig 

The tipping point that led Philip to found Cidekick in 2016 came after his realisation of incidents in unsafe working environments, delayed payments, and exploitation that part-time job seekers were exposed to.

While working as a trade marketer, he found that there were no proper platforms to hire and choose gig workers as he could only do so via agencies. Furthermore, there was a significant pay difference between what the agencies charged, and what the gig workers actually took home. With Cidekick, workers can generally expect to earn between RM100 to RM150 a day.

Another push for Philip to start Cidekick was his knowledge of unethical practices at some agencies that promote something called “on-jobs”. 

“This is a term used to disguise an arrangement of a gig job (usually labeled as party girls or usherettes), where there is an additional option for clients to have paid sex with the gig workers after their main job task is completed,” he explained. 

Philip pondered that he wouldn’t want his own children being groomed in such a way, should they decide to pick up gig work as students in the future.

Hence, Cidekick was formed to address these pain points:

  • Help employers find temporary manpower at scale;
  • Improve transparency and performance when hiring;
  • Create a safe environment for gig workers to be in.

One app to do it all

Prior to launching its own app in November 2021, Cidekick’s job matching was purely done through its web platform. At the time, the platform’s main function was to match Cidekicks and clients while transacting payments.

The platform operated on a web-only page for 4 years / Image Credit: Cidekick

With the app, the team hopes to increase accountability and transparency of the hiring processes and working environments for Cidekicks and employers.

Cidekicks can clock in and out of every job by either using a location stamp, taking a live photo at the job site, or answering any questions clients might have. Cidekicks can also answer ad hoc requests by the clients through the app. 

“Also if [Cidekicks] are not comfortable during a job, we can allow [them] to report an issue and we will be alerted to investigate by changing the job scope, date, time, pay, etc.,” Philip said.

Simultaneously, employers can monitor job performance as the app’s proprietary dashboard will allow them to track multiple gig workers either individually or collectively. Employers will also have access to sales and custom reports.

For instance, such reports can give employers insights on how many product samples were given out by a gig worker, or the sales figures achieved during the job. These allow employers to assess which Cidekicks are performers and which ones aren’t.

Being equipped with such data can help Cidekick’s clients analyse and aggregate the median performance for sales, marketing, and operational roles in the future.

Working with the state government

To date, Cidekick has acquired 15,000 active users, with a 100% growth recorded during the past 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic, even with little spending on recruiting.

“Many users during these recent times are former Grab drivers and employees from the hospitality and retail industries who have been badly hit financially,” Philip stated.

“Cognisant of this, we enhanced our cooperation with the Selangor state government’s Rakan Digital Selangor project that is powered by our platform and successfully offered jobs with the work-from-home option.”

Its other clients include Grab, Foodpanda, Touch ‘n Go, Fave, Caring, Signature Market, among others. Previously, Cidekick received seed funding of RM775,000 from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd.

Philip is now looking to attract new investors to fund Cidekick’s expansion and growth internationally within the next 2 years, in pursuit of becoming the on-ground gig work platform of choice for corporate clients and gig workers alike.

“This would take exceptional work from us as we need to create an amazing value proposition to be more than just a recruitment platform. We also have to provide sufficient jobs for our Cidekicks and constantly create different and new types of jobs for the gig job market,” he pointed out.

For now, the company is already in talks to expand its business to Indonesia next year, with plans in the pipeline to penetrate the Thailand and Singapore markets.

  • Learn more about Cidekick here.
  • Read about other gig economy related articles we’ve written here.

Featured Image Credit: The Cidekick team

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(UEN 201431998C.)

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