A day in the life interview: Kei Karlson, GoWorkaBit
This week we are thrilled to be joined by Estonian entrepreneur Kei Karlson, from GoWorkaBit.
- First can you tell us a bit about your job? What does your company do?
GoWorkaBit is a online platform that connects companies who need extra-staff for short periods of time for entry level positions. People can choose when and where they work every day. On average it takes us 4 hours to fill any entry level position.
- What brought you to this area?
The idea came from my previous job. I was a recruiter in Manpower for several years and saw firsthand how companies could benefit from a fast and easy solution to fill temporary positions with people who could react quickly and carry out the tasks that needed to be done.
From the other side, I saw a new younger generation that needed more flexibility regarding their working hours, to fit work in alongside other activities such as studying and hobbies.
So I went to one hackathon (Garage48) with the idea and met the other co-founders, we worked for 48 hours straight and built the first version of GoWorkaBit. We went on to win some prizes at the event and had so much fun that we’ve continued to work together but now with sleeping included occasionally 🙂
- What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
My day starts at 7, when I send my kids to school, after that I usually walk to the Startup HUB. Working starts with a standup meeting with the team at 9.30, we have a remote team, so during standup we see each other via Google Hangouts and give a short overview about the things we did yesterday and what we plan to do today.
My typical day today includes online meetings with the team-members regarding Sales, Marketing and Customer Support topics. As we are expanding, I am also responsible for recruiting new team members from other countries.
I have the flexibility to choose when I work, so in the middle of the day I usually go for a run or do something with the kids and then continue working in the evening.
- What kind of projects are you currently working on?
At the moment we are expanding and so have been actively recruiting, so far we have recruited Laura, a Sales Manager from Lithuania, Sales Manager Romet from Estonia and a Customer Support Manager Agne from Lithuania, so much of my time is spent making sure that they are happy at GoWorkaBit, and assisting them with their growth and potential. At the moment I am also recruiting for a Full Stack Developer.
- What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
GoWorkaBit as a company is the biggest achievement for sure. The fact that we have managed to build a startup with the Co-Founders and have managed to deal with all the difficulties. Also, that we have managed to create the most awesome team and keep them happy with us so that we could build a product which helps so many people find a suitable way to work.
- What is the one app you could not live without?
- What’s the best thing about working at GoWorkaBit?
People who I work with. We consider having fun in the working day very important, we even measure the Fun Factor as one of our KPI’s. I also love the freedom to experiment and to test our ideas, and from this freedom we are able to make mistakes that we can learn from constantly.
- Where is the after work hangout?
I live in a small town called Tartu. We have couple of cool places to go for a drink: Aparaat as a place for dinner and drinks and Barlova as a cool bar to have a glass of wine or a beer.
- Who is your professional role model?
I have to say that I don’t have one particular person as a role model, but I always find people that inspire me somehow. People in our team, people who are doing the startups in Estonia. I am lucky because I work in the startup world, where people are very passionate about the things they do and those people inspire me 🙂
- What makes Tallinn a good city for startups?
Tallinn and Tartu are both great communities for startups. We have great HUBs where everyone can rent a table on daily basis, we also have a mentoring opportunity from other startups and there are a host of startup events taking place every week.
- What are the top qualities you look for in an employee?
- Passion for the idea and vision we have – does our idea speak to the person.
- Desire to test and experiment to find solutions.
- Ability to execute. Get stuff done 🙂
12. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting out?
I think starting a company gives you something valuable in either way – if you succeed or not. It is really important to have the team, I think that there are not many people who could do it all by themselves, so form the team that believe in your idea and keep them happy 🙂
Most importantly enjoy the ride and have fun!