Imagine you are traveling or studying in Bogotá and want to work for a few hours to earn some money, but you don’t know how or where to look. The answer is called Travail: your perfect working partner! An app that connects the ideal part-time candidate with the ideal job. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
In the era of technology and apps, it’s easier than ever to find solutions for issues that affect our society and economy. In Colombia, there are multiple companies and start-ups that have jumped into this arena of “making life easier for everyone through technology”. Apps such as Rappi, Merqueo, and Nequi have already started to make a difference in the way people live and experience the city. And it’s beneficial not only for people but for industries and business as well. Travail was essentially created as an on-demand platform that connects businesses in the hospitality industry (restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.) with part-timers.
Travail’s origins: the problem we wanted to solve
Travail was brought to life by two young entrepreneurs (Iván Castañeda and Vanessa Castro) that met doing an MBA at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. During their working experience and studies, both identified that in Colombia, the hospitality industry and tourism growth for the next couple of years are not equivalent. Why? It’s essentially due to the high turnover of employees (between 70% and 120%) and the marked seasonality. In other words, businesses are rapidly growing but also lacking workers especially during high season, Friday and weekends, and even daily peak hours.
Traditional job searching methods (agencies, contacts, social media) have proven to be inefficient for people wanting to work a few hours during their free time. This is because they take too much time hiring someone, they are not trustworthy, or they don’t let you choose a role where you’ll be comfortable or where you can organize your schedule according to your needs. And on top of that, with technology and apps, industries and businesses are experiencing a major shift in their priorities, which also changes the way people work and earn money. Nowadays it’s flexibility, new experiences, and the opportunity to have extra income for personal purposes that drives people and employers to rapidly grow according to the demand.
Travail’s development: the solution
Travail is part of the so-called ‘gig’ economy mode which refers to sporadic jobs or specific tasks in short periods of time (such as Uber or Rappi). Nonetheless, they prefer to identify themselves as part of the ‘talent’ community because they really care about each person’s talent acting as a platform that allows them to portray their expertise. It aims to reduce the unemployment rate and the high seasonal turnover by connecting the ideal candidate with the ideal work. And so, it works as a two-way model where businesses adapt to employees and not vice versa. It helps them find people they need by avoiding the (sometimes) long and tiring search and management of employees while allowing people to manage their own time and work for hours to gain some extra money. Best of all, it’s fast, safe, fair, transparent (because they allow each business to propose how much are they willing to pay per hour and the employees can say how much are they willing to work for) and you get paid immediately.
As of August 2019, Travail has already more than 150 active workers, around 9.000 connection hours, and 49 associated businesses. Their CEOs are also competing for the Hult Prize, which is a worldwide competition that gives one million dollars to “disruptive social enterprises that are impact centered, profit-minded, and market-driven”. Their slogan says it all: “leading a generation to change the world”. So let’s just cross our fingers and hope that Travail wins!
How does it work?
Travail is pretty easy to use for both employers and employees (called Travailers). It works with an electronic payment or wallet called T-Paga that makes the process way faster. Just follow these steps:
- Download the Travail and T-Paga apps on the App Store or Google Play
- Create a profile with all your info and experience which can later be reviewed by the Travail management group. It’s very important that you also put a range of how much are you expecting to gain per hour.
- Right now, only businesses are able to search for candidates, but in the near future, it will also let the employees search for part-time jobs that suit them better. Candidates must attend an interview before they officially start using the app and once they are accepted, they will be active on it.
- If you don’t have the needed skills, don’t worry, Travail can help you obtain the basic skills through different trainings!
- Wait for the platform to connect you with the ideal work according to your requisites. Once the app matches you with a business, accept the request, but remember that the hours and payment have to be agreed upon before actually accepting it.
- Arrive on time and work your shift as it was agreed.
- Once you are done, you’ll receive the payment on your T-Paga wallet.
- Rate the business and comment about your experience (this works both ways as the employer also rates the Travailer).
- The invoice, signed by you, will be sent to the business
- Do it all over again when you need it!
Other things to take into account when using the app:
- Travail facilitates microinsurance in case anything happens to the employee while doing his/her shift. This means you’ll be assisted if you have an accident or if something happens that compromises your physical or mental health. This microinsurance is refundable, which means that in case of an accident, any money spent will be given back to the Travailer or to the person that paid for the medical service and/or medicines.
- Travail reviews your personal and professional background and references, and even interviews you to define your level of expertise, attitude, and other skills to match you with an ideal offer once you need.
- Travail works under all legal mechanisms and acts as a connecting platform to assure that any business correctly and directly manages its employees. If you are a foreigner, you must have a working permit, no exceptions; otherwise, you’ll not be able to use the app.
- Travail provides free training for users who do not have work experience in certain tasks to strengthen their skills. For more info go to Travail’s official webpage, Instagram and/or Facebook.
In the technological era, Travail aims to look for different alternatives to find a job, which can also help to reduce youth unemployment and informality by improving the ethical and legal aspects for both employees and employers. It gives people the opportunity and flexibility to gain some extra money according to their needs and time. It’s worth a try, I can assure you that!
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