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Unemployment is at a long-time low, companies are fighting tooth and nail to retain their best employees, and the recruiting process still takes a great deal of time. These are all factors in the current job market, and each can place added stress onto the health and success of growing companies. 

Liza Rodewald is the Founder & CEO of Instant Teams, a Washington, DC Founder Institute portfolio company that is solving hiring challenges by directly connecting companies with qualified talent - sometimes in as short as in a single day.

Instant Teams is tapping into the growing market of virtual workers through a structured and strategic vetting process. CEO Rodewald explains,

We provide on-demand talent that solves hiring and retention issues. Our drag and drop team building solution allows companies to hire and onboard instantly, saving time and money.

By 2025, the HR technology market is set to be worth more than $30 billion with an annual growth rate of about 10%. And the biggest motivating factor? The use of big data, artificial intelligence, and even IoT sensors that are being integrated into the hiring and recruiting process, resulting in a better overall fit for both employees and companies. On top of the new technology involved in the actual hiring process, remote work is being supported more and more through SaaS and cloud-based services, and even through workplace communication platforms like Slack, which recently netted itself a cool $23 billion valuation. 

Because of these emerging changes in the labor market, Instant Teams is able to dovetail these two trends together, helping companies quickly build talented teams, regardless of the depth in the local talent pool. The company on average saves employers more than $4k per hire, and rather than the standard 42 day recruitment period, Instant Teams can bring it down to as little as one day. The startup even offers quick replacements, in the event that a team member is not performing to the employer’s standards. 

Until November of 2018, the company was fully bootstrapped and still pulling in strong revenues—but in an effort to scale their solution more quickly, Instant Teams raised a substantial $435k seed round through 9Mile Labs and Right Side Capital Management.

As a result, Instant Teams today allows employers to quickly bring on professionals, from administrators, to marketers, to technical hires. And, it only takes a maximum of two weeks to build a full team through their solution. This includes teams that meets both on-paper requirements and cultural requirements, tested through personality assessments—and all virtual talent is based in the U.S.

Inspired by the Experiences of Military Spouses

The initial community of virtual workers on Instant Teams had a common background between them. According to CEO Rodewald, her shift from full-time work to being a virtual entrepreneur began after her husband went on active duty in the military. She explains,

When we moved into our first predominately military community, I was amazed to find out that many of the talented and highly-educated spouses around me were struggling with unemployment. This space was new to me, and I had no idea this problem existed. Seeing spouses unable to continue their careers lit a fire in me. And, that inspired me to begin hosting coffee dates and sharing how I translated my skills into a new business of my own. 

Three years and four founded companies later, Rodewald and Instant Teams have successfully placed 60+ military spouses in virtual jobs and more than 2,200 have joined their talent community. Of course, this represents only a small portion of Instant Teams’ now rapidly-growing overall talent community. 

And like the military community Rodewald quickly became a knitted into, the initial motivation to support their careers remotely also came from a highly personal experience.

On my return flight home from Boston, I found myself crawling my way off the plane with a case of the flu. I had just returned home from a long week of traveling for work. And little did I know, my day was far from over. I walked through my front door to find my 16-month-old son on a breathing treatment with RSV. I literally laid down on my living room floor and said ‘I’m done.’ It was at that very moment I made the decision to do something different. I knew I wanted more flexibility in my life to be there for my family and spend time with my growing children.

Rodewald isn’t alone, either. In a recent Buffer report, 99% of respondents to a survey stated they would prefer to work remotely in some capacity. The most common reasons cited? Flexibility, the ability to work from anywhere, and being able to spend time with family.  As the workforce in the U.S. continues to shift, it is likely that perks such as these will far outweigh that of the open office and ping-pong tables masquerading as an employee benefit.

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Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $800M in funding, and building products people love across over 180 cities worldwide.

See the most recent news from our Grads at FI.co/news, or learn more about their stories at FI.co/journey


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