ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

House Call Tech and Seeking Decent Workers

Updated on October 19, 2015

Geekatoo is among a growing group of startups that offer on-demand service for home and office tech repair, computer setup and troubleshooting; tech experts are sent out when needed to fix everything from a cracked iPhone screen to a complicated software installation to a laptop that's festered with malware (Geek Squad is probably the best-known of these services; starting in 1994, this tech support and repair company is owned by major retailer Best Buy. With 20,000 employees, the Squad is in every strip mall across the U.S. that houses one of Best Buy's 1,049 stores).

With 7,000 independent contractors across the U.S., Geekatoo has raised $2.1 million from investors since 2013 (co-founder and CEO Kevin Davis started the company out of dissatisfaction, shortly after Geek Squad botched a repair request on his own laptop).

Other companies include Eden, launched this past May with about 35 people who serve Bay Area residents ($1.3 million has been raised from investors). Enjoy, also launched in May, has about 140 employees; so far, $30 million has been raised. Enjoy serves the Bay Area and also New York City.

So far, customers, particularly the retired and the elderly, are very happy for these startups, who are sometimes overwhelmed by the technology (but have the cash to pay someone fix what they can't or don't understand).

The home tech service is expected to continue growing (currently making about $30 billion (!) in annual revenue), particularly with the advent of the Internet of Things-in which devices such as thermostats, door locks and hot-water heaters are Internet-connected to gather and share data.

Seeking Decent Workers

Executive chef Kurt Linneman of Crocodile Cafe & Catering (Philadelphia) has developed a winning recipe for hiring (and retaining) five-star employees: A six-week coaching program called Have Perfect People LLC (created in 2007), cost ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, that helps small-business owners find better workers for "increased profits, less drama and more worry-free time off."

Applicants are interviewed for his cafe and catering business at least three times before a decision's made to hire them. Help-wanted ads are written in a blunt, straightforward style that leaves no doubt as to what chef Linneman's looking for (the jobs generally pay $13-$15 an hour). For example, a recent ad for a sous chef stated: "I am looking for a low-maintenance, no BS individual." Employee performance is measured with a behavior scorecard that has 35 'superstar' qualities (such as persistence, optimism and honesty, among others). It's an unusual evaluation, for it's based more on the behavior than on how the job is done (rewards for high scorers include raises, promotions and sales commissions. Linneman's system works very well for the most part, but it's not entirely fail-proof; he still has to fire an average of one to two employees a year).

"The truth is, the odds are stacked against the small-business owner when it comes to hiring superstar employees. 70 percent of your labor pool is filled with slackers, losers and thieves. If you hire these problem employees, they will work against you, undermine your authority and destroy the morale in your small business."

Chef Linneman has successfully hawked Have Perfect People to other businesses and chambers of commerce (but the cafe and catering remain his priority because it's more profitable-Tara Radzinski, CEO of Sustainable Solutions (Philadelphia) was among chef Linneman's first consulting clients; she's noticed that rather than the behavior scorecard scaring off employees, it has actually brought about a lot of valuable feedback between supervisors and staff. It has also created structure).

Sources: "Geeks on demand: Companies make house calls"-San Jose Mercury News (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, August 2, 2015 and "Company cooks up strategies to find quality employees"-The Philadelphia Inquirer (TNS)-The (Sunday) Vindicator, August 30, 2015


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)