Companies are looking for people to work. And people are looking for companies to work for. Temper.works brings those two groups together on their online platform.
The Amsterdam-based scaleup offers a platform where ‘freeflexers’ and companies looking for flexible workers can find each other. And business is booming, says co-founder Niels Arntz.
Connecting work with workers
Temper offers companies a large pool of qualified workers. From SMEs to listed companies, they can easily post vacancies and choose from the most skilled or highest-rated applicants. Conversely, people looking for flexible jobs can easily find work whenever and wherever they want. Temper provides them with tools to work on their own schedule and set their own rates. Temper offers jobs in different sectors like retail, logistics, construction, as well as charity and hospitality. That last one is what started it all.
His experience as a barman means that Temper co-founder Niels Arntz knows the inner workings of the hospitality business. “I noticed that when it came to jobs, the companies held the initiative,” he says. “When I was looking for work, I had to go somewhere, resumé in hand and hope for the best. We noticed back then it wasn’t pleasant or efficient to work in the industry. With Temper, we flipped that around and made it more transparent.”
The way we work, flipped
Flipping, in this case, means empowering workers to pick and choose their jobs. Temper’s platform connects FreeFlexers with companies looking for incidental or temporary workers. It offers companies a pool of trustworthy workers, while the flex-workers can set their own terms in which they work. Temper not only facilitates the matching process but also takes care of part of the paperwork, for instance, insurance.
Despite its current growth, Arntz remembers the humble beginnings of the company. “Our MVP in 2016 was a string of Google Forms,” he says. Among the very first freeflexers on the platform was Arntz himself. “We went out to explore our market. To see if there was potential for success. We did the first gigs ourselves.” The hospitality business was the best fit for the young platform.
‘We hit the bullseye’
Niels Arntz, co-founder of Temper (image: Temper)
“They were desperately looking for people. So then our task was to find workers. This went fast in Amsterdam. It spread organically all through the city. We hit the bullseye. We created the right thing, but we were also a bit lucky. The match between the workers and companies was just really pleasant.” In 2018 they raised €4 million in growth capital.
Unfortunately, around 2020, the rapid growth of the scaleup came to a grinding halt. Arntz says, “The first wave of COVID was a drama. Both for entrepreneurs and for workers. Everything closed down.” It exposed a gap in Temper’s way of working, says Arntz. “We were not diversified well enough. Along the way, we started to add other sectors. We’re better represented in other industries now.” This proved to be the solution. “The later COVID waves were far less impactful for us.”
The magic word
After the world re-opened, Temper’s model was in more demand than ever. ‘Flexible’ became the magic word in the world of employment. “I had sleepless nights about whether people would still use Temper after everything reopened. But it turns out they did.” Supply and demand on the platform exploded again since the beginning of 2021, says Arntz.
Temper now boasts more than 450,000 freeflexers and over 10,000 companies that employ their services. With the growth path of Temper, it makes sense for them to apply for the Rise programme by Techleap.nl, to learn about the tips and tricks of scaling a business. “It’s always great to share knowledge,” says Arntz.
The lessons from Rise
He distinctly remembers learning three important lessons in the programme. “The first one: there’s no magical recipe for building a successful company. Every founder finds their own way. You have to do what fits your company.” Sharing experiences with other Dutch scaleups made him realise that Dutch are not the best at ‘selling the dream. “We’re more rational. We can focus on the risks. But we also need to dream big. Temper is going to be the leading platform. That is the dream.”
The last lesson, but not the least that Arntz took to heart for Temper? Keep moving. “Just like a car, it is easier to change direction when you’re in motion. Do not hesitate when it comes to execution.”