Spark Arena and blended workforces

Spark Arena

The Situation


As an events-based and seasonal business, Spark Arena was experiencing several issues as a result of their casual and temp staffing:


High churn: Due to the inconsistent work, casual employees were becoming disengaged, and churning quickly seeking more regular hours.

Time and cost of recruitment: Due to peaks and troughs in demand and the resulting high staff churn, Spark was doing regular recruitment drives that were expensive and time consuming. The return on this investment was insufficient given the short tenure of employees.

Loss of productivity: It takes an average of 3 months for employees to reach full productivity, thus Spark’s workforce was functioning almost constantly under-capacity given the high turnover rates (averaged 30-40% new staff per shift), which was impacting the customer experience.


The Solution: Phase 1

Attracted to the transparent nature and ease-of-use of Sidekicker, as well as their rigorous interviewing and screening processes of all staff, Spark Arena started using Sidekicker to top up their own staff numbers with skilled hospitality workers for large scale events.


“Sidekicker makes staffing easier and faster than anything we’ve ever used before, and significantly reduces time spent on recruitment.

I can post a request for staff–whether I need 5 or 200–at the click of a button, and select my Sidekicks based on experience and ratings, or if they’ve worked with us in the past, making hiring the right people simple.” – Michael Swan, Catering & Hospitality Manager, Spark Arena.


The Solution: Phase 2

Due to the staff quality, ease of use, and speed to fill shifts, Spark Arena was increasingly using Sidekicker to source and hire their hourly staff (going from 163 shifts in Q4 2016 to 330 in Q2 2017), and saw an opportunity to transform the way they managed their entire casual workforce by consolidating and centralising all aspects of their temp and casual staffing onto the Sidekicker platform.


Spark Arena now uses Sidekicker to:


– Centrally manage all aspects of their staffing in one place online–hiring, scheduling, communications, payment, etc.

– Give their casual staff access to a fast and easy way to accept work, submit timesheets, and manage their schedule via the Sidekicker employee app.

– Promote and up-skill Sidekicks into supervisory and management positions

– Easily organise their workforce and ensure the right people are at the right shifts in minutes through Sidekicker’s Talent Pools feature.

– Leverage Sidekicker’s transparent platform with 2-way ratings and reviews to motivate staff and drive high performance and reliability.

– Eliminate the risk of traditional temp agencies, taking control over who they hire with transparent Sidekick profiles.


The Results & Impact

Sidekicker has allowed Spark to eliminate all external recruitment, resulting in the following:


– Move from only 60% repeat staff per shift (i.e. people who had worked at Spark Arena before) to average of 95% repeat staff.
– Exponentially reducing time and costs of casual and temp staffing, saving over $20k annually.
– Significantly improved quality and efficacy of staff, which saw queues reduced from 10+ metres to 1.
– Used cost savings to build an innovative onboarding and training platform, used by all external hourly workers and internal permanent staff alike.


Recognising emerging trends, Spark Arena has been a leader in adapting their HR strategies to stay ahead, leveraging technology to better manage and engage their casual workforce.


“Sidekicker is by far the simplest, fastest and most cost-effective way to source, hire and manage temps and casuals as it eliminates much of the paperwork and streamlines everything into one easy to use online platform. The staff on Sidekicker are also nothing short of miraculous, and better than any workforce we’ve ever used before” – Michael Swan, Catering & Hospitality Manager, Spark Arena.