With unemployment rising again, a solution for local economic growth sounds promising. That's exactly what Glenn Corliss, the founder of TryMyWork, thought. Corliss is currently an economic consultant for the Department of Defense. In the past eight years, he has helped bring economic growth to the war-torn countries of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Being away from home for so long, however, had its downsides. The foremost of which was hiring self-employed workers to care for his 100-year-old house.
"My wife and I found that there was no correlation between the interview and the quality of the hire," Corliss said.
One night, lying jet-lagged in Afghanistan, he connected the problems at home to the solutions he'd found overseas. And so the idea of TryMyWork was born.
"It was one of those 'eureka!' moments," said Corliss.
His idea, formulated from a program begun to help at-risk youth in Afghanistan to find jobs, was to create a business model where customers could get a free sample of work provided by self-employed workers before hiring them. He realized there was something in it for both parties. Customers could get a free service, the providers could let their work do the talking, and both could avoid the mess of Craigslist. For$5, TryMyWork connects customers to their neighbors.
"The service fee allows us to do a couple things," said J.P. Bauman, a cofounder of TryMyWork, "a web domain, security for our service providers and promotion.
"We never charge service providers a dime," said Bauman, "and once they're connected, we're out of the picture."
Aaron Friedland, 20, a junior at CU majoring in business operation, is one of the many self-employed workers to list their services on TryMyWork. Friedland offers his services as a window-cleaner to Boulder and the surrounding area.
"It's cool to have an outlet that works," said Friedland. "A college student like me won't get the credibility of someone who's been doing work for 10 or 15 years, even though I can do the job as well as them."
Through TryMyWork, Friedland can let his skills do the talking.
"I can advertise in a way that's appealing," he said. Friedland has tried advertising on free postings such as Craigslist, with little success.
"With Craigslist I got a lot of weird responses," he said, none of which connected him with employers.
Based out of Ft. Collins, TryMyWork was founded this February and has started offering listings in Boulder and Denver only this month. Already, there are dozens of service providers signed up in Boulder.