After a successful year in the New York City market, Tim Chatfield, CEO of Jitjatjo, is taking his temporary staffing technology platform to new locales next year.
Jitjatjo will begin offering its services in two to three new cities in 2018. Chatfield will not disclose the locations, but they are expected to carry the same business model of serving the hospitality industry, such as hotels, restaurants, bars and caterers.
The company offers an AI-centric, on-demand temp staffing app that gives users the ability to hire on-demand workers to remedy last-minute call outs, increased demand or additional help for events.
In New York the company has over 2,000 temporary employees. It offers baristas, bartenders, coat checkers, cocktail servers, cooks, counter staff and dishwashers, to name a few.
The company has 28 staff in its corporate office and, according to Chatfield, Jitjatjo looks for “talented people that are passionate about the company’s core values,” such as:
- Human betterment
- Providing equal opportunities to all workers
- Seeking work by improving their skills
- People that want to connect workers with work opportunities that empower their lifestyles
Meeting larger challenges
Chatfield said one of his larger challenges in getting Jitjatjo up and running “stemmed from my move to America. After I moved, I needed to spend a large quantity of time getting my personal affairs in order, such as moving into a new apartment and adjusting to the birth of my youngest child. I was trying to balance my personal and professional lives. Most executives launching a company spend large quantities of time networking and growing their professional relationships—I did not have as much time as other CEOs as I was still settling down from the move and the new addition to my family.”
Additionally, Jitjatjo is a personnel-based company. “It is not a physical product that is built beforehand, that can be sent out when there is a demand,” Chatfield said. “When a client requests talent, the request is fulfilled in a very short amount of time, often in mere hours. This requires constant oversight, which was often challenging to balance.”
Another challenge “is making sure Jitjatjo is continually properly funded and financed,” Chatfield said. “As with any company, we are constantly fundraising. Jitjatjo currently has raised finances in excess of $5 million globally from venture capitalists, key clients, strategic partners, and a long list of high-net worth individuals.”
Slow to hire
As for mistakes, one was “that we have been slow to hire some of the corporate staff,” Chatfield said. “We have grown exponentially since our launch in October of 2016, and we were not putting enough of the right type of people in place quickly enough.”
Another mistake Jitjatjo made was being slow to terminate corporate staff in instances where that person and their role in the company were not completely compatible, Chatfield said. “We love to give everyone a fair chance in their respective positions, but sometimes it is better to let someone go if they are unable to produce what the job requires of them.”
Personal creed drives leadership view
As for being an effective leader, “I believe the most important quality is someone who can embody the company’s main philosophies,” Chatfield said. “For Jitjatjo, that means personifying the company’s values—trust, integrity, inspiration and encouragement--and becoming a living example of the business’ personality—fun, caring, strong and daring.”
Chatfield’s leadership style “is driven in the sense that I prefer to lead and have people follow by example versus micromanage them and push from behind.”
The CEO also described himself as “a very data-driven person, and I look to make company decisions based on fact. I encourage the team to do individual data analysis and present their findings to the team, which allows for informed objective decisions that will best help the company grow.”
Prior to launching of Jitjatjo, Chatfield served as an executive at Viocorp International for nine years, including four in Asia, advising high profile organizations and helping them implement online engagement and digital communications strategies. Some of his clients included Amazon Web Services, Google and Adobe.