What It's Like Working at Airtasker, the Thriving Aussie Startup With Half a Million Users
It might not quite be Palo Alto (yet), but if you ever need proof that Sydney's startup scene is thriving, consider this: Airtasker, the community platform connecting people who need to outsource tasks with people who need to earn cash. They have over half a million users and have created more than $48 million in jobs since launching in 2012—and right now they're looking for more entrepreneurial minds to join their team. Yes, that's you.
Kate Hume, one of the company's earliest employees, joined Airtasker back in 2013 to head up their marketing efforts. Today she takes us on a tour of the rapidly-growing startup, and shares a firsthand account of what it's like working at their brand new Sydney HQ, where Thursday is for working out with the team or board games, Fridays are for AMAs (and wine) and the table tennis is all part of a day's work. Keep scrolling.
How long have you been working for Airtasker?
I’ve been at Airtasker three years in October.
As marketing manager what are your responsibilities?
As Marketing Communications Manager it’s my responsibility that all wording across the apps, social media and all of the communication touch points is consistent and on brand. Managing our email strategy and constantly improving our marketing emails is a big focus. And I’m also responsible for producing blog articles, social media posts and newsletters etc.
What does an average work day look like for you?
On different days of the week I will have different priorities. For example a Monday it will be catching up on any social media queries from the weekend and putting together a weekly report, whereas a Thursday will be reviewing content and writing the newsletter. I try to get the gym a couple of times a week to keep a healthy balance.
What does the Airtasker office look like?
Up until recently we were in a co-working space, but this year we moved into our own office space. The Airtasker office is very open with everyone working together in the one room.
How many staff members are there now and how is that broken up across different teams?
We have a team of about 35-40 people, which is growing almost on a weekly basis. We have a very strong tech development team who make up nearly half the team; other teams are Marketing, Customer Support, Design and Operations. When I started at Airtasker almost three years ago there were around eight team members, so it’s been amazing to see the team grow.
Is the company hierarchal or flat? What’s the dynamic between staff and managers?
It’s not completely flat but there are not layers of managers that you need to approach to get things done. When there are new projects we’re great at working as a team to collaborate on projects. Both co-founders take time to meet with every staff member at least once a month and it’s a great opportunity to share ideas and also talk about upcoming projects.
If we walked into your office tomorrow, what kind of things would the team be wearing?
As a startup we’re pretty casual with many people wearing jeans and company ‘merch’ t-shirts. It’s actually become a bit playfully competitive amongst the guys to get their hands on t-shirts from different companies.
Does the company tend to promote within or hire externally?
As we’re growing rapidly we’re hiring externally for new roles however people do tend to shift around as teams change and the opportunity is always there for people to put their hand up for a role.
How would you describe the culture and the vibe within the team?
We’ve got a really diverse team and we get along great. There is a company fitness group class on a Thursday and we also like to try out new card/ board games, so it can be a little nerdy sometimes. On Friday afternoons a member of the team will lead an AMA, which is an awesome time for someone to show the rest of the team what he or she do on a day-to- day basis, or show a new project they’ve been working on—followed by some drinks and occasional cheese platter!
What kind of characteristics do you think millennials need to have to thrive in a startup?
To work in a start up you need to be a team player and willing to pitch in when help is required to get things done. You also need to be able to respond positively to change when teams grow or downsize, you move office and projects change.
What are some of the biggest perks about joining the Airtasker team?
Airtasker is a great company for your voice to be heard and new product ideas are encouraged. There’s a huge opportunity for growth and training as we continue to get bigger and to find a spot you love within the company.
What was the application process like when you first started working with Airtasker?
Well I didn’t apply the traditional way, I actually liked an old work colleagues Linkedin post about the role and I got a DM shortly after and as they say the rest is history.
How has the company changed since you started?
We’re bigger, much bigger. And we have our own office space.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Five years seems like such a long time away these days in terms of career but hopefully still in marketing/ communications. I’d also like to study more in a similar field or maybe something a bit different to complement my current skill set. At the moment though I’ve got a wedding to plan and then shift focus back to studying next year.
What productivity-boosting/time management apps or programs do you use for work?
We use a bunch of different apps at Airtasker. Trello and Slack are probably the most used for keeping track of group/ personal projects and communication throughout the team.
What qualifications does someone needs to work in a role like yours?
A natural skill in branding and communication is a must and also a degree in marketing or similar is favorable. A standout skill such as coding or graphic design are added bonuses too and if you’re just starting out or studying you should definitely look into it.
What personality traits do you think would someone successful in a marketing manager role?
An open attitude to new ideas and concepts is really important, as well as prioritization of your work. You constantly get people approaching you needing a sentence for something or wants your thoughts on an idea, so it’s crucial to stay on top of the to-do list.