Hyr is a fully mobile app that connects talent looking for a side hustle with businesses looking to fill shifts, on demand. Started by Erika Mozes, Hyr is the first of it’s kind, “the Uber of the hospitality industry,” and changing the way servers and businesses find and fill jobs. It’s truly remarkable and taking Toronto by storm – and with the wave of summer students returning home and looking for work this summer, it’s sure to pick up speed.
We’ve all been there – when there is too much month and not enough paycheck. With Hyr, you can pick up that extra shift, get paid in 24-hours, and earn UPoints for every shift. UPoints are exactly that – points for you, and accumulate to a paid day off. We started with the hospitality industry, but have plans to move quickly into other areas, such as retail.
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Do you know where you got your drive from?
My parents, upbringing, and competitive sports. I am the youngest of 3, and first-generation Canadian. My mum and dad both came to Canada from Hungary, decades apart, both refugees. We were raised with the value that you can be whatever we want to be, but you need to work for it. My first job was when I was 11 with a paper route, then on to fast food, then in restaurants. I think there is always something that sticks to the back of your mind when you know that your parents gave up everything to ensure that you have a different life. More than that, being the youngest of 3 definitely gives you a special kind of drive – you always have to remind your parents that you are there!
I was also a competitive judo athlete until I was in my mid-teens. Training in that capacity provided me with discipline, but also left me with an increased competitive drive.
How do you stay self-motivated?
Thinking about the people that have supported us in our quest to build Hyr. We’ve been really lucky to have an awesome group of friends, who we consider family, that invested in our team and idea early on. When I need an extra kick in the pants for motivation, I think about them. They believed in us, which is such an amazing thing!
What would you say is your preferred way to network?
Meeting new people. When we started Hyr in NYC we didn’t know a soul. I knew I had to build a brand-new network, which was tough because I had such a great one in Toronto – from being in politics, communications, and being a Western alumni. I just started going to a ton of startup events around the city – including ones that were specifically geared toward female founders. In going to the female founder’s ones in particular I’ve met my own startup tribe in NYC – which has been awesome.
How would you describe your process for deepening relationships?
Actually building a real relationship. Lots of people think that they have built a relationship by taking someone’s card and adding them on LinkedIn. I learned in politics and as a lobbyist that taking someone out for coffee or lunch, just to get to know them – not asking for something – is the way to deepen a relationship. Plus, you get to meet interesting people and potentially new friends.
What are your preferred tools for keeping organized?
Lists. I used to have them in notebooks, now I’ve gone paperless.
What is your favourite way to market your product or services?
Word of mouth. In the tech world, the dream for a CMO is to get to that organic growth moment. What’s awesome about Hyr is that we’ve found that over 80% of the workers on the platform are hearing about it from a friend or colleague. We have a bad ass brand, that we developed with the help of Community, and we are super active on our social channels, but man – when I hear the word organic growth my heart bursts!
Who has been your mentor in helping you find success?
I have been lucky to have a number of great mentors in my career. Chad Rogers, from Crestview Strategy, has consistently been there over the past decade when I’ve had questions or doubts about my career and he is for sure my call a friend with Hyr. From a political perspective, my former boss George Smitherman, really showed me how to show courage under fire. And then there were those that helped me see that I could take the jump from the corporate world to entrepreneurship: my co-founder and partner in life Josh Karam; my long-time mentor, dear friend, and kick ass public affairs executive Danielle Kotras; and the amazing, incredible, force of nature that is Mary Ng (the new MP for Markham Thornhill!!!!).
I also have an incredible tribe of women that I met in my previous political career who keep me on track in many different ways – friendship, mentorship and advice.
What social issue does your organization raise funds and/or awareness for?
We have future plans for Hyr to help with volunteer positions. We would love to be able to have non-profits and volunteer agencies post positions with Hyr for volunteer roles. In my former career, organizations that we worked with would tell me consistently that finding helping hands was a constant issue. With Hyr, we would like to get to a place where organization can post their volunteer hours/needs at no cost, and we match them with talent who would like to pick up those shifts.
How and where do you continue to learn?
I am constantly learning, everyday. Startup life is unpredictable, ever changing, and always learning. As a co-founder, I wear every hat – one day customer service, the next marketing, sales, fundraiser, problem solver, spokesperson, finance person… there are no defined roles, and it’s great. I also try to attend PD workshops when I can – from technical ones, to marketing and sales. Learning and growing is so crazy important when you are building a company.
Do you have a fitness ritual that you live by?
Barry’s Bootcamp, Peloton, Mile High Run Club, Classpass — every day that I can, fitness is my thinking and alone time.
How would you describe the eating ritual that makes you feel most powerful?
Cooking. When I get the time. What makes me happiest is cooking all afternoon with my NFL games on (GO COWBOYS!).
What type of content do you find most compelling on Instagram?
Product centric posts. I’m a sucker for seeing something that catches my eye then buying it immediately.
What lifestyle brand would you say shares your values most?
Of course I’m going to say Hyr’s lifestyle brand – aspirational, driven, fun — but outside of our company’s brand (ah-hem), I’d say Nike and WeWork.