Swipe left, swipe left, swipe right. Every day, millions of people flip open Tinder, make a profile and start swiping their loneliness away. The goal? To search a database of singles looking for love and get a date.
But why couldn’t this system work for other needs instead of just dates? Why couldn’t we do the same for disability support?
That’s where Hireup comes in. Hireup is a website and app that lets Aussies living with disabilities pick and choose support workers who fit their needs and interests – much like Tinder (except with more realistic profile pictures and without the soul-crushing swipe feature).
Here’s how it works.
Aussies living with disabilities can now jump online and create a profile and set out exactly what they’re looking for, by outlining exactly what they’re looking for. Many people are looking for personal care or someone to whisk them to school each morning. But it isn’t limited to typical support work – other people with disabilities are looking for everything from an assistant dressmaker to a gardening buddy or even someone to help them play boccia or hang out with on the weekend.
Meanwhile, support workers can make a profile of their own, outlining what experience (if any) they’ve had, what work they’re looking for and their availability.
Normally this is where the swiping on Tinder would start – but thankfully with Hireup, those with disabilities can message any support worker they think might fit the bill and see if they can organise something. Likewise, support workers can hop on the jobs board and see what jobs are available at the moment and pick what suits them. If both sides agree, then they can book in a date to start work on the site.
From there, Hireup manages all the boring technical stuff, seamlessly organising the booking, payments, insurance and paperwork.
It’s a sleek system inspired by the clunky, frustrating system it’s gunning to replace. Jordan and Laura O-Reilly, the brother-sister-duo behind Hireup are uniquely placed to fix the problem. Their late brother Shane had cerebral palsy and they grew increasingly annoyed at the off-line agency system which meant they often had no idea which support worker would walk through the door each day to care for their brother. Likewise, they had no control over the scheduling of support workers or their payment, and even when Shane found someone he bonded with, there was no way of making sure they would be coming back again.
Jordan also worked as a support worker himself and found the very same issue on the other side – support workers had no choice over who they worked with, often feeling way out of their depth. Now with Hireup, both those with disabilities and support workers are able to message beforehand and see if it’s a fit.
Because finding a good support worker isn’t just about meeting their needs, it’s also about matching personalities and interests. Through Hireup, people with disabilities can hire people who they actually bond with, often making it more like a friendship than a work relationship.
Hireup is also better for the back pocket for everyone involved. It’s around $5 to $25 cheaper than traditional support services, and it’s well paid for support workers alike. While it is a for-profit company, Jordan and Laura O’Reilly have engineered the company to make as much social impact as possible while being financially sound.
Now with the NDIS on board in NSW, those living with disabilities are allocated a budget to manage the support they want to receive. It’s hard to understate how valuable a service like Hireup is. The combination of Hireup and the NDIS means people with disabilities are granted choice in every respect – who they choose to hire, when they want to spend it and most importantly – how they want to spend it.
Take some action
Check out the site and consider signing up to become a support workerTake me there