The Viennese HR company Whatchado, founded in 2011, is one of Austria’s flagship startups. His career platform is focused on the topic of career orientation and first job. The video interviews on the platform stand out, in which the same questions are always asked, which young professionals can use to get a more personal insight into different professions. Jubin Honarfar is co-founder and CEO since 2015 when he took over from co-founder Ali Mahlodji. In the interview, we asked him, among other things, how the corona crisis is affecting Whatchado and how he is dealing with it.
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EVENT TIP: Jubin Honarfar competes today at the Entrepreneurship Avenue Conference, which is taking place online this year. At the free event from 4:00 p.m., participants can expect keynotes and panels as well as a startup fair and workshops.
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As an “old hand” in the startup scene, you’ve already experienced a few ups and downs. How much could the corona crisis shock you?
Basically, life as a founder is like a roller coaster ride of emotions. However, the current pandemic cannot be compared with it, as it affects us in all areas of life, both privately and professionally. I wouldn’t have minded if the virus hadn’t broken out.
How has the corona crisis affected Whatchado so far?
Since we produce content ourselves, we are of course directly affected, since our video production has failed 100 percent. We could no longer produce on-site at our customers’ premises overnight. We are also active in the HR sector. Since the job market is currently suffering massively, it naturally affects us as a career platform as well. Companies are looking for fewer staff and evaluating more. Whereby we can see that Austria is acting much more cautiously than in Germany. People there are more positive.
We are increasingly focusing on continuing to offer young people opportunities and opportunities to apply. We want to contribute to eliminating the increasing insecurities of the young.
And how did you react specifically? What kind of measures have been taken?
All employees have been working from home since March 13th. Individual groups of people have only been able to use the office again since May, but with Covid-19 rules of conduct. Part of the company is also on short-time work for the aforementioned reasons.
Otherwise, I have put a lot of emphasis on proactive and transparent communication so that my employees feel well informed. We have regular updates and VideoConf calls.
I am damn proud of my employees because they show an incredibly high level of commitment and motivation. Despite so many uncertainties.
What is the general situation in HR now after the lockdown has ended? Is there some kind of rebound effect?
The end of the lockdown calms the labor market down a bit. However, we are far from the initial situation before Covid-19. The recession is always affecting the HR industry, as the labor market is directly affected. Budgets and investments are being cut as many companies prepare for a tougher time. I don’t expect the labor market to calm down until mid / late 2021 at the earliest.
What kind of development do you expect in the coming months?
At the moment there are still a lot of uncertain factors: second wave, effect after short-time work, ongoing recession, high unemployment – to name just a few. We are at the beginning of this crisis. However, as in all crises, there are enormous opportunities that can be seized.
What must be done on the political side?
I don’t want to be a politician in the current situation. Much is being done, but you can’t please everyone in such a situation. Were and are mistakes made? Yes of course. And in hindsight, we’re all smarter. It is important that politicians understand that the country can only survive the crisis if the backbone of the nation, the SMEs, survive.
Lastly, if you could give the Entrepreneurship Avenue attendees some important piece of advice …
We are all part of the history books that are just being written. Our period will be used as an example of a global crisis 100 years from now. Ask yourself what role you want to play in this and what story will one day be told about you.