Over the years, Mint has often hired from abroad. We’ve hired designers from Iceland, South Africa and Argentina. We’ve hired developers from Belgium, Holland and the USA.
The process often follows a similar arc. We see a CV we love. The call goes well. The technical or design test is passed. We agree terms and resolve visa issues. Then the candidate asks: ‘Any ideas where I could stay in London?’ At this point we get stuck.
What we needed was hotel quality flatsharing. With that in mind, we developed Restly.
Why Hotel Quality?
Consider the normal way to arrange a flatshare. You get on the bus to some obscure corner of London. You turn up and a handful of people are already being shown round. Possibly the room has already gone. If you are lucky and find something you like, you have to hand over a significant chunk of cash to a stranger. Lots of time wasted. Lots of unnecessary risk.
As digital product designers, we wanted to deliver a better service.
The flatshare has to be furnished to a consistent, high standard. There must be someone on call 24/7. Repairs must be done in a timely fashion. We wanted to deliver a more professionalised experience.
As a small tech company, providing new recruits with a London apartment would be prohibitively expensive. Even if it was affordable, it probably wouldn’t be desirable. We want to maximise the chance that a new recruit settles. A flatshare offers another social group to click with.
WeWork, not Airbnb
I’ve explained Restly to a few people and they say ‘ahh, it’s like Airbnb for flat sharing’. It’s more like WeWork for flat sharing. The key difference is that by providing the flats ourselves — rather than acting as a marketplace — we can closely define the service we deliver.
I’d love your help
We are keen to hear any thoughts. Perhaps you know someone responsible for HR or recruiting. If so, we’d love them to fill in this form or email me. And it’s not just for businesses! We’d love to hear from anyone looking for a flatshare in London.
Originally published at mintdigital.com.