Last week still half asleep having not taken yet my coffee, I passed by Old Street tube station. It is a very busy tube station and one of the oldest in London. In 2014 the station went through a redevelopment program. A number of smaller pop-up retail spaces were made available.
— CharlieHR (@JoinCharlie) April 4, 2017
While leaving the tube station trying to reach street level, I passed in front of a shop. A young attractive woman was giving out leaflets on “booking instant holidays”. The leaflet said “instead of battling through packed airports, you’re only a virtual reality headset away from paradise. Sit back, sip a drink, relax into a massage chair and enjoy the (virtual) view”. The leaflet also invited me to book “an hour relaxing yoga session followed by delicious breakfast feast” and a “happy hour desk to beach, faster than you can say fiesta”. Further “wish you were here holiday” themed post cards were given out. The shop was also holiday themed, there was a beach bar and deckchairs. Shop assistants looked very inviting with their Hawaiian flower garlands. On my way back at the end of the day another young woman was playing the maracas to attract attention.
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Now the extraordinary thing in all is that the company behind the pop-up shop is CharlieHR, a young start-up company, I already heard about. They provide “HR software for teams with big ideas”, a team directory, a time off booking systems, a guided onboarding tool, smart notification systems and much more. Some time ago I even considered them for my employer to cover certain business needs for the timely sick leave notification.
The whole story makes me think. HR Analytics has been marketed in a completely wrong way so far. This young start-up company teaches really a lesson on how to win people’s emotions and values. Although CharlieHR is used already by more than 650 companies and whose software needs to be bang-on. They propose themselves in such an enjoyable way. Needless to say that employee’s leave entitlements need to be very accurate being one of the most sensitive matters to staff.
CharlieHR, a successful start-up
CharlieHR raised recently a £1 million (about $1.4 million) seed investment. New funds will be used to further develop its platform and marketplace as well as continue to expand into Europe.
“We created CharlieHR to solve our own constant frustration with boring everyday admin that got in the way of doing what we loved. Too many spreadsheets and too many emails,” said CharlieHR’s CEO Rob O’Donovan. “We felt that much of it could and should be automated, and that while building a company is hard, running one shouldn’t be.”
Pop-up retail shops while small and temporary provide companies a unique setting to raise awareness in their products and services. The unique environment of the busy tube station crate a special environment to engage with their customers and generate a feeling of relevance and interactivity.