Carmel-based Work Here LLC, whose mobile app WorkHere allows job-seekers to find and apply for nearby positions, announced Thursday that it plans a central Indiana expansion that will add up to 161 high-wage jobs over the next five years.
Work Here, which launched only a year ago and has 10 full-time employees, describes itself as a work-life social network that uses GPS to connect workers and employers. The company, which has raised more than $2 million in private investment capital, already has more than 36,000 users in Indiana and adds 200 to 500 each day.
After its fast start in-state, Work Here is ramping up to expand to 15 additional metro areas, including Chicago and Cincinnati, in the next 12 months. To accommodate its growth, the company, currently operating out of 615 W. Carmel Drive, is exploring real estate options in central Indiana.
Work Here, which plans to boost employment past 20 by the end of this year, has begun hiring for positions in software development, user experience, marketing, business development and sales. The company says average salaries of the new positions will be nearly double the state's average of $21.21 per hour.
In return for Work Here's jobs commitment, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company up to $2.8 million in tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants. The credits are performance-based, meaning the company can't claim them until workers are hired.
“Online job boards were first developed in Indiana, and we are proud to continue this trend by expanding WorkHere’s operations here while sharing the state's innovations across the country," Mike Siedle, co-founder and chief operating officer of Work Here, said in a written statement.
"Our app provides a wonderful platform to assist with the matching of employers' current and future workforce skills needs as well as the curriculum priorities of educational organizations throughout the state and beyond. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with the state and local communities to help reshape Indiana's workforce."
The WorkHere app was developed by the company’s chief technology officer, Rick Wehrle, who in 1992 created the first web-based job board, Online Career Center, which was later acquired by TMP Worldwide and rebranded as Monster.com. WorkHere receives revenue from employer subscriptions and is always free for job seekers.
The cloud-based app integrates with existing employer HR systems and works on mobile devices or the web. WorkHere's employer clients include Goodwill Industries, JW Marriott, McDonald’s, Penske, FedEx and Crew Carwash.
In addition to its employer-subscription business, WorkHere partners with EmployIndy to help 2,000 youth from Indianapolis and surrounding areas find summer employment. It also works with high schools and colleges, including Ivy Tech, to help students connect with jobs near their home and school.
The company's CEO is Howard Bates, the former CEO of SmarterHQ and former CEO of Haverstick Consulting. Shortly after joining Work Here in 2015, Bates told IBJ that the company was seizing a large business opportunity.
"Most of the investment to make job search and employment more efficient has all gone toward the higher spectrum of professionals—accountants, doctors, attorneys," he said. "But for most of the worker population, there has been little investment out there to make their lives more efficient and make it easier for them to find positions."