Flexible Labor Platform Ramps Up with Five Leadership Hires and Promotions

The online marketplace is moving fast to leverage its labor ecosystem that directly connects the right worker to the right job. The moves come on the heels of Shiftsmart co-launching Get Shift Done, a locally based initiative that helped hospitality and service employees displaced by COVID.

Shiftsmart, a Dallas-based online marketplace for workforce management, has made a series of executive appointments to ramp up its leadership team and continue revolutionizing the flexible labor market.

The announcement includes two appointments, one addition, and several promotions.

Shiftsmart powers a technology platform that directly connects today’s dynamic workforce with companies confronted with increasingly complex staffing requirements. With its labor ecosystem, Shiftsmart’s goal is to empower workers with flexible hours, better pay, and greater opportunity.

The tech intelligently matches the right worker to the right job, giving employers a way to increase fulfillment, reduce turnover, and improve the quality of new hires. To date, Shiftsmart says it has provided millions of “skilled shifts” in more than 50 countries. 

The company was founded in 2015, but ramped up exposure last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the labor market took a massive hit caused by business closures and social distancing guidelines, Shiftsmart was in a strategic position to offer alternative solutions, like in-home call centers, safety audits, and vaccination and testing stations. For instance: Shiftsmart provided the U.S. Small Business Administration with a virtual tier-1 call center that had more than 10,000 daily agent hours.

Shiftsmart was also instrumental in launching the locally based Get Shift Done initiative.

In response to the rising number of unemployed hospitality and service workers, Shiftsmart President Patrick Brandt teamed up with Anurag Jain, chairman of Access Healthcare and managing partner of Perot Jain, and Communities Foundation of Texas to create a fund to put people in the North Texas hospitality industry back to work at nonprofits.


READ NEXT Get Shift Done: New North Texas Fund Puts Hospitality Workers Hit by COVID-19 Back to Work—at Nonprofits


Launched in four days, Get Shift Done helped nonprofits facilitate meal delivery to those in need while providing wages to shift workers affected by COVID-19. Shiftsmart’s platform and operations team handled the shifts, which included the onboarding, matching, scheduling, dispatching, and routing of workers.

Since last March, the initiative has been rolled out to 12 cities and 110 nonprofits. That amounts to more than 60 million meals served and around $15M paid to displaced hospitality workers, according to Shiftsmart.

The team hopes its new executive moves can keep that momentum—in 2020 alone, Shiftsmart also grew its base of workers from 90,000 to more than 400,000 worldwide. 

“These recent promotions and appointments put our leadership team in position to lead the next phase of Shiftsmart’s growth and expansion,” Aakash Kumar, Shiftsmart’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “The company is well positioned for continued success with such a breadth of talent at the helm.”

Left to right: Kyle Smialek, Lauren Blake, Sahil Mehta, Richard Zicchino, and Rob Hoy

The leadership changes include:

Richard Zicchino, a 20-year veteran of the software and technology industry, was appointed to chief financial officer. Zicchino has been with Shiftsmart since 2018 when he joined as chief operating officer. Prior to that, he was the VP of Finance at Synacor after managing its merger from the acquisition of Zimbra. In all, he has overseen some 20 acquisitions and their subsequent integrations.

Lauren Blake was promoted from Head of Product to VP of Product, a role in which she will now helm the planning and execution of Shiftsmart’s product life cycle. Blake also started at Shiftsmart in 2018 after working at Facebook, Thumbtack, and Goldman Sachs. Her new responsibility will now primarily be to oversee the smooth convergence of the worker, employer, and Shiftsmart platform.

Rob Hoy is a new addition to the team as the VP of Partner Experience in charge of recruitment, onboarding, and engagement of workers, which Shiftsmart calls its “partners.” He previously held positions at SiteMinder, Airbnb, and Google, companies that have given him experience to further Shiftsmart’s mission of empowering the global workforce.

Sahil Mehta was promoted from VP of Retail & Hospitality to VP of Sales, a role in which he will now head all global expansion, top-line growth, and customer success initiatives. Since joining the team in 2017, Mehta has served in leadership positions related to business development, client engagement, and delivery. Before that, he had stints at Google and Mercer.  

Kyle Smialek was promoted from general manager of Shiftsmart’s Flex Contact Center to VP of Operations. In his new position, Smialek will lead global operations and the execution of Shiftsmart’s distributed workforce businesses. Those include all remote call centers, audits, inspections, and event staffing. He has been with the company since 2019 after spending time at PwC Strategy and Booz & Company.

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