You can’t help but cheer for sister duo Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall. Their excitement about their business is infectious. Their power as a team is obvious. They’re rare Black women in tech, and they are paving the way for others to come behind them.
But best of all, they have a great product that helps people, particularly often unappreciated service industry workers who are disproportionately minorities and non-degree holders.
Gladney, making sure to differentiate QuickHire from other hiring apps, says “Quick hire is a career discovery platform for the service economy.”
They primarily work with workers and employers in the restaurant, retail and hotel industries.
However, more than just matching employers with employees, QuickHire offers additional services for both.
The app helps strengthen employees with their job search and career. Perspective employees can show more of who they are through intro videos. The app’s career development portal also gives candidates a snapshot of their career health and offers them access to certification programs all to help them advance in their careers.
“We’re primarily a job seeker-focused platform,” said Gladney. “We truly believe that if we focus on people, the people are product and the employers will win.”
For employers, they offer different retention tools and metrics that provide them a deeper insight into their workforce than what they’ve had before.
QuikHire was Muhwezi-Hall’s idea. She thought of it in 2017.
She was a college and career counselor at a high school in Los Angeles and while she had lots of resources for her college-bound students, she didn’t have much to offer students heading for services and trade jobs. Looking for tools, the very crude idea for the app came to mind.
She shared the idea with her sister, but it wasn’t until the heart of the pandemic that Gladney realized the time was right for the app.
Neither of the sisters has a technology background. Before she joined her sister as co-founder of QuickHire, Gladney operated her on public relations firm.
Despite the lack of a technology background, the sisters began work on the idea in summer 2020. Using independent software designers, they had a prototype ready for release in April 2021.
The sisters invested all of their savings and their 401Ks to get the business started, but thanks to an article in the Wichita Business Journal, they attracted a million-dollar angel investor. According to AfroTech, the sisters are the first Black women in Kansas to raise over $1 million for a startup.
“People have told us, that because you’re Black women, some people, they’ll listen to you, but they may not actually have faith in you,” said Muhwezi-Hall. “You may build this, but they will literally look at you and automatically discredit you, which is something that I was not expecting at all.”
With that first investment, they hired a full-time chief technology director and have continued to refine their product and continued to grow.
“What QuickHire hire has in store for the future is really just to continue building and helping people. We truly believe that if we’re helping people, the business will continue to grow,” said Gladney.
Shift Pivot Thrive is a joint program with The Community Voice and KOCH Industries.