• 2021

  • Design Research

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


Hireup is an NDIS registered online platform built to revolutionise the way people with disabilities find, hire and manage support workers. Traditionally, people with disabilities have had little control over selecting the support workers who provided care for them. Hireup has disrupted this by giving them both choice and control.

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  • Hireup had only ever employed their support workers on a casual basis, with a simple and generous pay structure, designed to reduce the complexities of working in the industry. However, recent legal changes required Hireup change their model, and provide permanent employment to eligible casual workers. Instead of seeing this as a problem, Hireup saw this as an opportunity to rethink how they were doing business, and deliver an employment model that was both appealing to their support workers, as well as able to deliver future growth.

  • Utilising a lean research approach and design thinking frameworks, we uncovered pain points for support workers and used these insights to ideate several solution concepts of an ideal employment model. During the research phase, we created a series of personas and conducted interviews to test our assumptions about support workers. We presented these insights via an internal workshop with Hireup where we developed a series of employment model concepts, each addressing the topics of eligibility for permanency, hour guarantees and termination. These insights were presented to support workers in a further round of testing to gauge their desirability.

  • The concept which tested most favourably with support workers was one that offered the option of instant eligibility for permanency - tempered with guaranteed hours for specific clients. Hireup moved forward with this concept and has commenced implementation across the organisation. From this research, Hireup gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for the needs of their support workers. Even though the primary focus has always been to provide the best support for people with disability, it was just as important to ensure their own support workers had the support they needed in order to excel at their jobs.

  • A key aspect of how this research project was conducted was the full transparency with which we ran the research across all levels of the business. One way we achieved this was to document the entire research process on a massive wall inside the Hireup office with high foot traffic and visibility (the wall can be seen in the video case study). This allowed people from different parts of the business to check in on the progress of the project in an organic fashion, and was extremely effective as a stakeholder engagement strategy. The workshops we ran included not only internal stakeholders but also actual support workers as well as members of the Hireup community. This not only created a large variation in concepts and ideas but also served as a tool for Hireup to actively engage with their community. Another unexpected benefit of conducting interviews with both support workers as well as the people with disabilities they supported was the sense of inclusion the interview participants felt. They genuinely felt their voices were heard, and that they were working together with Hireup to create a better service.