WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall saw an opportunity and took it. The entrepreneurs saw a void in the service industry so they started a company and filled it themselves.
“Just helping create more opportunity and remove barriers for other Black women in technology,” Deborah Gladney, the QuickHire CEO, said.
QuickHire is a company focused on quickly hiring candidates in the service industry. The app launched in April and already has more than 60 employers using the service with over 11,000 job applicants.
“We do pride ourselves on being underserved founders serving underserved workers in an underserved geographic region,” Gladney said.
Deborah and Angela are daughters of Ugandan immigrants, and they’ve seen how the service industry impacts families firsthand. That was their inspiration for building the app.
“People don’t have time to wait around for that next opportunity,” Angela Muhwezi-Hall, the COO of QuickHire, said. “That may make the difference between, ‘Can I feed my family?’”
Labor shortages are on the rise across the country.
“These are people who have faced decades of neglect, career stifling, bad pay—so many different issues. And so with COVID happening, that was just kind of the final straw for them where people have literally marched with their feet, walking out of jobs saying, “’We will not take it anymore.’”
The sister entrepreneurs recently raised more than $1.4 million to jump-start their company. They are only two of just more than 100 Black women to accomplish this since Dec. 2020. They now have clients like Doo-Dah Diner, Fuzzy’s Tacos, and Homewood Suites.
QuickHire hopes the app will help employees create lifelong careers instead of seeing the service industry as a dead end.
“Maybe you say, ‘Hey, I’m a cashier. One day, I want to be a regional manager,’” Muhwezi-Hall said. “We take that information and we connect you to the right jobs. We connect you to the right training.”
Gladney assures job applicants that there are real opportunities for a lifelong career in service. QuickHire hopes its app will keep some of the young talent in Wichita when that talent too often leaves the state.
“You don’t have to go to the coast,” Gladney said. “Wichita has an extremely supportive community and ecosystem that really lends itself well.”
“We really want to put that spotlight on Wichita, on Kansas, on the Midwest,” Muhwezi-Hall said, “and we’re really proud of that.”
QuickHire plans to go beyond Wichita and wants to expand into the skilled labor force like manufacturing and welding next year. New updated app features will also be available in early 2022.