Work Update

Expanding Our ERS Team: Solutions for Remote Management in a Developing Country

Rose Gooding
Rose Gooding | Feb 13, 2018 | in Knowledge Base

Today we can proudly say we have expanded our local team and have hired two segregators (who will go on the recycling runs as well as segregate our recycling) and a manager to work with us. If our business is viable by the end of the month (land is our next major challenge!) it will be able to operate through to July without Project Everest trekkers in country. Our staff number is increasing! This is what we work for! Creating employment in the communities we operate is a crucial part of creating a consistent and long-lasting impact.


Although the only channel used to advertise the segregator job was posters on several places around Dili like shops, hotels, cafes and the University of Timor-Leste (Universidade Nasionál Timor-Lorosa'e, UNTL), the word spread like wildfire when someone took a photo of the advert and posted it on a facebook group for jobs in Dili. Before we knew it, we had people lining up at the gate of Paradises (our accommodation). It was at this point that it really hit home the limited job opportunities here in Dili, so the chance to provide someone a livelihood to either support their family or finish their studies is really exciting for us. We hope that through the expansion of our business we will be able to employ even more local people!


The segregator interviewing process involved interviewing each candidate as well as conducting a group trial of segregation. From here we developed a shortlist of 5 candidates, and 2 people that would be joining our team later in the week. The next day we interviewed 5 candidates for the role of manager, who will manage our truck driver, two segregators, invoices, customer payment collection as well as employee timesheets and wages. The candidates came from our amazing group of interns who are local university students and have experience working with Project Everest, mostly as translators. Each was extremely passionate about the prospect of expanding recycling throughout Timor Leste and excited about becoming part of the Project Everest team. They were also really interested in the personal development that would come with managing people and the functioning of a business. Despite all being strong candidates, it was unanimous between our interviewers who would be a perfect fit for the role and Dina will start with us this Thursday.


Due to limited access to technology systems and a predominantly cash economy (a deposit of USD$100,000 is needed to open a business bank account and most people are paid in cash), the main challenge is creating clear, reliable and safe processes for finances and daily operations that can be accessible to Project Everest from Australia. The only solution we have come up with is have a paper record of receipt books and printouts that will be manually filled in during collections and payments and overlooked by our manager who will send it to an overseer here in country who will report to Project Everest.


We have looked at some technological options such as the GetSwift app to track our pickups, however there were a number of problems such as cost for tracking multiple pickups, inefficient map routes, multiple glitches, being only in english (our truck driver has very limited english) and our employees do not have smartphones that could download the app.


We are super interested in any suggestions for different tracking processes for daily operations of our pickup service, invoicing customers, collecting payments, tracking employee hours and paying employees that are viable in the business and economic environment here in Timor Leste.


Rebecca Pink Feb 14, 2018

Hello :)

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Georgia Holt Feb 18, 2018

ERS !! Amazing news on the employment of locals !! Makes me so damn happy. Tell me, have you hired an overseer yet ? I might be able to suggest people. Also, let me have a think about the finance tracking from overseas and I’ll post up some ideas later

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Lauren Gallaway Feb 19, 2018

Hi Georgia! Super exciting about hiring staff! We even have employee shirts which is super cool as well!
We have hired an overseer, segregators and a manager and they are all uber keen to work with us and amazingly talented at their job :)
Hit us up with the finance system though! Today we signed the new contracts for the month and all the customers actually seemed fine and happy with the system we have created but we can only get better!
<3 from Paradise(s)

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