Interview with Tom Sagi, CEO and co-founder of the employee management platform, Hourly

Josiah Motley · March 4, 2020 · Short URL:

A look into the inspiration behind the company and what separates it from other similar platforms

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Running a business is difficult enough when you are a solo entrepreneur without employees. There seems to always be a million things to keep up with, even when you are "off" the clock. 

Add employees into the equation and the workload and stresses of running a business quickly start compounding. Not only is it your responsibility to make sure your people are trained properly, have a manageable workload, and are scheduled correctly, but you have to manage payroll and, for remote workers, a way to track their time on the clock.

For those latter examples, having software can help with that. One such example is Hourly, a payroll and time tracking platform that can help business owners manage remote workers while also helping with the tedious task of payroll.

I had the chance to interview Tom Sagi of Hourly to learn more about the platform, the inspiration behind it, and what they are doing that helps separate them from other similar services such as Workful and Gusto.

You can read the full interview below.

Care to introduce yourself and your role with Hourly?

Hi, my name is Tom and I’m the co-founder and CEO of Hourly.

In just a few sentences, what is Hourly?

Hourly is a people platform that makes it easy for small business owners to track time, run payroll and get workers’ comp for their employees. It’s the only tool out there that does all three seamlessly and lets people do it all from their phone.

What inspired the creation of Hourly?

Hourly was inspired by the frustration I experienced each week when it came time to run payroll for my construction company. I’d spend the entire day driving around to the different job sites collecting muddy time cards, entering the data into excel, running reports and trying to figure out just how much I was spending on labor.

The whole thing was tedious and I felt there should be a way to get it done in minutes, not hours. 

Is this a service that is focused more on enterprise-level companies or small businesses?

We built Hourly with small businesses in mind. The other enterprise-level software that’s out there is expensive and old fashioned. It’s just not that easy or quick to use.

What are you doing that other companies (Workful, Gusto, etc) aren't doing?

We are the only ones that offer payroll, time tracking, and workers comp together in one package. Because payroll and workers’ comp data is tied together, we can report labor costs down to the penny.

We’re also designed to be mobile-first, you can do everything you want from your phone including adding and onboarding new employees, managing shifts, generating workers’ comp certificates and running payroll.

For those starting a business, what types of tips do you have for managing things like employee payroll and time tracking (other than your service of course haha)?

When you’re just starting out it’s important to have a good payroll and time tracking system in place as it’ll help you stay organized and reduce potential headaches down the road. 

For instance, there are many agencies out there that love to audit business owners, like the IRS, EDD, your workers’ comp insurance provider, and the dept of labor standards, just to name a few.

When you get audited, you want to be confident you know exactly what’s been going on in your business and can pull up logs of who’s done what at a moment's notice. Being organized helps a lot, and Hourly can help you with that.

Your website says you have "Workers' Comp on autopilot". Care to explain how that part of your platform works?

Yep, so workers’ comp insurance is required by law for every company with employees. A lot of people’s experience with workers’ comp today is that they start out by estimating how many hours their team will work and what types of work they’ll be doing, and from there they get a quote.

Then at the end of the year, after paying their premiums each month they get an audit to ensure everything looks right. There’s a lot of guesswork involved and often there’ll be a big audit bill. 

With Hourly, you can have your crew switch tasks on the fly, so someone can do sheet metal work in a shop in the morning, and then a few hours later switch to roofing work. This leads to very accurate reporting for workers comp premiums that can result in thousands saved and smoother audits.

If you’re a roofer, why do you want to pay a 50% premium when your guy is doing less risky work at the shop just because he sometimes works on a roof? With Hourly you can save on those costs.

For a company that may look into switching to your platform do you help with that transition? I imagine it can be a bit complicated.

It’s actually really easy to switch to Hourly. You can get started on our website for free, and our team of specialists will onboard your team and any previous payroll data right away. We do the heavy lifting for you, so you can focus on your business.  

Anything new coming to the service in the coming months?

We’re currently in California but we’ll be expanding into three more states in 2020. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions, anything you'd like to close with?

Thanks for your time, I really enjoyed it!

I'd like to thank Tom for taking the time to answer some of my questions.

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Josiah Motley

Contributor at various blogs, with a focus on tech, apps, gadgets, and gaming.

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