Meet our founders!
A conversation with Alexis and Annette from seniors@work

seniors@work: Alexis, you founded seniors@work in 2018 and are the heart and soul of the start-up. Please introduce yourself to our readers!

Alexis Weil: Yes, seniors@work is really a matter close to my heart! About me: I am 31 years old, come from Basel and studied finance and accounting at the University of St. Gallen before I founded seniors@work.

seniors@work: How did that happen?
Alexis Weil: When my father retired, he still felt young and active and wanted to continue working part-time - but it was almost impossible to find suitable job offers. I then did a bit of research and the more I looked into the topic of "working in old age", the clearer it became to me that this is a very important topic for the future - not only for fit young retirees who have a whole new phase of life ahead of them, but also for companies that are increasingly suffering from a shortage of skilled workers. This is where the idea for seniors@work came from.

seniors@work: And how did you proceed then?

Alexis Weil: With the help of a programmer, I set up the job platform in 2018, recruited the first retirees as candidates and looked for clients. When the website was up and running, I was lucky that three "lions" from the Swiss Lions' Den - Roland Brack, Bettina Hein and Tobias Reichmuth - invested in me in May 2019. But after that, the work really started, because as a sole founder, there are never enough hours in the day to do all the tasks! Today we have over 3,000 candidate profiles on the platform, more and more job offers, and our monthly income is growing rapidly. And to accelerate this growth, I started looking for a CMO and co-founder in the second half of 2021... 

seniors@work: Perfect transition, because that's where Annette comes in. Can you introduce yourself briefly?

Annette Ehrhardt: Yes, I'd love to! I've been on board since January 2022 and I've loved every minute so far! At 45, I'm a bit older than Alexis and have almost 20 years of experience in management consulting and marketing. I'm originally from Germany, but I've lived near Zurich since 2009, and my two children were born here too. Alexis and I complement each other very well with our experiences and skills, and we've also hit it off on a personal level from the start - that's very important when you work so closely together in a small team! 

seniors@work: How did you end up switching to a start-up? 

Annette Ehrhardt: After so many years in the corporate world, the time was ripe for a change. In addition, like so many others, I thought a little more deeply about my professional priorities at the beginning of the pandemic. Since I wanted to do more and have a broader field of activity than in my well-paid corporate job, I specifically looked for start-up roles - and when I came across Alexis, it immediately clicked for me. Because I really think the social significance of seniors@work is great! Opening up professional prospects for retirees and at the same time helping companies that are desperately looking for staff is a huge motivation for me. 

seniors@work: What do you enjoy most about working in a start-up? 

Alexis Weil: Freedom and agility are important factors. Simply making your own decisions, testing things quickly and implementing them straight away – that's exactly my thing. And when I see how many retirees we have been able to offer career prospects, it makes me proud! 

Annette Ehrhardt: I can only agree! What Alexis has achieved so far is extremely impressive. And for me, the "Lean Start Up" approach is very refreshing. Roll up your sleeves and just do it, that's our motto. 

seniors@work: And what are your biggest challenges? 

Alexis Weil: In society, the topics of "age" and "seniors" still have a rather negative connotation, so we still have to do some educational work. It will certainly take patience and perseverance until the majority of companies specifically hire retired specialists on a part-time basis. 

Annette Ehrhardt: And here internally, we also have to manage the growth we have planned – growing the team, improving our platform, expanding,… these are all no small tasks! 

seniors@work: Speaking of growth and expansion: Where do you see seniors@work in five years? 

Alexis Weil: Oh, we certainly won't be bored! First of all, we are focusing entirely on becoming the market leader for jobs for retired skilled workers in German-speaking Switzerland - with over 1.5 million retirees and a shortage of 500,000 skilled workers in the next few years, the potential is enormous! 

Annette Ehrhardt: But that's not all. In the medium term, we also want to expand to Germany and Austria and further expand our member community to include areas such as friendships, dating, sports, travel and learning. 

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