Companies, Industry Research, Services

Corporations Hiring More Contingent Talent

From our friends @

Ardent Partners has released its State of Management 2015-2016 report. I got my copy at Guidant’s website. They’re a study sponsor (registration required).

The tagline of the study is “the future of work is here”.

By this they mean contingent talent – freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temps etc. – is becoming a substantial source of corporate talent. They report that nearly 35% of today’s total workforce is comprised of non-employee workers.

They’re also projecting this share to increase. The report chart below illustrates the expected shift towards contingent workers over the next two years.

Ardent forecast

Supporting this forecast, 70% of corporate respondents to their survey say they expect their contingent workforce to grow over the next year.

Most of the rest of the report focuses on what corporations need to do to improve their contingent workforce management programs.

Ardent’s not the only one opining on this topic this week.

The Staffing Stream’s The Contingent Workforce Needs HR’s Attention points out:

Companies need to address contingent labor as an integral component of it total workforce. HR department needs to focus on issues related to contingent workforce management with the understanding that this is now a major part of the total workforce.

They list “enabling agility” as the main reason for the expanding use of contingent worker by corporations. Key quote:

Many corporations in the current economy and competitive environment understand the necessity of staying nimble. Consequently, companies are engaging more workers on a contingent basis which permits them to easily expand and contract their staffing. In order to be successful they need to have the right people with the right skills at the right time.

Regular readers know we’ve long covered this shift. But the trend towards corporations using more contingent labor clearly continues to gain momentum.

This, of course, means more work for independent workers.

Companies, Gadgets and Apps, Industry Research, Mobile, Ondemand Platform, Services

On-Demand Apps – The Opportunity

Your Smartphone is really your On-Demand Device! According to an organization called On-Demand Economy (no relation to this company, but maybe we should join forces), keeps its fingers on the pulse of this new world. It’s recent 2015 Mobile Consumer Survey indicates that ‘things haven’t even started yet!.’ Mobile On-Demand Apps are only being used by 5% of the Smartphone population (that does sound low, though)

Highlights from the Survey (which you can find below) include:

  1. Mobile app developers are competing aggressively for installs, but the battle for users doesn’t stop
    there – only 1/4 of the apps installed on a smartphone are used each week (slide 8)
  2. Unpaid marketing channels are the most common means of discovery (slide 9)
  3. Smartphone owners are still hungry for great new apps (slide 10)
  4. Although not a primary means of discovery, mobile advertising is still an effective tool for promoting app awareness and installs (slide 11)
  5. Awareness levels of new on-demand services are still relatively low with the exception of Uber(slide 12)
  6. Penetration rates of different mobile commerce services differ by age, gender and location given the various value propositions and consumers needs (slide 13 & 14)
  7. We are in the midst of the next evolution in digital commerce: web -> mobile web -> apps (slide 15)
  8. iOS users demonstrate higher purchasing activity than Android users (slide 16
  9. Every consumer vertical needs to have a mobile strategy (slide 17)
  10. Offering a promotion / credit is an attractive value proposition to get a user to make their first purchase through a mobile app (slide 18)
  11. Appealing to the optimal mobile consumers is challenging as promotions / credits may get a first purchase, but do not necessarily change long term purchasing behavior or customer loyalty (slide 19)
  12. On-demand services are just beginning to hit their stride, and the market opportunity is massive (slide 20)

The best slide is the one that shows usage of On-Demand Apps is still low (with the exception of Uber.)
Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.22.18 PM
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Freelancers, News, Politics, Services

On-demand economy changing competition environment

The on-demand or peer-to-peer economy is shifting consumption patterns, creating new “jobs” and innovative business models, the World Economic Forum has said in a press release. The impact on industries, workers and consumers is huge in this new reality, according to panellists in a session at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2015 in Dalian, China.This relatively new sector of the economy is burgeoning, launched from online platforms and engaging millions of consumers worldwide. Arun Sundararajan, Professor and Rosen Faculty Fellow, New York University, USA, calls this shift the “sharing economy” or the evolution to a capitalism that is fundamentally crowd-based. “We are transitioning from getting the goods and services we want from a company to getting them from peer-to-peer platforms,” he said. “This is culminating in a new model for organizing economic activity.” In this new world, work no longer involves “jobs”. According to Sundararajan, people are assembling gigs and tasks.

Stephane Kasriel, CEO, Upwork, USA, started his online marketplace for freelance work 10 years ago. In the past three years, the company has taken off and offers100,000 new jobs in 75 categories; 30,000 freelancers sign up each week. “Young millennials do not want 9-to-5, they like to control their own destiny,” he said. “We offer liquidity in a fast-moving job market.” According to Kasriel, the on-demand economy will lead to “profound changes in society.”

This rapidly evolving business model is also changing the nature of competition. “The value chain doesn’t need to be pure competition. A lot of value can be created by taking the best of two worlds and creating something better out of it,” he said.

The on-demand economy enables agile businesses to build bridges. According to Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Airbnb, USA, a Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2015, “Companies can partner with industry, broader society, cities and communities. This will create a more inclusive economy.” Businesses such as Airbnb and other online platforms act as a powerful economic enabler. “All of our businesses give people an option to have a supplemental income,” Blecharczyk told participants. “There are not enough jobs in the world. Our services add incremental value.”

Didi Mobility, a major player in the car-hailing industry, transports 10 million consumers every day. Using Didi’s apps, people can hail taxis, call on private cars and pooling services, and determine the schedule of public buses. Cheng Wei, Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Didi Mobility, China, a Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2015, said that this consumer-to-consumer service faces fierce competition but, in the on-demand economy, “scale is the key” and a unified platform offers users convenience.

Panellists agreed that the on-demand economy is raising trust in society – an important spin-off in the wake of the financial crisis, which lowered confidence in the private sector and private institutions. (SH)

Eden, Offering On-Demand Tech Help, Switches From Contractors To W2 Employees
Freelancers, Ondemand Platform, Services

Eden, Offering On-Demand Tech Help, Switches From Contractors To W2 Employees

Back in May, Eden launched out of the Y Combinator accelerator to provide users with on-demand tech help, whether it’s fixing a cracked iPhone screen, solving WiFi issues, installing a printer or mounting a new TV. The startup has seen steady growth, and since raised $1.3 million in seed funding, but thus far the company has been using 1099 contractors to deliver Eden tech help service.

Today, cofounder Joe du Bey has announced that Eden will be shifting its workforce from 1099 to W2, hiring some contractors as full-time employees and others as part-time employees, with some even getting equity in the company.

The conversation around 1099 vs. W2 has been heating up of late, catalyzed partially by various lawsuits against on-demand companies such as Uber, Homejoy, and Handy.

In short, Eden previously hired tech pros who work at big box retailers (Best Buy) or in small tech shops to pick up work for $30/hour as contractors. However, du Bey says that, since Eden Tech Wizards come into the home and help with sensitive problems, it’s important that they go through some form of customer happiness training.

“At Eden we’ve always prioritized people in the same way: customers, tech wizards, HQ, and everyone else,” said Du Bey. “By switching over to W2 employees, we’re ensuring that the customer gets the best experience possible and that we’re taking good care of our tech wizards.”

While 1099 contractors enjoy a level of flexibility in their job, they’re also responsible for themselves in most respects, having to pay their medicare and social security taxes, handling healthcare and insurance, etc. Hiring 1099 contractors also takes a lot of control away from the company, as 1099 classification generally limits the amount of training employees receive, control over dress code, and/or guidelines that can be set over the way they do their job.

Du Bey tells TechCrunch that a good portion of Eden’s business comes from people aged 50 or older, with Eden replacing help usually provided by younger relatives.

“If you ordered an Eden for your parent or grandparent, these are precious people. You’d want to know that someone reliable and helpful and patient was coming into their home and helping your loved one,” said Du Bey. “We put our tech wizards through a lot of training to determine if they can not only be effective but be pleasant to have in the home.”

In general, the switch will cost Eden about 20 percent more to move over contractors to W2, Du Bey says.

Eden costs $69/hour for users and currently serves the Bay Area.

Who's Afraid of Uber?
Connecting talent, Freelancers, Politics, Services, Uber

Who’s Afraid of Uber?

<p>Nothing to fear.</p> Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg There’s a lot of worry around about the "gig economy," a fear that Uber-type jobs are " driving inequality " and could be bad for workers . Everywhere you look it seems that some columnist is fretting about what Uber means for the […]