Why Coaching Is the Next Big Thing in Online Staffing

468544561Online staffing has experienced explosive growth as more and more companies realize the value of leveraging the internet to source and manage their contingent workforce. Online staffing platforms are growing at 60 percent per year, and there are no signs of that growth diminishing. This boom is also accelerating the growth of the freelance economy. In fact, the number of freelance workers and outside consultants is expected to reach 60 million by 2020. As this exponential growth continues, companies will need additional assistance finding and managing a growing number contingent workers and their projects.

With the growth of online staffing comes more and more outside consultants with varied experience across a number of different industries. We are not just talking about consultants occupying the IT space. We are also seeing a spike in other professional business services moving online. This is an enormous opportunity as professional business services are currently a $1.5 trillion offline market in the US alone.

With this in mind, I predict that professional coaching and corporate training are ripe to move online and will be hot commodities in the online staffing world. First, the discreet project nature of coaching and training assignments makes it more cost effective for companies to hire consultants on an as-needed basis without keeping them on the payroll. Additional cost savings are also possible when companies connect with a professional coach or corporate trainer online, thereby cutting out the large consulting firms and their hefty mark-ups to cover their overhead costs.

In addition, business needs have changed over time, having become much more specialized and sophisticated. As such, companies have very specific needs for coaching and training, requiring a deep selection of talent and experience. These highly specialized needs lend themselves to work very well as an aggregated online platform model. For example, businesses today are no longer just looking for a general sales trainer anymore, but may be seeking for example a trainer who works specifically with sales teams who sell into CMOs for marketing automation software. Furthermore, many of the best consultants work as independent contractors, providing a strong pool of talent, unlike some industries where the best providers are found in-house.

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So what other forces are affecting the future growth of online staffing — specifically for the demand of coaching and training services?

First, companies are constantly seeking out new ways to upgrade their talent and increase employee engagement and retention. Coaching and training are great tools for businesses to show employees how much they are valued and their commitment to employees’ professional growth and development.

In fact, studies show that the millennial generation prioritizes opportunities for personal development over financial benefits. With the growth of millennials in the workforce, they are poised to shape the world of work for years to come. As such, making coaching and training a core value of an organization can go a long way towards attracting and retaining this important segment of the workforce. Emphasizing coaching and training also extends to the most sought-after industries, like technology, where talent wars abound for the most highly skilled people. Keeping the best talent engaged and motivated requires that companies invest in the professional growth of their workforce, and bringing in top coaches to work with employees is an extremely targeted and effective way of doing that.

At Coach Market, we are seeing the impact of coaching and training across a variety of industries. We are aggregating, vetting and organizing the market, selecting the top coaches and trainers from the more than 350,000 consultants who are currently serving the market. Because of this, we do not need to create or train consultants, which an online staffing platform is not efficient at doing. Rather, we make it easier for customers to find and engage with solid talent that exists, but that is hard to otherwise find. We are also helping coaches by creating a place for them to be found without the burden of heavy investment in marketing or branding themselves.

The continued growth of the contingent workforce represents a change in the way we think about work, and this change creates challenges and opportunities. Online staffing platforms provide companies with the tools they need to take advantage of the opportunities to engage with contingent workers in new ways and for all type of workers including those providing professional services — like coaching.

MORE: Coaching “old-school” managers on the benefits of virtual workers


Glenn Laumeister

Glenn Laumeister
Glenn Laumeister is CEO of AllWork.

Glenn Laumeister

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