Are Platform-Driven Businesses Staffing’s Foe?

We often hear “I hate my job, but have to do it to pay bills.” Imagine opening an app and looking at gigs tailored to you based on your training, experience, what makes you happy, etc. – all determined by AI. Then imagine applying to gigs you like to do that day or week or month and presenting relevant credentials (employment history, degrees/training certifications, licensees, background checks, etc.) stored in Blockchain; and instantly getting hired. Your health benefits, workers’ comp and other insurances are obtained through a marketplace for gig workers. You learn new skills recommended to you based on your work history and obtain certifications through online platforms that are added to your credentials in Blockchain.

There are platform-driven businesses backed by legendary VCs like Sequoia, Bain Capital, etc. making the above scenario a reality. Platforms have disrupted many industries where the winner almost always takes all due to network effects and virality created by platforms.  Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy – And How to Make Them Work for You is a good read.

Better all-around service. Platforms will enable staffing businesses to provide their business customers with hard-to-match pricing due to the platform’s efficiencies; real-time visibility; and a higher quality of service because they can fill positions quickly, hire high-quality workers who love the work they do, on-demand. Meanwhile, platform-enabled staffing firms will be able to provide jobseekers higher pay due to efficiencies created by the platform; freedom to work when and where they want and on what they love; and superior experience throughout the journey of discovering, getting hired, and performing work.

The arguments against platform-driven business in staffing include that they fail to provide personal touch; handle complex credential checks/validations; provide white-glove experience expected by candidates in certain industries; and effectively address concerns around health insurance, workers’ comp insurance and other traditional employment benefits that prevent people from being gig worker. These arguments will not be valid soon based on the combination of technology, market dynamics, and changing demographics – recruiters, employers, jobseekers, and everyone in-between! For example, the doctors and nurses of today are not the same as their predecessors.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Onling Job Advertising Landscape

Staffing agencies currently have an advantage over platform-driven businesses as agencies have existing relationships with a large number of participants (job seekers and employers) on both sides of the platform to make platforms successful, proven business processes, and business know-how. The missing component is the technology platform that creates network effects and virality.

Staffing agencies can leverage their advantages by implementing a holistic solution that solves today’s problems while instantly enabling agencies to combat threats posed by platform-driven businesses. It is important to choose a holistic solution that can create network effects and virality and has a clear product roadmap with long-term strategy to future-proof the agency’s business. It is critical to avoid point solutions (e.g. survey solution, texting solution, chat solution, bot solution, video solution, etc.) that solve one or two short-term problems, but won’t help in the long run to combat platform-driven businesses.

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Saleem Khaja

Saleem Khaja
Saleem Khaja, COO of WorkLLama, is a technology executive known for conceptualizing, developing, implementing, and managing new products, services, and business models in various industries.

Saleem Khaja

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