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Kelly Services Inc. (NASD: KELYA) today announced an alliance with online staffing provider oDesk to make the firm part of its KellyOCG talent supply chain. Online staffing allows staffing buyers to engage workers through an online platform and send tasks to those workers online. An online staffing buyer may never meet the worker in person. Based in Redwood City, Calif., oDesk ranks among the largest online staffing platforms, according to Staffing Industry Analysts.
ODesk will be integrated into KellyOCG’s managed service provider program as a supplier. KellyOCG is the outsourcing and consulting group of Kelly Services. It provides recruitment process outsourcing, business process outsourcing, contingent workforce outsourcing and other services.
“In the coming years, businesses will increasingly augment local staffing by tapping into online talent in order to meet their overall resource needs,” Matt Cooper, vice president of business development & international at oDesk, said in a press release. “This alliance leads the way for larger enterprise businesses to access the best talent in the world, no matter where it resides.”
Kelly has been working with oDesk for three to four months to put in place pilot programs with customers, and those pilot programs will kick off in the first of the year, said Teresa Carroll, KellyOCG’s senior vice president and general manager.
“This is a growing way in which talent is deciding to work, and customers will need to access talent this way,” Carroll said.
“Over the past one to two years, there has been a lot of discussion about the emergence of online staffing, particularly how ‘online-freelancer work platforms’ (like oDesk) are somehow in a different world from staffing firms (like Kelly),” said Andrew Karpie, affiliate analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts. “We’ve been arguing that online/virtual, globally-sourced talent-as-a-service offerings are natural extensions to traditional staffing businesses — additional offerings that staffing clients will demand more and more of. It looks like Kelly and oDesk are now going to try to show us how this can happen.”