CWS 3.0: October 17, 2012

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‘Online Staffing’ for ‘Onsite’ Workers

There has been no shortage of innovation in the contingent workforce space. Case-in-point: A two-year-old company that has been grabbing the attention of buyers with its offering. Work Market, founded and led by Jeffrey Leventhal, has a unique platform-based model for outsourcing the management of specific types of contingent workers for certain kinds of enterprise (including sourcing, administering, and paying contingent workers as a service for enterprise buyers).

Work Market is different from a VMS platform that functions to manage vendors (staffing firm suppliers) as a way to source and procure contingent workforce. Work Market’s e-platform connects enterprise buyers with contingent workers using a model that is in some ways similar to those of well-known “online staffing” (freelance) platform providers like Elance and oDesk. But unlike Elance or oDesk (that largely deal with workers who perform their work remotely/online), Work Market today mainly provides businesses with specific types of contingent workers (healthcare, sales, et al) that are deployed to a client’s on-site locations.

According to Leventhal, “We built Work Market to handle on-site and remote engagements, to work globally and to handle any skill-set part of this requires us to define a common language around labor and engagement. Onsite labor requires the most tools and controls to get right — we solved for the most complex use cases first. But remote labor is also easily addressable with Work Market.”

After just two years (year-one: platform-build; and year-two: business-launch), Work Market reports serving more than 250 enterprises today. It also reports an annualized run rate of more than $50 million in gross services revenue and growth exceeding 15 percent per quarter. Work Market is targeting enterprise buyers with more than $1 million in annual contingent workforce spend, but the company also reports that staffing firms currently account for about 17 percent of its business (they use Work Market as one optional pathway fulfilling the demand of their client).

These numbers should give us pause to consider more seriously whether new models for managing a contingent workforce can now emerge and function successfully in certain segments. It’s looking like they can.

Give us your thoughts below.

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