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World - Online staffing revenue could reach $46 billion

January 06 2014

Online staffing spend could reach as high as $46 billion by 2020, according to a new report by Staffing Industry Analysts. The number represents an “aggressive, but possible” forecast.

The most conservative forecast in the report has online staffing spend growing to $16 billion by 2020. However, the report also makes a “quite plausible” forecast of $23 billion that is well within reach of the online staffing segment.

Online staffing refers to a type of staffing where the entire work arrangement is enabled by an online staffing platform. Often, the buyer and the worker will never meet in person.

Staffing Industry Analysts divides online staffing into three subsegments for the purpose of forecasting:

  • Remote/virtual work performed for small business — The traditional online staffing model where all work is performed online. It’s the oldest and largest subsegment and represents almost all of the estimated $1 billion in spend through online staffing in 2012.
  • Remote/virtual work performed for larger businesses — Similar to the first type but on an enterprise basis for large companies.
  • Onsite/local work performed for all-size business — Online staffing models that are used to intermediate work arrangements for onsite/local work. An example might include an online staffing firm that allows a buyer to hire and dispatch a field technician at a remote location.

“To forecast to 2020 and create a few plausible scenarios, we considered a range of potential drivers and constraints,” said Affiliate Analyst Andrew Karpie. “It’s hard to build anything other than expansive scenarios. The big questions seem to be how fast, in what forms and to what extent. I think two of the big wildcards here are the pace of larger enterprise adoption and to what degree staffing firms (and managed service providers/vendor management systems) start to adopt and leverage these models. By 2020, my guess is that the staffing business will be much more hybridized, similar in some ways to what happened with retail and online shopping.”

Corporate members of Staffing Industry Analysts can download the full report by clicking here.

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