The Greatest Generation came up in time when, after WWII ended, white people could hook on with a company and, if they wore the right clothes and showed up on time every day, they could expect a job for life – with a full pension.
Baby Boomers rode out their careers, bought houses and raised families on the tailwinds of that system. People in business kept hiring people who looked like themselves. Everything ran steady. And the system worked. For people who fit the mold.
They had confidence in their incomes, took out mortgages, had company-funded retirement plans, and started and raised families without too much anxiety or fear.
Now, it’s 2020.
People from all walks of life have taken to the streets to demand that it’s time for the system that has kept so many people out to change. Every business needs to take real action to give everyone equal access to the privilege that has been reserved for heterosexual white males. It’s the right thing to do for humanity. Study after study also shows it’s the right thing to do for the bottom line.
Add to that the pace of technology that keeps changing and accelerating at a head-spinning rate, and one thing is sure: The workforce of the future will look a helluva lot different than the workforce of the past.
Businesses where everyone looks alike? As America continues to grow more and more diverse, they won’t be able to compete.
Steady, lifetime employment with one company? Today, many workers are looking at jobs in timeframes of days, weeks and months. Instead of years or decades.
Gen X, Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z are living in the world where it’s estimated that 53 percent will be working as independent contractors by 2023. That means over half of the American economy is, or will be very shortly, based on freelance.
If we don’t figure out how to make it work, in a way that includes everyone, in a win-win way that helps both freelancers and the businesses that employ them, our country isn’t going to work.
- It’s time to put a stick of dynamite into the wheels of the “Gig Economy” and light the fuse.
- It’s time to increase access, diversity and true equity for all in the workplace.
- It’s time to create security for independent workers, so that the 50 percent plus of our labor force now working independently has confidence in their future.
- It’s time to stop thinking about independent work as a way to fill seats, and start thinking of it as a way to add rocket fuel to the engine that drives businesses into the future.
- It’s time for businesses to be able to consider freelance as a competitive weapon and easily get the diverse talent they need on demand, with the flexibility to be able to adapt their business to the pace of change.
What needs to change? Let’s start here.
Studies show that uncertain income is the highest source of anxiety for freelance workers. And finding diverse, competent people with the right skills and attitude to meet their requirements ranks right at the top of the anxiety list for businesses that hire talent.
Right now, there’s no fair, efficient, frictionless way for the businesses who need talent to find the people who have talent.
What about on-line marketplaces that are already using freelancers?
From what highly skilled freelancers tell us, the freelance sourcing platforms that exist today function more like platforms for abuse than platforms for opportunity.
These systems force freelancers to participate in a race to the bottom. Every project is treated like a cattle call – where top-notch professionals are asked to submit bids against anyone of any skill level who wants to apply. It’s next to impossible for the best to differentiate themselves from the herd. The game quickly deteriorates into who is willing to submit the lowest bid.
From what employers tell us, these platforms don’t serve as a great way to find talent that will have maximum impact on company success. Instead, they create a maximum headache. The hiring manager is overwhelmed by the sheer number of people bidding on a job, with no way to quickly separate the stars from the deadwood.
What about the big staffing companies?
Traditional staffing companies run on a business model with very high mark ups. This often means the freelancer has to drastically cut his or her rate in order to keep the project within the specs of the budget. It also means that up to half of the business’ dollars for talent are going to pay for staffing company overhead and profit, instead of going to the people who do the work. This is not the way to maximize return on the dollars spent on talent.
It’s time to blow that sh!t up.
THAT’S WHY WE FOUNDED THE FIRST, AND ONLY, TALENT-FIRST ENGAGEMENT MARKETPLACE.
We are here to grow and empower a diverse community of freelancers so they can feel fulfilled, confident, and secure in their lives. We are here to help businesses access talent with the diversity, energy, skills, and wide-ranging experience they need to make an immediate impact and carry projects through to the final, successful inch.
It’s time to throw the cattle calls, the race to the bottom, and the giant mark-ups in the trash can. It’s time to bring highly skilled, highly vetted, diverse talent together with great companies that value top-notch talent. It’s time for a platform that charges a fair, transparent fee.
It’s time to cut through the bureaucracy and grease the wheels so freelancers and businesses can get down to the job of getting great work done.
We help freelancers handle time tracking and invoicing. On the business side, we make it easy to track and approve time, and let businesses be billed for all the talent at the same time in a way that makes it easy to allocate billing to projects. We also provide clear, simple, detailed information for background checks, work eligibility, and more.
All of that makes it easier for freelancers and businesses to work together and get great results today; however, if the freelance economy is going to be sustainable in the long term we need to look to the future.
We see a world where freelancers have access to the same level of benefits people who hold full-time positions enjoy.
We’re offering access to quality insurance coverage for freelancers across the country who work with us beginning with our launch. It’s a key ingredient to helping freelancers feel secure and do their best work.
We see a world where freelancers have access to education and upskilling so they can continue to develop the skills they need to succeed in this rapidly changing world.
Our platform makes freelancers part of a network of like-minded people now. They can meet other freelancers and learn from them, take part in mentorship programs, connect with experts to get specific questions answered, and take part in on-line roundtable discussions. They can even hire each other. As we roll out enhancements to our offering, we will be working on providing more education and upskilling support.
We see a world where diversity is built in, where people from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to contribute and succeed. Where businesses can tap into the proven advantage diverse teams have over non-diverse teams.
Diversity and inclusion are ideals we’ve been dedicated to in our professional lives for years. Like much of America, we’re tired of how long it’s been taking to make real progress. Diversity is top priority in our own company and in the freelancers we support.
We see a world where all the things that don’t work about the “Gig Economy” have been replaced by ideas that do.
Where freelancers are happy and doing the kind of work that drives businesses forward, and businesses have easy access to a broad range of talent that gives them the flexibility to put together effective, dynamic teams as their needs change and evolve.
In our version of the world ahead, diverse, talented freelancers and businesses are thriving and prospering on the strengths independent workers can bring to the table. Not scraping by in a system that doesn’t work very well for either one.
Is it a crazy vision?
Well, no one ever blew anything up and built something better by thinking normally and sticking to the status quo. Join us in remaking the world a better place!
Erica & Ken