Emerging Talent Platforms Filling The Gaps Created By Disruptive Market Forces

Emerging Talent Platforms Filling The Gaps Created By Disruptive Market Forces

COVID 19 and the emerging variants continue to upend the traditional 9 to 5 in-office work environment. Workers instead are pursuing flexible gig like work. Businesses are adjusting by embracing automation, digitization, remote, distributed work models, and more. This evolving work environment has unleashed innovative technology solutions and ingenious responses. Corporations and hiring professionals are fulfilling their needs through a nimble on-demand workforce model while using emerging talent matching platforms.

The morphing work environment has created the "Big Quit," also known as the "great resignation" phenomenon of 2021. This trend began in early 2021 when employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs at a record pace. Since April 2021, more than 19 million US workers have quit, and in October 2021 alone, 4.2 million workers, nearly 3% of the US workforce, resigned. Many workers are rethinking the corporate grind and their relationship with work. This dynamic is aggravating labor shortages, forcing companies to assess and amend their employment policies.

As companies adjust to a hybrid full-time and freelance workforce model, a considerable population of the younger skilled job seekers are demanding flexible work alternatives. These undercurrents are causing both the supply (talent, job seekers) and demand (companies looking to hire) sides of the job market to actively look for appropriate and fruitful matches, leading to exponential growth opportunities in the professional network and freelance talent platform industry.

LinkedIn is the world's largest social professional network. It is designed to help professionals connect and network. It provides a full-featured career board to find permanent, full-time, temporary, and other jobs. Recently, LinkedIn rolled out its marketplace focused on the professional freelance talent market subset.

Upwork, Toptal, Fiverr, Catalant, 99Designs, Freelancer.com, Guru.com, Skyword, TaskRabbit, Braintrust, and more, are a few incumbent global freelance talent marketplace platforms that match the skilled talent to the needs of the hiring companies. The use of sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technological tools improve matching based on time, skill-set, and compensation, furthering the acceptance and adoption of the talent marketplace platforms. In 2019, the top 5 freelance marketplace platforms serviced only 25% of the worldwide market, leaving much room for growth. The freelance marketplace platform industry size at a CAGR of 15.3% is expected to reach US$ 9.2 billion by 2026.

Many incumbent talent marketplace platforms charge high fees from users and offer no financial upside for participation. The service fees obtained from job seekers and job providers vary from 20%-40% of the contract value. Traditional recruiters typically charge 10%-30% from clients for permanent hires; for temporary staffing, they pad a hefty 25%-100% markup on the employee's hourly rate and associated expenses. However, due to no guarantee of the employee performance and or duration of employment, these hiring costs can fruitlessly add up, sending employers again and again back to the drawing board in search of the much-needed talent.

In the digital world, individuals generate an enormous amount of behavioral data. Frank McCourt, the founder of Project Liberty, states, "An unprecedented amount of value is being created by everyone's data. And yet there's a total disconnect between the creation of that value and who receives it." Entrepreneurs, politicians, and many market participants are trying to help consumers control and benefit from the data the tech industry presently collects. Many are looking towards Web3.0, secure distributed ledger technologies like blockchain and cryptography to break the near-monopolistic hold of today's centralized technology companies.

Innovative talent platforms leveraging blockchain technology are implementing novel business models and building solutions that align all stakeholders; use tokens for incentivization, revenue sharing, participation in ownership & governance of the network platforms, and more. Blockchain technology has engendered new markets, i.e., NFTs, Defis, and more; crypto has become mainstream.

The current labor shortage and skill gaps are most acute in the blockchain industry applications due to its nascent stage, fragmented talent pools, and massive growth. Traditional companies entering blockchain application markets are further making the talent squeeze acute. The torrid growth in demand for crypto skills poses significant hurdles to companies trying to recruit the needed talent.

Bondex, akin to LinkedIn, is building a professional network platform designed for professionals to connect, find permanent and gig jobs, post and share content, get continuing education to advance their careers, and more. The company is vertically focused on talent needs with blockchain and crypto skills know-how. Bondex blockchain token, BNDX, will incentivize users and allow holders to participate in governance and profit-sharing. The company intends to distribute quarterly profit-sharing amongst BNDX token holders and platform users.

Isoplink is developing a cross-chain platform for developers and connecting job seekers with job providers by leveraging AI and blockchain technologies. The company website states, "The project is connecting promising tech companies with an exceptional pool of professionals around the globe."

Hyve.works is a DeFi centric autonomous ecosystem, a community-governed system using decentralized technologies that drastically lower costs, offer wider flexibility, cut out the middleman, welcomes the unbanked, provide transparency, and ensure safety in a decentralized manner while rewarding token holders.

While addressing the diverging needs and opportunities of the flexible gig economy, the emerging talent platforms are aligning incentives to benefit all stakeholders. Innovative profit-sharing models and governance opportunities via tokens give the stakeholders a voice and financial upside, not available in today's centralized platforms.

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