Innovative companies should have a Panel of Online Marketplaces for corporate functions

Sharing economy is game-changing corporate functions

Since the advent of the sharing economy about 12 years ago, and as online marketplaces like Airbnb, Uber, Upwork, Freelancer.com become more widely embraced in the last 7 years, it seems an area not previously as susceptible to disruption is now fast being disrupted – “Corporate functions” within organisations.

In the last 5 years, online marketplaces for corporate functions and professional services entered the scene and their popularity is fast rising due to the high levels of efficiencies and cost savings they offer. Marketplaces for corporate functions such as the ones listed below now exist and offer companies an innovative and (IMO) a much better way for hiring contractors.

  • Information Technology (e.g. UX/UI and Developers)
  • Communications (e.g. public relations and corporate affairs)
  • Marketing
  • Risk, Compliance and Audit
  • Strategy
  • Human Resources

Online marketplaces aim to disintermediate organisations and the actual service providers, by removing the middle men out of the equation. They empower organisations to connect directly with the service providers, saving valuable time and money.

Panels of Suppliers and Panels of Recruitment Agencies

Most large (and some medium) sized organisations have established two main types of panels:

  1. Panel of Suppliers
  2. Panel of Recruitment Agencies

These are prudent measures taken by HR departments to ensure a high standard is set for the recruiting of permanent and contract roles. This is so the various departments can be sure they are dealing with suppliers who have been vetted and approved.

These panels have been around in companies for a long time and are pretty ‘old school’, but they do work well in most cases, attempting to ensure quality.

Challenges with the existing panels

Panel of Suppliers are usually made up of large advisory firms which can be expensive and they can sometimes leverage the use of junior staff to do most of the fieldwork. Of course, there may be some specialist firms who are on the panel and can offer good value. But, with the rise of crowdsourcing as an avenue where companies can find the best talent for their projects (and also, it’s the 21st century), sourcing from a limited panel may soon be a thing of the past!

Panel of Recruitment Agencies – There are many recruiters who have never spent a day in those corporate functions they are recruiting for, hence, it may take time to find the right candidate. And they too can be expensive. Why pay for someone who’s not an expert in that field to find you the candidate you need? Disintermediation through online marketplaces are really challenging the value proposition of these recruitment agencies.

A better way?

A newer school of thought has arrived…

Innovative companies should have a “Panel of Online Marketplaces”

As online marketplaces for corporate functions have evolved in sophistication and maturity, organisations should now consider adding a new panel to their recruitment arsenal – A “Panel of Online Marketplaces.

Quality control in Online Marketplaces

Most of the online marketplaces that supply corporate functions (e.g. Communications, Marketing, IT and Risk & Compliance Management) vet or screen their specialists before adding them onto their platforms because they recognise the importance of having high quality people who can provide a high quality service.

Wait for this … the real powerful value of hiring through an online marketplace is:

Traditional recruiting offers hiring managers a CV and an interview and they can probably form a 30% view of the candidate.

With online marketplaces, they often capture ratings and review comments of the freelancers for the past # number of jobs they have completed. This offers much better insights on a candidate.

Save money and gain quality (“win-win”) by using Online Marketplaces

Freelancers in professional corporate fields are fast becoming mainstream and the fact is that there are more and more highly experienced people who have come out of their full-time permanent roles who are providing services back to companies at attractive rates. They can be price-competitive as they do not have the overheads to cover.

A true win-win situation where a company can hire such freelancers with valuable experience at lower rates, and to sweeten the deal … on demand!

Online marketplaces can help companies transform their workforce strategy

Organisations can re-configure their staffing arrangements to determine if a much stronger financial outcome can be achieved through the use of “on-demand” resources from these marketplaces. Permanent staff can be re-deployed to other more value adding activities and increase productivity overall.

A lightening of the balance sheet liabilities of salaries and wages would be welcomed in such economic times. There’s gotta be a better way in managing staff headcount, re-deploying staff to other value adding tasks and the bottom line.

A new dimension to hiring

Just by adding one new panel, it exponentially opens up the universe of candidates for your projects. Except, it won’t be overwhelming, because these are usually vetted and highly experienced candidates. Companies will end up with a much more targeted shortlist and a substantially reduced hiring cycle. And a better experience.

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