With technology fast reshaping the worlds of work and talent acquisition, it is little wonder that Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) events are always jam-packed.  This week hundreds of people gathered for the 2019 conference on Collaboration in the Gig Economy. Conversation buzzed as attendees discussed the evolution of work and considered the newest and most effective ways to manage staffing. In amongst it all, Coople founder Viktor Calabro participated in a panel discussion on new trends in the Human Cloud.

The world of work is evolving fast

Work is no longer solely defined by permanent jobs where people are employed directly by a business. As we found at our recent Breakfast Roundtable, millennials are looking for more flexibility in how they work, seeking life-style appropriate hours in locations close to home. At the same time, digital-first businesses such as Uber have disrupted traditional employment models, looking for on-demand staff who are not direct employees. With both of these factors in play, it is little wonder that 30 per cent of companies are now hiring temporary labour across all job levels, according to the SIA Talent Study 2019.

With the world of work shifting fast, organisations need to explore new staffing models. Enter the Human Cloud; the fastest growing segment of the gig economy.

What is the Human Cloud?

The Human Cloud is made up of online staffing firms that connect people to businesses looking for flexible workers. For staff, this means flexibility when it comes to where and when they work.  For employers, it means instant access to skilled workers, with user-based ratings helping them to select reliable and experienced teams.

The Human Cloud is not a new phenomenon, however, it has reached a new level of maturity – it is actively helping organisations tackle skills shortages and scale up staffing during peak seasons. According to SIA, the total Human Cloud spend reached an estimated $82billion globally, growing by 65% in 2017. But, with its popularity booming, what is next for the Human Cloud?

Investing for success

One of the biggest opportunities for online staffing platforms is boosting service innovation. The panel discussed different approaches to this with some focused on looking to new vertical sectors such as marketing. However, as Viktor told the crowd, Coople is concentrated on perfecting the skillsets of our workers. From chefs to mixologists or wait staff, we plan to be the best at providing the most talented people in the business.

Regulating the Human Cloud

The issue of worker rights in the gig economy has been an issue of contention over recent years, making headlines on numerous occasions. However, as we have discussed, the world of work is changing and regulation needs to evolve in line with this. Many panellists called for government recognition of the demand for flexible labour from businesses and workers. However, all agreed that, within this, the rights of workers must be protected. As Viktor reminded the audience, Coople is focused on creating a world where working flexibly is simple, safe and satisfying for workers and businesses. We are committed to being part of the solution.

Looking to the future

One of the biggest questions around Human Cloud businesses is when they become profitable. Many of these organisations are scale-ups carving out roles in a relatively new market-place. However, at this early stage,  Viktor suggests the goal should be winning market share rather than profitability. However, he does note that there is a huge opportunity to boost innovation and new services which will be drivers for future profitability. For Coople this means a hybrid ‘Tech and Touch’ model where we bolster our online platform with on-the-ground support to onboard and assist customers.

The way that people work has changed radically over recent years and will continue to do so. However, in line with this, businesses have evolved their talent acquisition processes. More of them are looking at online staffing platforms that quickly provide skilled staff with the right experience while ensuring that worker rights are protected. It is this type of Human Cloud solution that will continue to evolve with the market to ensure that both businesses and workers get the best deal.

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