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The Gig Economy – what does it mean for Recruitment Agencies


Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) have released the third iteration of “The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape”. This bottom up research provides details of the largest platforms, spend estimates for various categories and a comprehensive list of players in space.

SIA has adopted the term “human cloud” to describe companies that can facilitate direct, digitally-enabled work arrangements, from sourcing a worker through payment. It is a rather broad term used to describe all types of online worker marketplaces and related business models. Human cloud companies, as discussed in this report, are distinguished by the fact that they generally:

  • Facilitate peer-to-peer transactions through the internet or Internet-enabled devices (e.g. smartphone “apps”)
  • Rely on user-based ratings
  • Offer workers flexibility in deciding working hours or times
  • Typically expect workers to supply their own equipment to complete work (e.g. computer, software, car, tools, etc.)
  • Manage the relationship from sourcing through payment via the platform

The Gig Economy

Human cloud revenue continues to grow. While revenue is dominated by the consumer applications (such as Uber and Lyft) the business-to-business applications are estimated to have significant current revenue of around US$6B.

Related: The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Overview

There is no doubt that traditional staffing markets are being impacted by the emerging online staffing models, especially with the emergence of some hybrid models such as those providing just-in-time staffing.

Will anything stop this trend? Certainly, many countries are reacting to legislation and legal challenges around worker classifications and the tax implications of various work models. Australia is not the only country struggling to evolve legal and taxation structures to incorporate new work models, let alone move on from restrictive corporate and union thinking.

All owners and managers of recruitment agencies need to understand the impact and influence of The Gig Economy on their business. Access “The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape: 2017 Update” here

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Staffing Industry Analysts is the global advisor on contingent work. Known for its independent and objective insights, the company’s proprietary research, award-winning content, data, support tools, publications, and executive conferences provide a competitive edge to decision-makers who supply and buy temporary staffing. In addition to temporary staffing, Staffing Industry Analysts also covers related staffing sectors.

Staffing companies and their suppliers benefit from personalised intelligence, research, proprietary tools and advisory services from SIA’s expert analysts that are included with Corporate Membership. Corporate members receive legal/regulatory updates, market forecasts, financial/operating benchmarks and briefings on key economic and financial indicators.

For additional information on Corporate Membership and to receive special HHMC membership offers read more here

Categories: Research

Tags: Staffing, Staffing Industry Analysts, Technology, Recruitment market, Human Cloud, Gig Economy

Picture of Rod Hore

Rod Hore

Rod is a 35-year veteran of Australian and international IT and corporate advisory organisations. His executive-level credentials traverse many segments of the staffing and recruitment industry and include corporate advisory assignments, mergers and acquisitions mandates, and C-level advisory to multinational and other public and private organizations. Located in Perth, Rod founded HHMC to provide local industry acumen and global knowledge to Asia Pacific recruitment agencies. HHMC’s innovative business strategies and well-grounded guidance result in clients realising their personal and corporate goals.

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