The power of the crowd
The drive to enhance and increase communications is as old as Paleolithic cave paintings. For over 40,000 years, people have consumed themselves with finding better ways to reach others, share information and collaborate. It’s difficult to conceive of any technological progress – from the carrier pigeon to the Internet – that hasn’t sprouted from the seeds of socialization. Humans, social animals that we are, have long realized that the greatest gains are achieved by working together. Today that “divide and conquer” philosophy has become more pronounced – and instrumental – with the ongoing rise of crowdsourcing.
The crowd — yesterday and today
Tapping into the strengths offered by a crowd of inventive minds isn’t a recent phenomenon; revolutionary thinkers have pioneered advances through crowdsourcing type campaigns for centuries. In the 1700s, European rulers turned to the crowd to help solve vexing challenges. The British government publicly offered a financial prize to any person who could devise the best solution for measuring a ship’s longitude. King Louis XVI followed suit and proposed an award to the individual who could decompose sea salt to produce alkali. And today, crowds have become partners of choice for organizations striving to answer perplexing innovation and research questions, which have eluded their internal teams.
Apple relies on independent developers to design the apps that fuel its growth and enhance products such as iPhones and iPads. Linux constructed an entire operating system through open-source collaboration. And when stumped biologists at the University of Washington reached out to the crowd, the responding contributors discovered a means for mapping the structure of an AIDS-related virus that had puzzled academic and medical experts for more than 15 years.
Despite these precedents, many enterprises remain reluctant to put their trust in “strangers.” More than seeming unnatural, pushing problems out to external groups of people who are spread out, dissociated and unknown implies risk. How can administrative oversight be maintained? Will a crowd impact managers? Is a firm’s intellectual property safe? The concerns make sense, yet as Harvard Business Review noted in 2013, excluding consideration of the crowd “from the corporate innovation tool kit means losing an opportunity. The main reason companies resist crowds is that managers don’t clearly understand what kinds of problems a crowd really can handle better and how to manage the process.”
When an organization generates resources by outsourcing to a crowd, the diverse levels of experience, acumen and functional skills it acquires as a result will produce measurable outcomes. Generally, this theory has been applied rather exclusively to a company’s one-time projects or unsolved challenges. The idea revolves around distributed problem solving, of breaking down challenges into systems of micro-tasks, which can be tackled with ease and cost efficiency through the power of a crowd.
These same principles can be applied to optimize sourcing, recruiting and hiring practices. The workforce marketplace is evolving. The changes are precipitated by a number of factors, including an increase in demand for contingent workers, globalization, the influx of Millennials entering the workforce and the advent of online recruiting platforms. We believe a recruiting model that capitalizes on the strengths of the crowd represents a confluence of these trends, enabling the very best talent to be hired at massive scales.
Until recently, the idea of using the crowd as a staffing model has been limited to theories or exclusive reliance on social media recruiting campaigns. Even the young technology tools serve merely to facilitate a process; they don’t, however, support the full servicing and management of the talent. In short, they don’t provide a source of crowd control. A Crowdstaffing model curated by staffing providers can deliver all the benefits of crowdsourcing strategies while imposing controls that assure compliance, giving companies the comfort to realize the advantages of crowd-based solutions.
With Crowdstaffing, you’re not placing your business in the hands of strangers — you’re preparing to meet your next team of star players.
Crowdstaffing — creative, cost-effective, comprehensive and compliant
In a Crowdstaffing model, Global Entrepreneurial Talent Acquisition Specialists function as entrepreneurial recruiters who work exclusively with a staffing curator. In an open marketplace model, consumers and employers are decoupled. Freelance talent sell their services directly to buyers through online staffing platforms such as Elance-oDesk, Freelancer.com, Gigwalk, Taskrabbit, 99 Designs and others. In solutions that prefer closed models, we still see limitations: smaller talent networks, fewer sourcing channels and a primary focus on direct-hire recruiting.
A curated Crowdstaffing platform, on the other hand, creates a private marketplace for staffing providers that specialize in hiring contingent workers. The model accommodates scalability and niche positions, utilizing global recruiter entrepreneurs. The Crowdstaffing model strengthens staffing capabilities, cost savings and compliance for MSP/VMS programs; because staffing firms remain the employers of record, 100-percent compliance is assured. Crowdstaffing providers plug into MSP programs similar to other staffing suppliers, however they utilize a large group of independent global recruiters to conduct searches for qualified candidates; traditional staffing suppliers use teams of internal recruiters to accomplish the same task, which is less efficient and more expensive. The profit-sharing compensation structure of Crowdstaffing drives intrinsic motivation and inspires recruiters to think and act as entrepreneurs, which results in higher quality talent and faster placements. Yet the model defies typical commission-based programs where caps limit potential, and where quotas or lead generation can take precedence over customer care and performance.
- Crowdstaffing suppliers remain the employers of record for all talent (W2) placed on client assignments, ensuring labor compliance and mitigating risks
- Crowdstaffing suppliers have the same contract agreement terms as other suppliers.
- Crowdstaffing suppliers work with a network of independent global recruiters.
- Crowdstaffing software platforms provide recruiters access to receive requirements and make submissions.
Without adequate controls, exposure to labor-related risks can arise. This is a concern clients have expressed with more traditional crowdsourcing techniques. The Crowdstaffing offering we envision is different. As the curator of the Crowdstaffing marketplace, talent acquisition professionals vet their recruiter partners and the talent they deliver to ensure high quality. Additionally, the staffing firm serves as the employer of record for all talent recruited, protecting clients from potential employment risks and handling all aspects of compliance. They also coach recruiter partners on business and entrepreneurship skills, providing them with support, mentorship and training. The net result is a model that ensures a level of quality and compliance that doesn’t exist in an open marketplace.
Learn more about Crowdstaffing right now!
For today’s MSPs, a unique Crowdstaffing model can produce unrivaled results: delivering talented people with fast submission times and infinite scalability for high volume hiring needs. Download our latest eBook now to learn more about “The Next Talent Acquisition Revolution: Crowdstaffing.”
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: What Is Crowdstaffing?
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