CEO of People as a Service, Rolf Ritter, believes that the job market is broken and needs to be fixed with specialised hiring processes.
The shift towards a knowledge-based economy in the 21st century for many developed and developing countries has seen a disruption in the dynamics of the workforce.
In the US, there is a growth in workers choosing to freelance instead of staying in permanent jobs. Currently, 34 per cent of its total workforce freelance and it is expected to grow to 50 per cent by 2020. This trend has also taken root in Singapore, with businesses spending 46 per cent more on hiring freelancers online compared to 2013.
While working with freelancers allows businesses to lower costs and gives them more flexibility with their hiring processes, it also poses a unique set of challenges. For example, since freelancers are often not bound by an employment contract, they may abandon the project without any legal ramifications. It would also be more difficult to communicate with them since as contractors, they may not have fixed working hours nor are required to report to an office daily.
With such risks, it’s critical for employers to be able to select the right freelancers so that their project can be delivered with minimal hiccups. But how can one be assured that they have selected the most reliable and competent freelancer for the job?
Rolf Ritter, Founder and CEO of People as a Service, which has just launched officially, believes that his startup provides a system of hiring that can reduce or even eliminate such risks altogether.
In an interview with e27, Ritter elaborated on how People as a Service‘s plans and how its hiring model can stand out against competing services.
Why did you start People as a Service?
Before starting People as a Service, I had a very successful corporate career as an executive doing turn-arounds and developing new businesses.
In my last company as the CEO of a US$160 million dollar tech company, I discovered that many companies often do not have the right talent at the right time to move the company ahead, while they have a lot of people on staff that that are either underemployed or under-engaged to achieve its goals. On the other hand, many employees have lost their spark and motivation after having spent years sitting in cubicles and meeting rooms.
So I started People as a Service that leverages on the sharing economy model, as well as transcend geographical boundaries to match the right person to the right job.
But what makes People as a Service stand out from similar platforms such Freelancer.com?
While there are many similar platforms, they all operate on a self-service model. Meaning that the customer has to do all the work to find the right person and absorb all the risks such as missed deadlines and mediocre work, likewise the freelancer might also run the risk of working with a unpleasant client. They don’t offer any flexibility, and don’t even follow up with clients after the finalisation of the project.
Our model makes the process less uncertain by proposing only one freelancer to the customer, whom we thoroughly vet through personal interviews so that he or she will be right fit for the customer. We also work closely with the client to define their project clearly so that we know what exactly they are looking for.
Also unlike platforms like Freelancer.com which charges employers by taking a cut of of their project fee; and freelancers, by taking a percentage of their bidding price, we offer a subscription-based model. All customers only have to pay one flat monthly fee for our services.
Do you plan to raise any additional funding?
In May 2015, we raised a seed fund of US$425,000 seed funding. so, we . This investment we have received will give us over one year of total runway, so we are planning another round at the end of 2015 are currently in talks with private and technology investors.
What are your plans to market your services in APAC?
Our business model is fully virtual and therefore we are already open for business in almost any market in the world.
That being said, our current activities in Asia are mainly on the supply side, where we recruit an important percentage of our freelancers from. On the customer side we have not stated a specific marketing effort yet, however markets like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, China and to lesser extent Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are markets we will want to expand into in the near future.