On-demand talent will one day be the killer app of the job market

At Presans, we distinguish between three types of platforms:

  • Development infrastructure platforms: Windows, Amazon Web Services.
  • Marketplace platforms: Uber, AirBnB, Amazon Marketplace.
  • Two-sided or even three-sided business model platforms: Google, Facebook.


On-demand talent platforms are fundamentally marketplaces where supply and demand face each other under the aspect of a supply of talent and a demand for talent. These platforms therefore mainly belong in the second category.

The talent on demand is, as an idea, a killer app tier application. That is to say, any company will want to use this application the day it appears in the market.

The challenge for players in the on-demand talent industry is to execute on this idea. In other words, to build platforms giving companies easy and reliable access to the best talent. Sounds simple, but so far nobody has done it yet.

These talents can be unskilled. Or they can be skilled talents providing standardized deliverables. Finally, they may fall into the category of qualified talents providing non-standard deliverables.

A talent on-demand platform is fundamentally the center of a network that constantly draws on talent streams and customer flows. This is the goal that any platform should set for itself. It has to attract people to it.

In order to achieve this goal, new competitors in the on-demand talent industry will need to show ingenuity. Here is my take on the three basic keys they need to discover to unlock the on-demand talent killer app.


Key number one: rethinking Talent Motivation

Talents are in demand and free to go where they please. Their loyalty to an organization can never be taken for granted, and organizations invest resources to make sure interests and mindsets are well-aligned. In order to maximize the alignment of talents and organizations, two aspects need to be taken into account.

On the one hand, talents need to some extent to identify with the goals and fundamental purpose of an organization. This purpose can be a mission capable of inspiring beyond the boundaries of the organization. The extended ecosystem thus its self-coordination power.

On the other hand, talent compensation must seek to go beyond mere monetary compensation. A monetary compensation is a necessary foundation, but not always enough to create a strong commitment. An additional mode of compensation lies in giving access to equity and thus to profit-sharing.


Key number two: rethinking user communities

Platform users constitute virtual communities whose members have an interest in interacting with each other.

It is first of all about exchanging information between peers and thereby contributing to the development of the design of the platform. Members of a user community take an interest in sharing their technical knowledge among members.

A platform should always seek to understand the social network that it constitutes, with its codes, its culture and its intelligence of the world.

Armed with this understanding of their user communities, future work-on-demand platforms will seek to provide their users with an irreplaceable experience, or even a social status gain. The day will come perhaps when being on the Presans platform will be considered as an indication of an expert’s quality and ability to contribute to technological innovation projects.


Key number three: stabilizing business models

We are dealing with a platform when its users find their way to it on their own. To launch a platform, we, therefore, have to solve a chicken and egg type problem, as Albert Meige would say.

Once this difficult obstacle is overcome, a viable business model still needs to be established. The main ways to accomplish this are rather well known and basically comprise two elements. The first element is income from commissions on marketplace transactions. The second element is recurring income generated by subscriptions to a service. If we consider the model provided by Amazon, we can easily recognize both elements in Amazon Marketplace and Amazon Prime.

Here are some of the new players in the on-demand talent industry: Bruce, Talao, Kicklox, dock.io, Comatch, Quidli.

There are others, of course. Each of these new actors would deserve their own article. For the moment, we took a look at Quidli, which seeks to revolutionize access to equity for all members of a project. Another article on these startups of the talent-on-demand industry is coming out soon and will focus on the new marketplace for consultants: Comatch.

Perhaps the future dominant platform of on-demand talent, or parts of it, already exists among these startups.