Can the ‘human cloud’ help meet talent shortages?

Can businesses rely on the human cloud as they increasingly face talent shortages?
10 March 2020

Work has never been more flexible with the rise of recruitment platforms. Source: Shutterstock

While the majority of jobs today require formal face-to-face interviews and employment contracts, the last decade has seen a massive swell in UX-friendly online platforms and that facilitate temporary ‘gigs’.

This is a new wave of tech-enabled, temporary recruitment, where workers will likely never meet their employers. As it rapidly grows in both size and influence, this employment model has been dubbed the ‘human cloud’.

Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer are just a few examples of platforms contributing to this fluid workforce which, according to figures from the Staffing Industry Association (SIA), is set to see a 22 percent year-over-year growth.

This evident popularity speaks to changing working preferences. As Generation Z is predicted to comprise of a fifth of today’s workforce, next-gen recruitment platforms can provide the flexibility, freedom and variety in work, increasingly sought after. 

A white-collar job can now be distributed across hundreds of tasks and projects, enabling the new generation to be selective in the kinds of projects they would like to work on and direct the kind of conditions they would like to complete the job in. 

For businesses, who are increasingly moving to remote working models, the benefits are speed and cost-effectiveness

The human cloud relies on algorithms to increase matches between workers and job options, optimizing time and resources spent. Businesses, then, can assign certain tasks to a global talent pool, available 24/7, at a fraction of the cost of traditional routes. 

Ultimately, the human cloud’s global spend hiked up to US$126.3 billion in 2018 and this is projected to rise with emerging trends. 

At a time where companies are scouting for growth drivers while facing talent shortages in tech, the human cloud present promising new avenues. 

The electronic labor platforms could have a big impact on startups that are hunting for talent around the globe. Meanwhile, the human cloud also provides a unique workforce that strives on flexible working conditions to be found in a dynamic industry.