The concept of staff on demand is increasingly popular among successful exponential organizations that rely on external resources for their business processes. This strategy enables businesses to have flexible access to a vast pool of global talent that may otherwise be inaccessible. The advantages of staff on demand include the ability to scale up or down as needed, access to exceptional talent, and increased accountability of workers. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have successfully implemented this strategy, but there are still open questions around its use, particularly in the context of regulation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the risks associated with having a large permanent workforce, as organizations with large workforces were most affected during the shutdown. To fill talent gaps, companies are turning to external and temporary workforces, such as those found on double-sided marketplaces like Upwork, 99 Designs, and Kaggle. These marketplaces optimize the concept of paying for performance and reduce customer risk. In addition, they allow companies to access specialized talent at a fraction of the cost of in-house resources.
Staff on demand is also useful in competitive labor environments where high-skill workers such as data scientists or developers are in short supply. Traditional industries may struggle to attract on-demand workers, but staff on demand enables companies to flexibly scale staff as needed and tap into the specific skills they require. While staff on demand is an important attribute, organizations and society need to figure out how to address open questions around regulation and worker benefits.