Big Brands, Big Platforms for an Expanding Freelance World

By October 4, 2016Future of Work

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”  ~ Wayne Gretzky

When big companies begin to leverage their platforms for a specific niche, one should wisely take notice. It was no big deal when Craigslist job postings entered local markets – Like a digital “want ads”, the classified section of the newspaper manifested in electronic pixels. Many others followed suit, some influencers even charged money to place a job posting on their platform.

However, the past five years or so have sprung a far more savvy, large scaled approach to supporting the burgeoning world of freelancers – a 54 million Americans working independently or as a side hustle according to a 2015 Freelancers Union report.

And according to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends study, 51 percent of global executives surveyed said their organizations plan to increase the use of flexible and independent workers in the next three to five years. Today, more than one in three US workers are freelancers—a figure expected to grow to 40 percent by 2020.

With the huge opportunity to match contract labor to companies and projects-for-hire, third party tools are burgeoning.


Adobe leverages their immense design community underneath the Behance acquisition they made four years ago. Combining a well respected creative, collaborative environment with job postings is a natural fit. Vetted creators can access opportunities within their own natural environment.


Upwork is the merger of oDesk and Elance into one world-wide talent pool, it’s the world’s largest freelancing website connecting more than 5 million businesses with talented independent professionals.


LinkedIn quietly entered the space when they launched Profinder earlier this year. Now, you can discover specific talent through our favorite job network site.


In 2011, the largest networking website of all, Facebook, dabbled in the area with “Social Jobs Partnership”, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association (DE), and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA).

Last year, Facebook begun a pilot program for Facebook Work, a separate account than your personal page, this tool enables employees to stay updated, join groups to collaborate, send messages and get notifications about what’s most relevant to them. This past week, Facebook announced their Marketplace platform within the FB app, where individuals can buy/sell goods – in a trusted peer environment.

My prediction is that, very soon, Facebook will step into the space more deeply with the launch of their own freelance jobs platform.

With the possibilities of more freelance workers, you can be sure more players will enter the field. Some are niching into caliber or services: Toptal serves the top 3% of freelancers; Freelancers empowers small business with support; Guru offers job matching.

And while there’s much more to these lists, the fact remains, it’s never been easier to connect a workforce and build a business.

Brain+Trust Partners stands ready to assist both companies and individuals in our Network with opportunities to leverage this phenomenon and successfully navigate the challenges.

We look forward to working with you.