Experience with marketplaces/ staffing companies

Vijay MD Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)

February 2nd, 2013

As a sideline to an existing business I have (an outsourced powerpoint
production company), I keep getting requests for affiliated service

Was thinking about building something odesk/elance -ish that focused on a
very narrow market and customer base.

Technically, this seems fairly straightforward and I have an existing (but
fairly small) customer base that indicates it wants to use it.

Outside of the technical piece, I\'m wondering if any of you have run a
staffing/ marketplace model and if there are any gotcha\'s I should be
considering (e.g., payroll/ 1099 admin, insurance, payment terms/ escrow,
tax requirements, etc) that would impact my current hypothesis that I could
charge a low markup, keep it largely automated, and not have to worry about
the day-to-day too much.

Appreciate your thoughts!

Hugo Messer

March 22nd, 2015

Hi guys, i am pursuing a similar idea. I see many companies try to improve on the odesk model. The challenge with odesk is that the freelancers are not vetted. It is hard to pick the right people especially given the huge amount of people on the platform. Some companies improve on the model by vetting the people like ziptask and toptal. Most focus on freelancers. There are some marketplaces that focus on firms like . The challenge we face is that vetting firms is not always a straightforward thing, you need to think carefully about the criteria and the vetting process. 
We chose to focus on teams instead of freelancers. Our teams work at vetted companies. Have a look at . I can share more ideas around this, i think online marketplaces are a fascinating area. 

Aravind Nirmal Kumar Formally Informal

August 15th, 2013

I do have a strong feeling that it might work, as there is always a need for niche marketplaces ... There are several software out there which will help you to get going asap... one of the best i have seen are the below ones..


all the very best :)

Mir H

March 20th, 2015

Hi Vijay,

How did your marketplace for staffing work out. I am helping a friend who is looking into a similar marketplace for accountants and finance professionals. Challenges I see is that ultimately it comes down to the credibility and the quality of the talent pool you have, and unless you provide similar curated services like what recruiting firms offer (preinterview selections, vetting, reference checks, employment verification etc...), it's difficult to get tractions with the hiring managers. Can you share your insights into what are the challenges you ran into? Thanks

Vijay MD Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)

March 20th, 2015

Didn't get a whole lot of traction, there were a lot of independent agent issues that came up and decided to pursue a different idea instead as having higher potential