I’ve blogged a few times before about the deterioration of the traditional recruitment models and the need for today’s recruiters to evolve and develop their offerings to meet the changing demands of clients in the future. So it was with great interest I read about Auckland recruitment firm Razzbri launching a new freelancing platform Yudoozy to connect contractors with employers and cutting out the middleman (ie agency recruiters).
Seeing as Razzbri recruit for the Web, Digital and Design sectors, the concept of freelancing is already far more prevalent in their part of the business world than, say, in Sales or Engineering. So in that regard they have something of a head start and, as co-founder Greig Cranfield told me this morning, is something that both their clients and contractors have been asking them to develop for a long time.
He also acknowledges the elephant in the room too, though, in that this has the potential to cannibalise a large part of Razzbri’s exisiting business, as in their traditional model of providing contractors with a sizable agency margin lampooned to the hourly rate. So this, then, like many start-ups spun out of a more traditional model, is their Kodak Moment.
The challenge will be in making sure that contractors keep their profile current and up-to-date and, crucially, their availability is always accurate. The reason is that, in reality, a large chunk of contractor recruiters’ time is spent trying to ascertain availability of contractors so they can pounce when an urgent piece of work pops up from a client. To remove the middleman, you need to have contractors learn to communicate their availability in a less reactive way.
OCG launched a similar offering a few years ago called Contractors24Seven which failed to take off for that very reason. Yudoozy’s original plan was to link their site to the freelancer’s LinkedIn page to keep profiles and availability up-to-date that way but LinkedIn, as is their wont, shut down access to the API.
So the clear point of difference that will give Yudoozy their greatest chance must surely be their decision to limit the product to the local market:
“Other freelance recruitment websites already exist, such as freelancer.com, but Yudoozy’s point of difference was that it was only for local freelancers so if someone in Auckland wanted a job done only freelancers from Auckland would be available, Cranfield said.”
It’s an interesting differential that should remind us that, no matter how smart or clever the technology or software is, people still like to eyeball each other before doing business. As one recruitment owner once tweeted a couple of years ago, with a hashtag I’ve long sought to replicate, #FaceToFaceWinsTheRace. Now that’s a trending topic if ever I saw one.
It also gives me the perfect opportunity to share with you one of my favourite comedy sketches of all time, from The League of Gentlemen, something I hope Greig will forgive me for but hey it’s Friday and I just can’t resist:
So yes indeed, a local platform for local freelancers and clients. And then the final word from Greig which, in true journalistic style, were put in his mouth at the end of his interview:
“A lot of recruiters will be not very happy we’ve done this.”
Because THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of line that gets clicks on a story, dontchaknow? So let me know, are you happy?
I am. It’s progress. And it’s Friday. Have a good one.