Interview: Bringing Staffing to the Platform Age via YOSS

TTL’s Director of Research, David Francis, sat down with Marcus Sawyer, President and Global CEO at YOSS, for a one-on-one interview about the global talent platform.

TTL Intro: If the world of work is changing, there’s arguably no industry poised to change more over the next few years due to the intersection of technology, workforce demographic changes, and worker preferences than the staffing industry. Rather than sit idly by and wait for the future to happen to them, some firms are making bold investments in technology and new business models, and looking to potentially transform their offerings for a new world of work. The Adecco Group, one of the largest global staffing firms with more than 20 billion euros in annual revenue, is one such company and has a number of initiatives underway around the world. For this article, we caught up with Marcus Sawyerr, the CEO of YOSS, a global tech platform that connects global talent to enterprise clients and was built inside of Adecco, to learn what this model of work means for the staffing industry and to get a sense of what it’s like running a startup inside one of the world’s largest staffing firms.

@AdeccoGroup isn't waiting for the future to happen to them. See how in this interview with @TalentTechLabs: Click To Tweet

David: What is Yoss and how did it come to be? What’s your founding/”origin” story?

Marcus: YOSS is a digital freelance platform co-created by the Adecco Group and Microsoft, and incubated by AGX, the Adecco Group’s digital innovation unit. In addition to forging partners with key technology partners, a core focus of AGX was to develop new business models and create new markets for the Adecco Group. YOSS is a culmination of these efforts as it is the company’s first entry into a fast-growing and highly lucrative market where technology is a core enabler. YOSS first launched in France with the goal of bringing skilled freelancers together with an attractive set of professional opportunities, as well as managing all aspects of the talent value chain. Given that more than half of workers in the US will be freelancers by 2025, and 35 percent of millennials in France are already working independently, these two markets were an early focus. Today, YOSS is a global business with a strong focus on the US market. YOSS has evolved into a cloud-based talent platform that connects high-demand skills with flexible global opportunities, an end-to-end solution dedicated to connecting enterprises and flexible talent.

David: What do you think makes this business unique/attractive? That is, why is there so much hype about online staffing and temp labor marketplaces?

Marcus: Flexible work is reshaping labor markets and the economy. It’s one of the megatrends driving the future world of work. By some estimates, 20–30% of the working-age population in developed countries are involved in flexible work to some extent. Of these, nearly half pursue it full time. In the past year, this kind of work added $1.4 trillion to the US economy alone; in Europe, the annual figure is €270 billion.

There’s arguably no industry poised to change more over the next few years due to the intersection of technology, workforce demographic changes, and worker preferences than the #StaffingIndustry. Read more: Click To Tweet

As more and more people move into this type of work, technology and digital innovation have the potential to drastically improve inefficiencies in the market for flexible talent. Online talent platforms give companies a secure, fast and reliable way to match and manage specialized skills and expertise. They also help to improve relationships, communication, admin and management between companies and freelance workers.

Read the full interview, along with other articles about the gig economy, by downloading your free copy of our newest report, “Remote Work Platforms: Trends in Temp Labor Marketplaces.”