The world of work is going through a revolution. Decades ago, the gig and remote work economies were underdeveloped. It was more difficult for job seekers on one continent to apply for jobs on another. Yet, nowadays numerous platforms advertise international job openings, including gig and remote work.
Countries are becoming increasingly interconnected, through economic agreements, migration and businesses having foreign subsidiaries or relocating. Recruiters are hiring abroad not only to be more cost effective. They are also welcoming talents with diverse backgrounds because of the cultural insights the latter can bring to their companies. As more and more companies are operating on a global scale or aiming to do so, their strategies need to take into account diplomacy, the ways of doing business in various cultures and communities - in order to better calibrate their products and services to succeed in different markets. As a result, today, there is more flexibility and mobility across the job boards worldwide.
This article will look at some of the best platforms for gig and remote work, promoting the talent economy all over the world. Note that by gig work, we mean short to medium-term tasks, and by remote work, we imply work that is not done at the employer’s offices - as the traditional workplace - but from home or other locations chosen by the remote worker.
Upwork : “In-demand talent on demand.”
U.S. based, with its headquarters located in California, Upwork is “the largest global freelancing website”. It psents gig work, mostly in Web Development, Mobile Development, Design, Writing, Admin Support, Customer Service, Marketing and Accounting. Upwork was created more than a decade ago using technology, embodied in a “web-based platform [to] [bring] visibility and trust to remote work”. Many freelancers on Upwork from the U.S, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
Basically, the process is as follows: one who wants a project carried out, posts a job advertisement - specifying the skills needed - on the website. Then Upwork analyses the needs for the project and finally, it sends the employer a shortlist of potential candidates. “Our search functionality uses data science to highlight the best freelancers and agencies based on their skills, helping you find talent that’s a good match”, guarantees Upwork. According to their statistics, millions of jobs are posted on the website every year and freelancers are gaining revenue by “providing companies with over 5,000 skills across more than 70 categories of work”. Upwork offers a basic free subscription but also pmium options for candidates and businesses.
Top Talent : “Where talents, skills and work ethic intersect with all industries.”
Founded back in 1985 and based in Orlando (U.S.), Top Talent advocates a more personal approach to recruiting and staffing. This agency delivers services to companies in Central Florida, “throughout ... relationships”, as stated by its CEO. Top Talent’s seasoned recruiters carefully study employers’ needs to find the best suitable candidates.“Once we understand your unique work environment and culture, we develop a targeted recruiting program to attract the right employees”, affirms Top Talent.
The staffing solutions offered by this agency are temporary, “temp-to-hire” and “direct hire”, amongst others. Candidates need to undergo a comphensive screening process comprised of thorough interviews, reference, drug and background checks, as well as evaluations. Top Talent also uses “the U.S. Department of Homeland Security E-Verify program to determine [candidates’] U.S. work eligibility”.The agency indicates that it has a “web-based testing program” that assists its recruiters in choosing from “over 1000 validated assessments covering a broad range of skills and industries”. Those industries are mainly in Clerical/Office Support, “Skilled or Light Industrial”, Manufacturing, Accounting & Finance, as well as Hospitality. The selected candidates are also given a detailed induction to learn more about their new employers and workplaces.
Panagora Group : “Making our world a better place for good.”
Created 9 years ago, Panagora Group is a woman-owned small business based in Washington D.C. The services of this company include “international health and development services” with expertise in for instance, “[g]lobal Health, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning [(MEL)], Capacity [b]uilding, Private Sector [s]olutions, Knowledge Management and Communications”. Panagora Group focuses on excellence, sustainability and innovation.
This enterprise has won major MEL awards on three continents, more pcisely in the Dominican Republic, the Philippines and South Africa. It can assist small businesses in the short or long term in the countries where they are based - whether in Washington or elsewhere - “through institutional support mechanisms”. Panagora Group has more than 100 global employees, been awarded 57 contracts and impacted 26 countries. The company, which often operates in developing countries, in Asia or Africa, knows how to engage the participation of the local community, the civil society and governments - for more inclusiveness. Furthermore, USAID endorses Panagora Group’s CLA (Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting) solutions. “Ultimately, we work to promote country ownership and sustained performance so that our efforts help achieve our mission of making the world a better place for good”, emphasizes Panagora Group.
Malt : “The best freelancers close to you.”
This dynamic company was launched in 2013 - as “Hopwork” and was later rebranded “Malt”. Since then, it has evolved, today repsenting over 100 000 clients, more than a 170 000 freelancers, “thousands of interactions every day” and “hundreds of meetings every week”. Malt has branches in France, Spain and Germany and announces that it will soon be based in other countries as well - meaning still more job ads advertised.
The concept behind Malt is connecting “companies of all sizes with the best freelancers in their area”. Also, this enterprise provides a secure platform where everything goes smoothly, “from first proposal to final payment”. The company believes in the inherent abilities of human beings. “Talent is uniquely human. It cannot be bought, sold or produced by machines.... [it] is a living thing that needs freedom and autonomy to grow”, Malt points out. This enterprise values proximity between freelancers and companies (as it believes it’s “crucial for success”), transparency and the creativity resulting from “real-life encounters” between all parties concerned. Malt wants to foster the “ideal environment” for its collaborators to perform best. “We want to empower each member of community to do great work, and to do it on their own terms. Above all, we want to help them live a life that's true to who they really are”, Malt indicates.
Isahit : “Socially responsible outsourcing platform.”
Isahit is different from the stakeholders we have psented so far. This French start-up is specialised in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Processing digital gig work. Founded 4 years ago, Isahit is a “socially responsible” outsourcing platform “linking artificial intelligence and human intelligence”. Its clients are companies that outsource digital projects via Isahit, which then divides the projects into digital micro-tasks and allocates them to workers (named “hiters”) who will work on each task directly on the platform. Note that the “hit” in the company’s name refers to “Human Intelligence Task”, as Isahit “offers companies a digital impact outsourcing platform in self-service mode or via an Application Programming Interface (API), for the processing of digital tasks that cannot be handled by artificial intelligence”.
The start-up’s aim is to reduce poverty by offering fair employment mainly to disadvantaged young women in developing countries, hence helping them to become financially independent or “finance their studies or an entrepneurial project”. They only need to register and be available 2 to 3 hours a day to work remotely on digital tasks. Isahit’s objective is to reach 10 000 hiters in the next few years and to be psent on five continents, that is in “25 countries of francophone and anglophone Africa and some countries of Asia and South America”. The company claims that 10 000 hiters can “generate a social impact among 40 000 people” - as a snowball effect. To date, Isahit has more than 1000 hiters - who have carried out close to 900 projects divided into more than 26 million microtasks and has impacted more than 4 000 people. The start-up is trusted by huge French corporations such as Airbus, L’Oréal, LMVH and Orange.
Andela : ”... brings you the world’s top software engineering talent”
Andela has been growing steadily since its creation in Nigeria 6 years ago. This start-up gathers and invests in this continent’s most talented software engineers “to help companies solve the technical talent shortage and build high-performing distributed engineering teams” (Andela). Through tech campuses the start-up has successfully opened in Lagos, Nairobi and Kampala, it has “ identified and hired the top <1% of over 130,000 applicants to work as full-time distributed team members”. Note that distributed teams work on “distributed work” basis. Besides Nigeria, Andela also has offices in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the U.S...
Along with Africa’s best developers and a “data-driven approach”, Andela is building “high-performing engineering teams” that can boost companies in producing “better products, faster”. In “data-driven matching”, Andela boasts a 96% successful match rate. So far, the start-up has received around 200 000 applications for its global talent sourcing. It also provides the infrastructure supporting distributed teams of IT engineers for at least 6 global tech hubs. Andela states that it is “trusted by hundreds of leading companies”. It has partnered with international tech corporations such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook and is backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital, as it “cataly[zes] an interconnected global tech ecosystem” from a 100% African base.
Gebeya : “Hire, curate, cultivate talent”
Gebeya defines itself as a “new-age EdTech company”, meaning that its services are primarily Education-Technology-oriented. For several years now, this organisation has been building “self-sustainable ecosystem that trains, hires and cultivates”, producing in the process “top talented African Software Engineers who understand and are specialists in several industries including AI, AgriTech, Blockchain, FinTech, Internet of Things, Media Production, Telecom, and Gaming”. The company that started in Ethiopia, has acquired CODERS4AFRICA in 2018 and recently enlisted Orange Digital Ventures Africa as an investor.
Gebeya produces some of the most elite software talents in Africa. The start-up offers “industry-specific training” in the software engineering, design, and digital fields. Gebeya’s trainees, once they have completed the training program, are introduced into the organisation’s marketplace (note that Gebeya means marketplace in Amharic - Ethiopia’s national language). In this marketplace, Gebeya “match[es] these highly skilled, certified and multilingual African IT professionals with clients across the globe to develop innovative technology solutions, improve development efficiency, as well as scalability”. Clients can buy a subscription if they regular hire Gebeya’s talents. This organisation’s mission is to make Africa “the biggest IT outsourcing Hub in the world”. Gebeya has offices of course in Ethiopia, but in Kenya and the U.S as well. Gebeya shares that its vision is for “a better Africa with a skilled workforce, increased job opportunities and a greater number of innovative startups that will change the way we live”.
Talenteum: “Revealer of the best African talents ready to work remotely.”
Founded in 2016, Talenteum is a rapidly rising star in remote work across the whole African region. The start-up, which has headquarters in Mauritius, is also psent in Madagascar and the Ivory Coast and planning to keep expanding. Talenteum offers “long term professional opportunities” to African talent ready to work remotely with worldwide companies. Those business partners are looking for skills that they have difficulties finding in their own country.
The company is always on the lookout for the best African talents - whom it then places “at the disposal of companies seeking to enrich their teams with the best employees in telework or international mobility mode”. Talenteum has more than 100 employees all over Africa, intervening in close to 25 disciplines, ranging from Computer Science to Accounting, as well as the medical and administrative fields. Talenteum provides all the logistics to facilitate remote work - for instance, the start-up has fully equipped offices in Mauritius for talents to use. Moreover, the organisation also trains talents so they can work better with their clients. The greatest advantage of being part of Talenteum is the guarantee that talents will have work on a long term basis. Gig and remote work can appear too fast-paced and short-term-task-focused to some, but at Talenteum, the collaborators - whether they are talents or employers, have the time to build a work relationship based on trust and stability - which therefore enhances outcomes.
We have written this article to showcase the most noteworthy stakeholders in gig and remote work - and the talent economy - also Talenteum’s sector. Each one of these businesses have been conceived with a unique idea and aim; responding to global demand from companies and talents, with open-mindedness and agility. We are an important part of the solutions for the Future of Work.