We wrote about Flexing It almost three years ago, when it was first launched, but today this online platform that connects freelancers from different industries to employers looking for part-time help has grown significantly (Read story here).
"When we started, the demand for freelancers and temporary human resources was just growing. Now with people going the extra mile to balance work and life, more and more people are choosing to work part time," said Chandrika Pasricha, Founder, Flexing It.
She added that the same goes for employers who are starting to look at temporary hiring solutions for new projects that need an ‘extra hand of two.’
The Delhi-based startup has around 1,067 employers and 12,500 registered users onboard. The platform had has over 1,500 job listings so far.
The freelancing and project-based work economy has huge growth potential – [Mary Meeker’s] 2015 Internet Trends Report, published by Kleiner Perkins, indicated that four percent of the US workforce is already freelancing and Forbes estimates this number to balloon to 50 per cent by 2020.
The report added that this fundamental shift in working practices is now a global phenomenon and is being shaped by technology, a greater focus on expertise and delivery, changing expectations of professionals, and also greater risks to business models that place a premium on flexibility.
Riding this wave, the company recently raised an angel round of funding of $500 from investors in Chandrika's network.
Tilman Ehrbeck, former McKinsey Partner, venture investor who has invested in Flexing It says, "The market for project-based, flexible work has been largely unorganised and based on personal networks – I believe curated marketplaces can play a huge role in extracting its potential.”
The funds infused will be used to expand geographically in India, and soon in other parts of the world.
"We are seeing a sudden demand from employers outside the country too. They are starting to employ resources who can work remotely," added Chandrika.
The platform has users from various colleges, including institutions like the IITs, IIMs, ISB, Harvard, INSEAD, etc.
Almost 45 per cent of the employers on the platform are startups. According to Chandrika, this number is increasing because of various reasons.
“Startups care more about saving money, which is why they are more comfortable with our platform. For example, a startup might just want to hire a HR person to set up their policies or recruitment process, they use Flexing It,” said Chandrika.
When they started in 2012, they were a team of six, curating profiles and matching prospective employees to employers. Also, they just started charging for their services early this May.
They have various pricing slabs, depending on the kind of interaction you expect from the platform. It can cost about Rs 1,500 per posting to about Rs 20,000 for unlimited postings.
Freelancer does exactly the same thing, except they focus a lot on the technology talent pool. LinkedIn, which is now widely used for recruitment, does not curate profiles that match a particular job posting. Startups like Flexing It, which covers many more industries and matches job profiles for the project, might come as a welcome change for Indians – especially women, who want to timeshare between work and family.