Modern businesses are becoming increasingly agile. Catherine Livingstone estimates that by 2020, up to 40 per cent of the Australian workforce could become on demand. These businesses are attempting to become scalable and flexible in the pursuit of having an edge over their competitors.

An increase in demand for contingent, temporary and intermittent employees means that there has been an inundation of businesses and startups trying to capture this growing market. This piece and the accompanying graphics intend to clarify when you should choose to use our business (Expert360) and when to choose consulting firms, recruitment agencies and low-skilled talent-platforms.

These companies serve different roles in the talent acquisition ecosystem, as you will understand after reading the following article.

In the meantime, check out this infographic which explains what we're doing in a more concise way.

Expert360

Expert360 is an online platform & management software for posting and applying to short-term, project-based work. The consultants on Expert360’s platform are highly skilled and experienced in their areas of expertise.  

Scope of work: Expert360’s consultants complete both tactical and strategic work, meaning that they are able to recognise what it will take to change a business as well as implementing those changes themselves. Our consultants can also complete exclusively tactical or strategic projects, depending on the needs of a client. This focus on strategy and tactics is indicated in figure 1.1.  

Database and Project Management: Furthermore, Expert360’s consultants are highly-vetted so that we only have the best available independent consultants listed for clients to work with. Only 15-20 per cent of applicants have their consultant profiles approved to be displayed on our platform. These highly-vetted consultants have an average industry experience of 20 years and 15 per cent of them have previously served as C-level executives.   Additionally, Expert360 arms our clients with the ability to pick and choose their own consultants, unlike consulting firms. Similarly, Expert360 allows clients and consultants to log on to a platform in order to post and apply for projects. It can take as little as 48-hours to post a project and hire a consultant on our platform.  

Range of Businesses Served: Expert360 serves businesses of all sizes, yet specialises in medium and large businesses.   Typically, the type of work that Expert360’s consultants cover includes:

  • Strategic review
  • HR/Organisational review
  • Presentation and reports
  • Operational improvements
  • Market research
  • Marketing support
  • Analytics and finance support
  • Planning & PM support
  • Customer strategy support

Figure 1.2: Database and Project Management

Consulting Firm

Consulting firms specialise in short-term, highly skilled work.

Scope of work: The work that consulting firms tend to cover is generally strategic, with less focus on tactical implementation as indicated in figure 1.1. This means that consulting firms tend to emphasise high-level thinking and leave the nitty gritty application of their ideas up to the company for which they are advising. This has drawn significant criticism of consulting firms in the past, however it is undoubted that these strategic reviews can be hugely successful. Given that tactical work is less specialised than strategy work, it is usually easier and cheaper for businesses to allow their own staff to implement the high-level ideas that consulting firms create. This is largely due to the high cost of consulting firms when compared to the other businesses in the talent acquisition ecosystem.  

Database & Project Management: Consulting firms are extremely highly-vetted, with only the most skillful and intelligent university graduates getting selected for positions.   Clients are unable to choose the consultants they are hiring from consulting firms, as shown in figure 1.2. Similarly, clients cannot pick individual specialists from consulting firms as they only hire out teams of consultants.  

Range of Businesses Served: Typically, consulting firms will only hire out to massive multi-national corporations with large teams of six or more consultants. Generally speaking, these projects will operate on huge budgets.   Consulting firms typically specialise in major global operations and ‘branded’ banking work, including:

  • Global strategic review
  • Major global transformations
  • Refinancing materials
  • Final vendor due-diligence

Recruitment Agency

Scope of Work: Recruitment agency work largely revolves around finding long-term employees for companies who need high and mid-skilled staff, as indicated in figure 1.1.   These agencies can find both tactical and strategically skilled employees, depending on the requirement of the business.  

Database & Project Management: These candidates are often part of a huge recruitment database and generally the vetting of these candidates can struggle to be meticulous and stringent. Equally, recruitment agencies prefer to find candidates within their networks and, while this can bring in people who are trustworthy, it can limit the variety of available candidates.  

Range of Businesses Served: Typically, these agencies will focus on hiring for businesses of all sizes, as indicated in figure 1.3. There are no recruitment agencies with the kind of online project management systems that Expert360 has.  

Low-Skilled Talent Platforms

Low-skilled online talent platforms, like Freelancer or Upwork, specialise in low-skilled work for both short and long term contracts.  

Scope of work: Generally these platforms only complete tactical work and, while this grunt work is absolutely essential, it vastly separates these platforms from the rest of talent acquisition ecosystem.  

Database & Project Management: Unlike top-tier hiring options, these low-skilled platforms are not highly-vetted (figure 1.2) which means that the quality of the work can sometimes be questionable.  

Range of Businesses Served: As shown in figure 1.2, these platforms specialise in catering for small businesses and individuals.   These low-skilled talent platforms tend to specialise in:

  • Web design
  • App development
  • Entry-level marketing
  • Photography
  • Pickup and delivery
  • Moving house