The New Talent Marketplace: The Human Cloud

The Human Cloud is a buzzword in human resources and talent management circles. Brought about by the growing gig economy, the human cloud is the group of contingent workers, from carpenters to consultants, who form the on-demand or gig working world. The way these on-demand workers organize themselves and their working life is also part of the human cloud.

Online platforms have been developed to showcase the specific employment skills of groups of on-demand workers. There are general platforms, which allow any worker to register and list skills, experience, education, and reviews; there are industry specific platforms that focus on gig workers in the arts, in writing, in engineering and science, and others. Some on-demand platforms are regional or focused on local economies, and others are remote work only.

The vast majority of those in the human cloud are only working part-time at their side hustle or gig, but the number who are moving into this sector entirely is growing. Workers note that they have control over their working life in a way that is impossible as employees, and these types of opportunities are especially popular for those who are trying to find a work-life balance that will allow for family responsibilities.

Concerns with the growing contingent workforce are that there is no access to employee benefits, especially health care and retirement savings. The industry that will find solutions for this group of workers will have a large and eager market.

Government regulation and oversight is concerned about reining in development, and making sure the tax structure is catching all possible revenue. There is no data at this time to assume that the social security system is being impacted, but a new model of work and new structures of working lives will impact older models of retirement security in the future. Regulatory oversight is not, however, keeping up with the rate of technological disruption, especially in the financial services arena.