Emma Marlow
12 October 2021
2 minute read

FTEs are signing up to services marketplaces as "freelancers". Here's why we think that's a worrying trend.

The great resignation. The great reshuffle.  The growing restlessness.  Call it what you like, seismic workplace change is under way, and much of it is driven by highly skilled workforces across the globe.

Millennials want to get back to the office.  Gen X parents want to be anywhere but the office.  Zoomers despair of ever knowing what an office looks like. And digital nomads everywhere are loathe to relinquish their poolside daiquiris and flip flops for watercooler cups and brogues.

There’s no doubt that COVID 19 conditions have accelerated the opportunity for a more flexible, less presenteeism based, working life.  But there’s something else happening too.  

We, as builders and keepers of the MeasureMatch professional services marketplace, have a unique view of it.

Trouble is, we’re not sure we like what we see.

We’re noticing a growing trend of service provider applications coming from FTEs (full-time employees) looking for additional work, over and above their full-time employment contracts.

They're moonlighters. Developing their side hustles. Doing gigs. Perhaps even preparing for a life supported by independently sourced work and revenue.

Despite their common long-in-the-tooth seniority, these professionals clearly don't care about exclusivity or non-compete clauses in their employment contracts, or that these things apply to them.

Or, maybe, their FTE contracts don't have these types of clauses? We doubt it.

More likely, these professionals think that marketplace platforms like ours are free-for-alls, paying no mind to organizational cultures, customs, legal and other regulatory considerations.

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To be clear, we have been receiving, reviewing, accepting and declining service provider applications, in earnest, since early 2018.

Month after month, a small percentage of applicants have come in with an expectation to gain incremental income from project work via our platform, in addition to their full-time jobs.

But, the volume of FTE applicants in 2020 and 2021 exploded.  

And it’s not just the volume that’s concerning, it’s the types of organizations they're contracted to work with 7 or 8 or more hours each day. They're often employed full-time with Deloitte, Cap Gemini, Accenture and other mammoth consultancies, but many brands are leaking talent, too.

No doubt they're also signing up to other services marketplaces as well.

Unlike “freelance marketplaces", MeasureMatch purposefully screens out all full-time employee applicants.

This is immensely important.

Our service provider vetting and onboarding not only means we can guarantee that clients are only presented with truly independent, focused and dedicated professional expertise for every engagement, it also means our no-FTEs approach helps to ensure that we’re not seen as a distraction - by the very organizations we're designed to serve.

MeasureMatch is 100% committed to doing the right thing, to deliver high value, trusted professional services on-demand.

But, if working remotely is the 2020s equivalent of having a wall behind your open plan desk so your colleagues – and bosses – can’t see what you’re doing on your screen, perhaps the great return is closer than we think.

Emma Marlow

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