It’s what people call cloudworking - working within the “cloud”. Conventional telecommuting evolved thanks to online platforms and collaboration technologies, and to an increase in independent workers. “It’s the new way of working that people under 30 are looking for, as well as those of us who are older but desire more flexibility. What used to be thought of as a workplace - a physical location to which one traveled - will begin to diminish”, says Silvina Moschini of Argentina, founder of the advertising and public relations agency, Intuic. From Miami, via Skype she adds, “The concept that is currently exploding is on demand. Services are used and paid for on an as-needed basis, without purchasing the service full time”.
Freelance and virtual, remote work has existed for some time now, but in the last few years has been stimulated by technological platforms which connect independent professionals with companies, for work on concrete projects. There are many - oDesk, Nubelo, Workana and Freelancer, to name a few. The 42-year old professional has a degree in Public Relations from the Argentine Business University (Universidad Argentina de la Empresa). She contributes to CNN en Español as an expert in social media and new technologies.
Moschini, together with her husband, created Yandiki. It acts as an agency, linking talents in the creative industries from around the world with organizations. These professionals work on-demand and remotely via a cloud-based platform. “At Yandiki we avoid a scenario in which talents compete and bid on projects, because it is detrimental to their professional value - and is bad business. If price is the deciding factor, then top talents won’t stick around”, explains Moschini. She also developed an application - TransparentBusiness - which allows geographically dispersed teams to be managed and their progress supervised.
-Who makes up the Yandiki community?
-In contrast to other enterprises which offer talent on-demand, we do our recruiting via invitation. We search for the best candidates, by means of references or because we would like to represent them. We use big data technology to analyze profiles, based on an algorithm that analyzes how often a profile is visited, talents’ portfolios, how many people endorse them on LinkedIn, how many awards they have earned, as well as other data. Compensation is determined according to experience in each respective market. Beyond the invitation, talents must be certified (at Yandiki there are 300 independent, certified professionals). A form must be completed listing abilities, and evaluations performed to measure skill levels because it’s important that people be able to understand assignments, and there are concrete tests to evaluate talents’ abilities.
-Are millennials the main focus?
-Yes, and we also focus on mothers who don’t want to give up working or the possibility to be in their home. They are able to decide how many hours they are available to work. We have regional director positions for large advertising agencies, and our Director of Operations is a divorced mother who lived half her life in Thailand, completed a master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and now lives in Santo Tomé. In the past working from home was something procedural. Today, companies preserve their central structures and outsource to the max. The profile has changed: before, they were people in India processing orders. Today it is more about the flexible management of talent.
-Is the lessening of structures the main driving force behind the increase in independent work?
-There are a combination of factors, because the millennials currently represent 25% of the labor market, but in 2020 are projected to comprise 75%, and they don’t wish to work in a company that offers the same value propositions that my generation accepted. They are not so driven by earnings and benefits, and planning a career in one place for the rest of their lives gives them claustrophobia. To them, a face-to-face meeting implies using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime. The management of these workers in a traditional office setting makes no sense. They are entrepreneurs, and studies show that in the United States by the year 2020, 40% of the workforce will be variable.
-How is work compensated at Yandiki?
-All talents are independent workers, and we use international payment methods such as PayPal or Payoneer, which are cards or virtual accounts in the cloud. From the 1st through the 5th of each month, the system liquidates the hours worked, and the payment is made. Talents’ prices are represented in U$D, and we don’t take advantage of the “blue” rate or card. If people desire, they may go to Uruguay to extract dollars.
-In which areas is independent work expanding?
-The two main areas are administrative and technological outsourcing. We also participate in the “creative economy”, and it’s going to grow a lot. Many industries are needing to reinvent themselves, for example lawyers. Telemedicine and access to doctors on-demand will also grow, as well as virtual assistant services for those who are unable to have a personal secretary and would like to purchase packages to be able to turn to assistants for help. We are going to launch that service next year.
-If there are going to be more and more independent professionals, how can one create a virtual personality that sets them apart?
-The image portrayed from the results of a Google search of yourself is how others will see you. The manner in which each person presents his or herself must be impeccable. Great care and effort must be invested in a profile, and it should be complete and precise. It’s important to keep in mind that it is an opportunity to make a big impression. You must uncover your skills and link them, with as much detail as possible, to your work portfolio. Third parties’ assessment is also an important aspect of your reputation. It’s the Wikipedia principle: to be listed, you must be notable, and you are if somebody mentioned you. In matters of social profiles, many people don’t realize that the Internet is a window to the world, and care must be taken.