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The Future of Work17:24 with Shib Mathew
The traditional process for sourcing and hiring freelance talent (i.e. via middlemen such as recruitment agencies) is deeply flawed, often leading to unnecessary expense, lack of transparency and dissatisfaction for both the employer and the freelancer alike. Shib tells us why the future of work is freelance.
[MUSIC] 0:00 [APPLAUSE] >> Hello, hello. 0:12 Hey, you can hear me. 0:14 So hi everyone, sorry to interrupt your bento boxes. 0:17 My name is Chip Matthew, I am one of the cofounders of a business 0:21 called YunoJuno, we have been given 30 minutes for 0:27 this presentation, and I promise that I will only need 15 of those 30 minutes. 0:31 One, because our story is pretty simple. 0:38 And two, I'd like to give you back 15 minutes of your lunch, 0:41 which is also a part of our story. 0:45 I have a clicker here. 0:47 But essentially, what YunoJuno is 0:50 is we're a freelance marketplace built to connect freelancers and 0:53 employers in very fair and direct, transparent, and cost efficient way. 0:57 I can appreciate that's a very bland slide, but don't worry. 1:03 My slides get probably weird in a minute, so bear with me. 1:09 Just out of interest, are there any freelancers in the room? 1:15 Anyone? 1:19 Cool. 1:21 So I'm one of three co-founders of our business. 1:23 We, the other two chaps, are just there. 1:27 We came together a few years ago. 1:31 We had been working in advertising, and creative and tech for a number of years. 1:33 For the last 15 or 20 years. 1:38 But we actually worked together for 1:40 quite a few years in a few London creative and tech shops. 1:42 And even though we came from three different backgrounds, so my background is 1:47 I ran a creative studio looking after designers and developers and UXs. 1:52 Chris on the left, he was our finance director, and then Hugo was our CTO. 1:59 And even though we came from three different backgrounds, 2:04 we each had a particular frustration around the hiring and 2:09 booking of freelancers. 2:14 We did not fire any freelancers. 2:16 And we saw it as part of a larger problem, essentially, and that problem, 2:20 Hugo and I were also freelancers for a time, 2:25 so we also knew that that frustration wasn't just on one side of the table. 2:28 And that problem essentially was that we didn't like the way that 2:33 freelancers had to connect with employers via a conduit or an intermediary. 2:38 So we thought that we had to do something about that. 2:44 And that's essentially where our story and our journey began, 2:47 in rethinking the recruitment process for freelancers and employers. 2:50 We were also fueled by two particular things that we saw in the industry, 2:56 in our industry as well as other industries. 3:01 One, that freelancing, the decision to go freelance, was dramatically on the rise, 3:03 and it was starting to make a legitimate claim to being the future of work. 3:12 The other thing that we saw was the way 3:17 in which freelancers connected with employers, was outdated. 3:21 It needed a more responsive way. 3:26 So we decided to get together after a good few months of drinking and 3:30 complaining about the situation. 3:36 We decided to stop complaining and 3:37 build something that was more responsive to that need. 3:39 But I wanna touch on this idea of freelancing being the future of work, 3:48 because there are some interesting stats and some reports that are coming out 3:52 right now that make us believe that this is more than just a flash in the pan. 3:57 And some people are actually calling it the industrial revolution of our time. 4:02 So right now in America alone, 4:07 34 of the population of the total workforce are freelancers. 4:09 And the prediction is by 2020, just five years away, that will increase to 50%. 4:14 In the EU it's not that much different, the story's not that much different. 4:23 So a study came out just recently that between the years 2003 to 2013, 4:27 freelancing grew by 45% across the EU and 4:34 if we just pulled the UK alone, it grew by 63%. 4:39 Now it's not up on that slide but we're not the leaders in this field. 4:45 The Netherlands, if there are any Dutch people in the room, the Netherlands. 4:50 Are there? 4:54 There are. 4:55 Hey. 4:56 So you guys, freelancing grew in the Netherlands by a whopping 4:57 92% over the years 2003 to 2013. 5:01 So you're leading the pack. 5:05 And if you're a graduate, also I have to apologies for the images on the slides. 5:10 It's more of a reflection on my very nonexistent social life. 5:16 That I just sit and watch movies and TV shows, but essentially, 5:22 if you are a graduate, the Independent Newspaper did a study that 20% of 5:26 graduates leaving university today will enter the workforce and 5:31 decide to enter the workforce as a freelancer. 5:37 And that would've been unheard of just even three years ago. 5:40 But beyond the stats there's been a real shift in the way that 5:45 freelancing is seen in the job market, in the industry. 5:51 So when I first started my career, early 90's, 5:56 a freelancer was seen as a bit of lone wolf or a mercenary, a gun for 6:00 hire, that you would get in when your favorite designer or favorite creative, 6:05 favorite developer was away on holidays or was working on another project. 6:08 But that's no longer the case. 6:13 So freelancing for freelancers, I'm sure the freelancers in this room would agree, 6:16 is a viable career path. 6:20 And more and more employers are choosing to build creative teams, 6:23 product teams, design and build teams via a freelance model because they know 6:28 that it makes economic and strategic sense. 6:32 Economic sense because you can build teams based on projects coming in the door. 6:35 So you can scale up or scale down. 6:42 But from a strategic sense you can actually fulfill a very specific brief 6:44 with very specialist experience and skills. 6:49 So, we thought that was really exciting. 6:53 But what we didn't see in our eyes was this shift 6:57 being accompanied by the way that great freelancers connected with employers. 7:02 We thought that the traditional process of using an intermediary was expensive, 7:09 one, but the whole process was quite convoluted, and, as well, quite opaque. 7:15 So we built YunoJuno as a response to that problem, 7:25 a place where great freelancers can connect with great 7:29 innovative employers in a very direct and transparent way. 7:33 A place where freelancers or 7:38 a place where employers can build a project brief and see who is from the very 7:43 curated pool of London's best freelancers, who is available and ready to work. 7:50 A place where a freelancer can set their own availability and 7:55 determine when they get hassled over a particular project and a brief. 8:00 A place where a freelancer can build a profile that actually works for them. 8:09 So they can detail all their skills. 8:14 They can show their work history. 8:17 They can add endorsements and 8:20 references of people that they've actually worked with. 8:22 People that have actually worked for. 8:25 So things that a potential employer could really use to make a decision. 8:27 And a place where they can show all of their portfolios and social profiles. 8:31 At a place where there can be 8:40 a direct one-to-one communication between a freelancer and 8:43 an employer, so they can negotiate rates, they can talk about a particular brief. 8:47 Nothing gets lost in translation, and nothing gets lost in an over worked inbox. 8:53 And a place where there is complete transparency over costs, 9:02 including how much YunoJuno makes. 9:05 So not quite sure if this is a example that resonates in the room, but one of 9:08 the things that we hated as employers was firing these great freelancers and 9:13 negotiating a particular rate via an intermediary, and 9:18 then half way through a project going out for a pint with that freelancer, and 9:21 the freelancer saying I want no where near what you paid. 9:26 And then us thinking well that's not what we agreed with the intermediary. 9:30 So we really hated that scenario so we wanted to do something different. 9:34 And show absolutely everything which translates to be let's say if 9:39 you're a designer for 350 pounds a day and you get a 10 day gig, you and 9:43 the employer can see completely that your project, that you are getting 350 time 10. 9:49 Everything that you negotiate is yours. 9:55 And we also show you exactly how much YunoJuno makes out of that transaction. 9:59 And finally a place where once a booking happens, you as a freelancer and 10:05 you as the employer knows that everything else is taken care of. 10:10 Time sheets, invoicing, and most of all as a freelancer, you get paid on time. 10:14 And the response we've had in the market has been absolutely incredible 10:25 over the last two and half years. 10:29 So we are now at 3,000 10:31 industry validated freelancers across London and we're just in London right now. 10:35 Across those seven skills we've just opened up client service and 10:39 social in terms of taking registrations but 10:44 we now have 3,000 industry validated freelancers in our network. 10:47 From an employer perspective we now have over 500 employer members across some 10:51 of London's most prestigious and premiered brands which is really exciting for us. 10:56 But the most exciting thing is that we are about to hit 11:03 our 20,000th freelance booking day on the platform. 11:08 So 20,000 days have actually been booked by the YunoJuno platform between 11:12 freelancers and employers. 11:16 So we're really excited about that. 11:18 But we knew that we had to go further than just building a job board, 11:21 or a snazzy looking engine. 11:26 We knew that we had to do more if we were to deliver on our promise of 11:31 actually delivering change for this industry. 11:35 And the first thing that we took aim at 11:40 was the way that the traditional model costs. 11:43 So, we thought that the traditional model charges anywhere between 20% and 30% 11:48 commission by just placing a freelancer and we thought was highway robbery. 11:54 So, we decided to make YunoJuno a completely free platform for freelancers. 11:59 And we decided to charge 9%, only 9% for employers. 12:06 But, if an employer and a freelancer already know each other on the system, 12:11 we remove all costs so it becomes a completely free system for freelancers and 12:16 employers, so it's a real benefit to actually book through this system. 12:21 The next frustration that we had was as a freelancer not getting paid 12:32 on time really sucked. 12:37 Of the freelancers that are in the room, 12:39 how many of you have had to wait more than 30 days for your invoices to get paid. 12:41 How many have had to wait more than 60 days? 12:47 90 days? 12:50 I won't ask any more than 90 days, cuz that gets really sad. 12:52 So we think you shouldn't have to wait. 12:57 As a freelancer, you shouldn't have to wait 60 or 90 days to get paid for a job 12:58 that you might have well already completed and you may have left the building. 13:03 So last year we signed up a partnership with HSBC. 13:08 And so, I'm in agreement with them. 13:13 Where, every single YJ member and every single YJ freelancer, 13:15 gets paid on 14 days for all of their YJ bookings. 13:21 And, we thought, well this partnership also has to also work for employers 13:27 because we were employers once, and we knew the struggles that employers had. 13:31 So we delivered that same benefit to employers. 13:36 So we decided to pass on 13:39 the benefit to employers by giving them 45 day payment terms. 13:42 So freelancers on the YJ Network get paid on 14 days guaranteed. 13:46 All of our employers get 45 day payment terms. 13:50 And best of all, we decided to make it a completely free component onto the site. 13:57 We thought it was one, the right thing to do, but also we thought it 14:03 was a natural extension of our mission to make freelancing just like a regular job. 14:07 And what do you get in a regular job? 14:13 You get paid regularly. 14:15 So that was kind of our stake in the ground. 14:17 But at the start of this year, we decided to take it just a little bit further, and 14:23 we decided to do something a bit crazy. 14:28 We thought, we've built this great platform and it works really well. 14:33 And a lot of our freelancers said to us, 14:38 well it's not the finding of the work that's the issue for me. 14:40 It's just the payment process and all the invoicing. 14:44 So we thought the platform and 14:47 the community need to work harder for that particular freelancer. 14:51 So we opened up YunoJuno to all of our members to request 14:55 a direct booking for through employers that they already know, and 15:00 want to take a booking through the platform. 15:04 You might be thinking well what's the big deal in that? 15:09 So the big deal in that is if you're a YJ freelancer and you request a direct 15:13 booking via someone you may already know you come under the protection of HSB. 15:16 So you get all of your invoices paid on 14 days. 15:23 The employee gets 45 day payment terms, 15:27 no one ever has to worry about chasing any money. 15:30 And best of all because the two of you know each other there is no 15:33 cost associated with that transaction so 15:37 why YJ doesn't take any money from that transaction. 15:39 You just simply get paid on time as a freelancer. 15:43 So we've only just launched it literally eight weeks ago and 15:47 the uptake on the network has been absolutely brilliant, so 15:51 we're really excited about where that's going. 15:54 And the final thing I'll say is, 15:55 and I'm pretty sure that is almost 15 minutes, 16:01 is the way that we built YunoJuno was that we had a collection of black 16:04 books of our most trusted freelancers and a whole bunch of employer friends. 16:10 We got all of those guys together and we asked them to be our founding members. 16:14 And then we asked our founding members to recommend just two other people that they 16:19 thought were the best of the best, 16:23 that they thought would be interested in a community like YunoJuno. 16:24 And that's how our recommendation system has worked to this day. 16:29 And obviously now, we're at 3,000 members and 500 employers. 16:32 But, everything that I've shown you and everything on the site, 16:38 has been designed, built, UXed, by the freelancing community on YunoJuno. 16:41 So we literally go into YunoJuno when we need a designer or 16:46 a developer and book them through the site to work on the site. 16:50 It's kind of our thing around by the people, for the people. 16:55 It really is a platform built by freelancers for freelancers and employers. 16:59 That's it, essentially. 17:10 Thank you, very much, for having me. 17:11 Hopefully, that has been 15 minutes. 17:12 >> [APPLAUSE] 17:14 [MUSIC] 17:18
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