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Can This Startup Help Freelancers Earn More?

Can This Startup Help Freelancers Earn More?
Photograph by Getty Images

Profiting by connecting employers with temporary workers goes back at least as far as the staffing agencies that gained prominence after World War II. With the ranks of independent workers in the U.S. estimated (PDF) to grow to more than 23 million within the next five years, a slew of startups have been seeking to tap into the freelance economy. One popular business model: pushing services that companies use to hire, manage, and pay freelance workers directly, as opposed to the intermediary role played by staffing firms like Manpower and Kelly Services.

Among recent entrants is Work Market. Like fellow marketplaces Elance and oDesk, the New York-based startup serves as a meeting place for employers and workers. And similar to staffing firms, Work Market handles human resources functions like background checks, accounting, and compliance needs for employers. That makes the company a good fit for both freelancers, who can earn more than at a temp agency, and employers that have complex hiring rules, says Chief Executive Officer Jeff Leventhal.