How Platform Sourcing can help Fintechs win the War for Talent

Current State 


The War for Talent had a ceasefire in early 2020 due to COVID-19 but is now back in full swing. The War for Talent is not new, the term was coined by McKinsey and Company way back in 1997. However, this war has evolved due to the increase in digital initiatives and the rise in remote work smashing down the usual geographical barriers. The most in-demand tech roles for companies across the UK are software developers, web designers and data analysts with AI skills quickly catching up. According to Adzuna in April 2021 there were nearly 10,000 vacancies for software developers, compared to 5,630 at the same time last year. Furthermore, the Gartner 2021 CFO survey found that 74% of CFO’s plan to permanently shift employees to remote work after the Covid-19 crisis ends. Many Fintechs including Revolut have rewrote policies to include fully remote work.


The old solution


Historically when skills are in demand there are a number of tactics large organisations deploy which include but not limited to:


  • Post more (and more and more) jobs on Linked In
  • Create a new Preferred Supplier List (PSL) of agencies
  • Hire contractors from PSL when perm hiring stalls
  • Referrals schemes
  • Recruitment open days 
  • Host tech meet ups (obligatory beer and pizza post)
  • Expensive PR Campaigns to hype up culture and opportunity
  • Increase Salaries


Now these are all perfectly good solutions if you have lots of time and money. However, most digital initiatives have an end goal to generate revenue. With a lack of key talent then projects start to delay and so does the revenue. This is when most CEO’s and CFO’s start to get interested. This is usually when the big digital consultancies get brought in.


The new solution

There is another way. There is so much talk right now about the “future of work” and there are many debates of what that means. That is for another day, lets focus solely on the platform sourcing element of the future of work. There has been a rise in companies using talent platforms to complete projects using platforms such as Toptal, Freelancer, Innocentive and Upwork. Even NASA use platform sourcing for major software development projects. This has been largely in North America with the UK slow to this model.

A recent Harvard Business School report about building the on-demand workforce states: 

“COVID-19 has only accelerated the move away from traditional, pre-digital-era talent models toward on-demand workforce models.” 

Also, the well-regarded University of Oxford Report on Platform Sourcing stated there will be rapid growth in the next 5 years on how companies use Platform Sourcing including crowdsourcing and outsourcing platforms. The report focused on research around how Fortune 500 firms are adopting online platforms. The report author Greetje Corporaal found the following benefits:

  1. Providing easy access to a scalable source of manpower, skills and expertise 

Platforms provide access to freelancers with highly specialized skills and expertise, making them an attractive option for organizations to quickly and flexibly complement the capabilities of their in-house employees on an on- demand basis. 

  1. Reducing start-up and transaction costs 

Compared to traditional outsourcing vendors and contracting agencies, platforms substantially lower the start-up and transaction costs of a contract. This allows enterprises to quickly hire freelancers to address project needs. 

  1. Eliminating conventional hiring barriers 

Platform technologies eliminate or at least reduce geographical, informational, and administrative barriers in the hiring process. This allows their use for projects of shorter length and scope. It facilitates the hiring of freelancers on a more flexible, on-demand basis, and allows managers to bring in new skills and knowledge to the organization that would otherwise have remained outside. 


There are factors to be aware of when using platform sourcing:


  • The work needs to be well defined with milestones and outcomes
  • Time zones need to be factored in
  • This does not replace your team but can enhance


In conclusion, the next time you are worrying about the impact that losing the war for talent will have on your projects and ultimately revenue then consider a platform approach. There are a number of UK platform companies including Distributed and the Gigged.AI (I am biased as the CEO). Start small and define your outcomes and this could be game-changer.