The world of work is changing fast. With flexibility and adaptability at a premium, big companies are finding that they need a new approach to talent management. Many are starting to use internal or industry workforce marketplaces as a way to enable managers to publicise opportunities and jobs, and employees or contractors to find projects of interest.
We explored RigUp, a network of over 25,000 contractors and 10,000 vendors in the energy sector.
RigUp started life as a workforce bidding platform, but has quickly grown and developed
Since its foundation in 2014, Rig Up has grown into the largest labour and workforce marketplace in the energy industry. It brings together a large network of businesses and contractors, with access to AI-driven tools to improve efficiency of processes. To give you some idea of its growth, it has 416 employees, an increase of 43% over last year. Its annual revenue is estimated at US $24.7 million.
RigUp is effectively a triple marketplace, serving three main groups of customers with complementary needs
RigUp’s focus is three-fold: to connect independent contractors with work, to help vendors and operators to find the talent they need to get the job done, and to help operators to find vendors. In other words, it is not exclusively a resource for contractors, vendors or operators, but works for all three to help them to achieve the win–win of having the right people doing the right job. It has both a ‘workforce marketplace’ and a ‘vendor marketplace’.
There are a number of important attractions for operators
First, RigUp provides access to a huge amount of cutting-edge technology that enables operators to digitalise their contracting with both contractors and vendors. For example, the end-to-end invoicing and payments system is transparent and easy to use, and the reporting systems provide rapid access to information. Operators can also reduce risk by the use of a customisable onboarding system for contractors, access to training, and Rig Up’s internal compliance system. The size of Rig Up’s network of both contractors and vendors is also a huge attraction, not least because it makes scaling operations very easy.
The attraction for contractors is better terms and conditions, and easier working
RigUp offers very good terms and options for contractors. Digital invoicing and payment tools take most of the stress out of the process, and make it easier to get paid faster—within five days of invoicing. Contractors can therefore focus on getting the job done, without having to spend hours on paperwork. RigUp also provides support for contractors, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the fees for access to the marketplace are low, making it more attractive than traditional agencies.
The attraction for vendors is being able to work with top operators at lower risk
The vendor marketplace offers opportunities to work with some of the top operators in the business. The digital systems for invoicing and payments means that these processes are quicker and easier, requiring less time and effort—and also improving cash flow, a vital consideration for smaller businesses in particular. Access to a huge network of both operators and contractors also means that it is easy to scale rapidly when you are ready to do so.
RigUp’s total funding is $452.5 million, including a fair amount of venture capital
In October last year, Rig Up announced new funding of $300 million, on top of a $90 million venture capital input in January. This recognises the changes in the labour market, and the desire among both contractors and businesses to move away from the rigidity of staffing agencies, and particularly the fee structure and slowness of the recruitment process. The company now plans to move into the renewable energy sector, and will also continue to digitise processes for operators, contractors and vendors.
RigUp has shown that it can respond fast and flexibly to its customers’ problems
It has put in place a range of support for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, it was recently approached by a large US-based energy operator needing help with its COVID-19 response. RigUp has partnered with a digital health organisation to enable it to provide comprehensive home-based screening, testing and treatment for COVID-19. When an employee of the energy operator tested positive, RigUp coordinated the delivery of testing kits, and a nurse to run tests on all the remaining employees. Results were delivered within 48 hours, avoiding too much operational disruption.