From rideshares to grocery deliveries, consumers are more comfortable than ever using gig workers — essentially strangers — to provide everyday services that make life easier.
So why not adopt the same level of acceptance inside companies?
There’s a lot of “pent up demand” from employees who want to work in a flexible way, said Stephanie Nadi Olson, an advertising sales executive turned entrepreneur, during an interview for the podcast “On Leadership with Atlanta Business Chronicle.”
In 2018, she “planted her flag” and launched We Are Rosie to meet workers’ needs to find harmony between their career, and family responsibilities and self-care.
We Are Rosie connects more than 25,000 freelancers, mostly in the marketing sector, with project-based work at major companies including Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co.
Click above to hear why We Are Rosie is changing its hiring practices–doing away with the traditional resume and encouraging its corporate clients to do the same.
The reasons why people want to work differently are as diverse as the firm’s freelancers, which Olson calls “Rosies.”
About 40% of the company’s talent pool identify as Black, indigenous or people of color (BIPOC), a statistic that isn’t lost on Olson, who said she had “the privilege of growing up in a very diverse household.”
Her mother is of German descent. Her father is Palestinian.
“Diversity has been everywhere for me my entire life,” she said. That changed when she started climbing the corporate ladder and she noticed fewer people of color, older women and people with disabilities in the workforce.
“It’s one of the many reasons I felt this compulsion to start We Are Rosie,” she said.
We Are Rosie uses technology to match marketing professionals’ skills and career preferences, with positions at more than 25 Fortune 500 brands.
The company has had a steady growth trajectory since its founding. In 2021, it attracted an equity partner in Align Capital Partners, which valued the company at $110 million. Earlier this year, it landed on Inc.’s 5000 list at No. 232. Olson stepped down as CEO in January, but said she remains committed to the company and its mission.
More people are expected to try on-demand work in the next few years. By 2027, it is estimated that 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelance.
In the short term, amid rumblings of a recession, Olson told the Chronicle she anticipates “our business will become more desirable in an economic downturn.”
If companies cut costs by trimming their workforces, employees will likely want to pick up contract work to make ends meet, Olson said.
To listen to past episodes of “On Leadership with Atlanta Business Chronicle” click here. You can also provide comments at Onleadership@bizjournals.com. “On Leadership with Atlanta Business Chronicle” is also part of the WABE Studios Podcast Network.