Work Market Acquires Onforce

Our portfolio company Work Market announced today that they have acquired their competitor OnForce from its owner, The Adecco Group.

This combination makes Work Market the undisputed work automation leader in IT services sector, where both companies got their start.

Work Market also offers work automation services for many other verticals, but the IT services sector is very strategic as it has been using work automation software solutions long before other verticals.

Work Market describes the transaction in more detail here.

For those who haven’t read my many posts on Work Market over the years, work automation software¬†allows companies to automate and scale their agile workforce, from W2 employees, contractors, staffing firms, and freelance/1099 workers.

We think this is the future of work and Work Market is powering it for many enterprises, large and small.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Justin Fyles

    I have a friend who is a long-time manager in retail, and has strong thoughts about the future of the “agile workforce”, its effect on retail, and the happiness of the employees therein.We had a discussion the other day and he made a point of stressing that retail outlets intentionally schedule workers under 35 hours a week to keep them as part-time. Additionally, he believes that keeping workers as contractors is less about pay than it is about organization (i.e. they don’t want trade unions to go up against).I’m curious what, if anything, these types of platforms could do to empower such workers in the IT sector and drive satisfaction for the workforce alongside the companies contracting them. Any thoughts?Edit: While I understand the political and business model implications of this discussion, my intent was specifically regarding workforce aggregation platforms and how they can empower the worker in addition to the employer.

    1. PhilipSugar

      Here is the really tough answer to your question:What do we say and what do we do? I am self aware.Do I sometimes shop at Amazon over the local retailer? Yes.Does my wife shop price at retailers? Yes.Do I believe in my heart that if you pay people better, you will get better people? Yes.In high leverage situations like software development am I right? Yes.I low leverage situations like retail am I right? No.Yes, it’s a high end problem to be able to think like this.Many of us here can. But there are many that cannot. They just want to get by.I do not want a race to the bottom. I travel the world and see where that goes.I do not want however to “give” people money.The greed post was good (pun) because that is where government needs to step in.I would be for a $20 minimum wage and a similar drastic action on anybody that does not want to work, and a mandatory drug and birth control testing for those on any government aid, which is not a right but a privilege.That is not right or left, that is just a hard discussion.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Interesting. If government theoretically mandated not being pregnant to receive aid, do you support birth control as part of that aid?

        1. PhilipSugar

          Absolutely. Yes. Completely. And it should not just be for women. If you are a man and you do not support a child you fathered you are just as responsible.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            Love that. Though the devil is in the details…

          2. PhilipSugar

            That is the hard discussion.

          3. LE

            If you are a man and you do not support a child you fathered you are just as responsible.I’ve told the story of the guy who worked for my father where the wife had to stop by on payday to get the money so he wouldn’t spend it at the bar. Some of these people are ‘skip town’ grade so the ‘you are just responsible’ is meaningless. No teeth.

        2. LE

          If government theoretically mandated not being pregnant to receive aid, do you support birth control as part of that aid?You can 100% put such an idea out of your mind. For a whole host of reasons that would never become law.Think of it this way. Republicans and the hard right are against abortion. Yet they are probably more likely to oppose social programs to help those people that couldn’t get abortions or can’t support their family. What does that tell you? I have always found that quite ironic.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            Oh, I know. The makeup of America would never agree. But an interesting thought nonetheless.

          2. Vendita Auto

            The thought is repellent.

          3. Susan Rubinsky

            The irony is blatant.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            This is a big issue, e.g., is connected with the blunt fact that the birth rate is so low we are going extinct, literally.There is another blunt fact: It used to be a rock solid norm in our society that sex, love, marriage, affection, bonding for life like love birds, and conceiving children all went together and were regarded as important, fundamental, beautiful, often religious, things. There are still people who cherish that situation, say that they like “traditional family values.” Say, they are in set A.Now a lot of people broke apart the “went together” part and have sex for, call it, friction without affection, or “casual sex,” also without trying to build a home, family, life together, etc. Ah, “Bond, James Bond” appeared to do a lot of that! Also there are rumors that such things have been known to happen in college dorm rooms, on blankets in college beach parties, in college frat houses (on the pool table?), at Spring Break in Florida, in the back seats of cars, etc. Say they are in set B.Then, in set B, sometimes, oops, she “misses” and is pregnant (sorry ’bout the mention of gender, but, gee, it’s always “she” or something very unusual). Drat. Darn, Damn. Disaster. NOT a “blessed event!” SOOOO UNfair. HOW could that have happened! So, rush off to the D&C shop and get that terrible problem fixed then recover with a double mocha, etc.Well, hearing about B, people in A are offended at the, call it, pollution of their cherished traditional family values.So, the people in A are against that D&C on demand stuff and want to do what they can, after Roe v Wade, to stop the D&Cs, e.g., vote to stop Federal funds being used directly or indirectly for D&C shops. In particular, they expect or hope that by stopping the Federal funds they will reduce the number of D&C procedures and establish more discipline and help traditional family values become more common, hopefully universal. Maybe otherwise they will want a letter A on some foreheads where A doesn’t abbreviate Captain America!Then, for more in discipline the people in A don’t want Federally funded child support, that is, for single mothers, a.k.a., “welfare queens”. The set A solution is using an aspirin pill as birth control; the pill is to be held tightly between the knees, with lots of clothes, all of the clothes on, feet flat on the floor, etc.The set B people don’t agree.The result is a political shoving, shouting, and pissing match.Well, neither sets A or B will go empty soon. Or, “we didn’t invent sex” (@JLM). Or, Mother Nature has her ways. Or, Mother Nature wants the women having babies with traditional family values, and without traditional family values what Mother Nature wants is the women having babies; apparently it’s been that way for a long time. And no doubt the D&C shops will not see a fall off in the rate of customers entering the door. And, one way and another, a lot of D&C shops will get funded.So, really, basically nothing will change very much or at all. “It’s not nice to try to fool Mother Nature!”.So, the Republicans can be “right to life” and get some votes they otherwise might miss from set A. But the position “right to life” will be empty because, again, nothing will change.And the Democrats can be for “choice” or some other somewhat vague description of the D&C procedure and, again, have an empty position.Or, here the RNC and the DNC can agree: The pissing match is good for campaign donations!Or, Roe v Wade was decided, IIRC, ballpark 40 years ago and is “established law” and, thus, something the SCOTUS is very reluctant (read that as no way) to change. IIRC Judge Gorsuch mentioned a 500 page book coming to that conclusion. Uh, use that book if can’t find an aspirin pill?Or, to distance ourselves from the astoundingly fundamental and strong emotions, nearly as strong as the emotions for life itself, for people in set A, no one is suggesting that they visit a D&C shop. For the people in set B who are already pregnant but can’t afford to have a baby, however surprising that might be, somehow it’s been known to happen, maybe even some of the people in set A would agree that the “lesser of two weevils” is to permit, even fund, the D&C. Maybe.Sure, 100 years ago there were some easier and supposedly popular solutions: A wicker basket left on the doorstep of a church or convent. A dumpster. Then IIRC from Sunday School there was something about a wicker basket floating down a river.But we are more civilized, now, right?Uh, people in set A: You are going extinct. Quickly. Literally.You don’t like the idea of the society awash in people in set B? Okay, then, work to move those people into set A with you. Explain to them how they get nice 6000 square foot houses, perfect HVAC, furniture, etc., late model BMWs or even Teslas, commonly take long winter ski vacations to Canada, Aspen, Switzerland, have really good private schools for the kids, usually eat out or have carry-out, etc., have all the women dress like FLOTUS Melania (ballpark $15,000 a day?).How to do that? Ah, shucks, saying that would rub a lot of fur the wrong way! So, I’ll leave the discovery as an exercise!

          5. PhilipSugar

            I am Catholic. The thought that you are against both abortion and birth control is absolutely idiotic. Stupid beyond control.

          6. LE

            In no way will I claim to understand Catholicism as much as someone who is Catholic.That said I always thought this had to do with Catholics wanting large families …https://www.catholicculture……and all of those evangelizing activities that Christians do (say in foreign countries) to enlarge the practice of Christianity. I see conflicting info on Catholics vs. Christians though with regard to this.

      2. JamesHRH

        That would be a great name for a third American political party – the Hard Decisions (HD) party.

      3. Vendita Auto

        I believe it is a “right” and a privilege.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Our rights in America are outlined in the Constitution specifically the Bill of Rights. I don’t see that one listed.

          1. Vendita Auto

            I do not need to see it to feel it, our rights do not stop at borders. I do not think you need to see a credit card or passport first. “I’m only human after all don’t put your blame on me”, [as the song goes]

          2. PhilipSugar

            Nice thought. Who pays?

          3. Vendita Auto

            “Who pays” the ferryman ? Christian mea culpa or societal NHS

  2. Pointsandfigures

    I wonder how many similar mergers there will be. Quite a few startups are basically doing the same thing in the same space. GrubHub merged and it turned out very good for them. They IPO’ed.

  3. Femmes de Consequence

    Congratulations, Fred, to you, USV and everyone at Work Market. This is an important accomplishment for Work Market and all its customers. It’s lovely to see such hard work rewarded with this type of growth and scale opportunity. Bravo.

  4. PhilipSugar

    I have no idea why Justin Fyies comment is awaiting moderation, hidden and not able to be replied to. If anybody’s comment is political it is mine. He just makes a very good point on what happens to workers with this type of technology. Does it cause a race to the bottom? Does it cause more of a shift

    1. LE

      I saw that yesterday and concluded without even seeing it that it was fine by the way you answered it (like sonar).I think it’s a disqus error. I don’t think I have even seen that behavior at AVC for any comment.That said I see that he has an “Edit: ” so maybe there was something there?

      1. PhilipSugar

        When I replied it was not blocked it was the exact comment without the apology at the end.He posed a very legitimate question/thought. If we make it so it is very easy for employers to employ people on a temporary basis with no commitment that gives employers tremendous leverage. What can we do for employees?Everyplace has a designated point (Home Depots in the cities where you pick a person up for the day) If I had low skilled work I would be tempted. Look frankly in an indirect way I do hire them because even though I try and hire the best contractors when there is a ton of work guys show up that I know aren’t part of the crew. When I tried to hand out ear, eye, and lung protection they looked at me like I was an alien.You always say you can only be as honest as your competition. I would add ethical and compassionate as well.That contractor knows that he has to bid out a good price or he won’t get the job. He knows his competitors will also use that low cost labor.I’m not saying these sites aren’t great.They provide a way for people that want to work flexibly to get that freedom.They provide additional work in the economy. For instance I would never hire an agency to build a website for my Lego team, but I would consider a freelancer. I would never hire a person just to do Powerpoints but I might hire an expert.Great. But he poses a legitimate question, in a very professional way.Must be an error. That is too bad because it is a good discussion. And if anybody’s comment was not considered correct it would have to be my reply back.

        1. LE

          You always say you can only be as honest as your competition. I would add ethical and compassionate as well.Exactly and I kind of mean that just didn’t want to get into listing all the things. And ‘the competition’ also means, say, your wife’s friends husband who does things that you don’t which your wife thinks makes him look more desirable than you. (She is not taking into account maybe the entire picture). Not your wife of course but ‘someone’s wife’. Point is how you operate in life (husband or company) is impacted by how your competition acts. Saying ‘honest’ is just shorthand. You know the Springsteen song with the lyrics ‘hard to be a saint when your just a boy out on the streets’? It’s kind of like that. Much of life is like that.I am seeing it say waiting for moderation now as well. Tried on two browser no cookies all of that.By the way since there are no other comments ‘awaiting moderation’ I would guess by the theory of forbidden fruit (I just made that up) it would actually get more attention, not less. People should in theory be curious.