Over the past 10 years, there has been a seminal shift in the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Research shows the future of selling lies in experience, and not solely product, and consumers today have a new set of expectations – they want to connect with the brand they are buying from, and look at things such as brand values and company reputation before becoming a loyal customer.

In order to keep up, some of the leading companies (the ones who are now thriving) have taken notice, changing their model from delivering a product, to delivering a service. (Think Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Salesforce, Dollar Shave Club, etc.) Subscriptions have replaced traditional transactions and created more than a buyer, they created a “buyer experience.”

In this new era, relationships reign. And while, up until now, this model has been reserved for consumer products or SaaS services – thanks to some industry pioneers – it’s begun taking shape in a new arena with the potential to dramatically shift the way that people work, and the way that companies employ.

The Shift to ‘Subscription Staffing’

If you’re a leader looking to staff your company with outstanding people, you traditionally had only one option: hire them as employees.

But now, a new model has emerged, sprung from the retail and saas model of the subscription economy. Known as subscription staffing, it lets companies “subscribe” to highly qualified, personally matched remote talent—giving them the flexibility to scale quickly, without any of the hassles of recruiting and hiring, and at a far lower cost.

Why is Subscription Staffing Good for Businesses?

A growing number of today’s growing businesses are turning to subscription staffing for three main reasons:

  • It removes the time and overhead spent hiring and directly employing staff while allowing businesses to remain compliant
  • Subscription staffing provides access to talent previously out of reach
  • Businesses have the flexibility to hire on a fractional basis and scale up and down whenever they need to– something that is difficult to do with in-house staff

The Hiring Time-Suck

Every company knows that hiring new employees is a cumbersome process. Most businesses (especially small businesses) are already taxed for time before the search begins, making finding someone new overwhelming. Posting to job boards or hunting for a recruitment firm, arranging and holding multiple interviews, developing contracts, NDAs, situating payroll and registering with the state, buying extra insurance, purchasing new equipment, etc., are just some of the steps involved.

The average cost-per-hire for today’s small business is absurdly high (around $4,129) and the average time it takes to fill any given position is a staggering 42 days. But maybe even more frustrating is, after all the work involved in bringing on a new hire, stats show one-third of new hires quit their job after about six months.

This is probably the most attractive asset of subscription staffing to today’s business owners who are trying to scale as quickly and lean as possible – immediate access to highly-trained, in-demand talent on a fractional basis. There’s no searching, no vetting, and no hiring required on the part of the business owner.

Removing Talent Restrictions

In the past, it was nearly impossible for small or medium sized businesses to compete with Fortune 500’s when trying to get top-tier talent. But companies who are shifting to subscription staffing are gaining access to that talent on a fractional basis, so it’s become affordable and accessible for smaller companies to tap into the expertise of professionals they wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire on a part or full-time basis.

On the other end of the spectrum, hiring virtual staff also provides business owners the benefit of hiring the best staff from around the country, without dealing with the complex and time-consuming issues of employment regulations that vary from state to state. This can be especially attractive if you live in an area where talent is scarce or even where talent is abundant but the cost of living, (and therefore expected wages) is high, like New York City or San Francisco.

Fractional Use

As a business owner, do you really need someone in the office 8 hours a day? Research says probably not. Over the course of an eight-hour workday, the average worker can only achieve about 5 hours of real, maximized productivity.

With subscription staffing, employers are able to utilize talent for only the amount of hours they need in a given month, while still building a valuable ongoing relationship. Because they’ve subscribed to that talent, they have those hours on a repeating basis, reserving the talent’s time and assuring they’ll be available for ongoing work.

The Early Heroes of Subscription Staffing

Facing the hiring time-suck issue was Kristin Smith, Director of External Affairs for The Blockchain Association in Washington DC. Smith found her company in need of an experienced, professional executive assistant who could jump-in easily and fractionally without much hand-holding. Through Boldly, Kristin was able to bring on AnnMarie – an EA with 15+ years of experience and a penchant for helping new companies get established. Here’s Kristin’s story:


Fractional use was the most popular advantage of premium subscription staffing for Hildy Kuryk, owner of PR consultancy Artemis Strategies. From her prior experience in starting companies, Hildy knew bringing on a talented and experienced and flexible resource was the best way to facilitate growth. Hildy has now been working with her EA, Rhonda, through Boldly since May of 2017:


Smith and Kuryk are just a few of the hundreds of business owners and executives, and entrepreneurs who are choosing a bold new way to approach hiring through premium subscription staffing. And as subscriptions continue to dominate the customer experience, we expect to see the trend towards a more flexible way to staff continue.

Interested in learning more about how premium subscription staffing is shaping the future of hiring? Click here.