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The Subscription Economy’s Newest Arrival: Subscription Staff

Written by: Sandra Lewis

The subscription economy has changed the market landscape, and our business took advantage of this revolution. So have our customers, executives at Apple, Google, Amazon, and hundreds more. Can yours?

Subscription services in themselves are nothing new.

Consumers have been paying for newspaper subscriptions for decades. Today, 79 percent of U.S. adults use some kind of subscription service.

What is new are the types of products and services available on-demand. Legendary brands like Disney and Apple are jumping in with both feet with services like Disney+ and Apple+. From streaming media to software, ownership is decreasing and “usership,” a world where we own nothing, is on the rise.

In the business landscape, it’s the same. In fact, we’re so enmeshed in the subscription economy that businesses can even subscribe to flooring. That’s right, even the floors we walk on aren’t owned.

While this seems counterintuitive, it’s fundamentally better.

After all, what’s the value of flooring? Providing the right surface for people to use and experience office or retail space.

The magic is in access to the right solution at the right time for the right price without the hassles of replacing something each time it wears out, needs replacing, or upgrading.

B2B and B2C customers alike are voting for subscription models every single day—and the momentum is only building.

Don’t buy expensive software that’ll be outdated in a few months. Gain continual access to the latest version of software for $20 per month and access to customer support.

Don’t pay a lawyer $500 an hour to draft simple legal documents, subscribe to an online legal service for just $39 to create your own, including access to legal advice.

And today, don’t waste months recruiting and thousands of dollars hiring and administering key roles like executive assistants, project managers, and marketing specialists. Instead ‘subscribe’ to the long-term staff you need (yes the actual people) and get additional benefits like holiday cover, and extra staff to cover surges or special projects.

The Subscription Economy’s Latest Arrival

The subscription economy is omnipresent in tech, but it’s changing the hiring landscape, too. Instead of recruiting, subscribe to your newest rockstar employee like executives at Google, Amazon, Facebook, and hundreds more are doing.

This hiring model for subscription staff is called premium subscription staffing.

It used to be that to get the most talented people to work for them, companies had to find, recruit, and employ talent, with the myriad complexities hiring entails, from legal to payroll to HR administration.

But now, businesses have discovered they can subscribe to pretty much everything saving a significant amount of time and effort.

In the same way that they get software on a monthly basis without the hassles of ownership, they’re now subscribing to highly-qualified long-term staff without the hassles of employment.

Instead of Software-as-a-Service, think of it as People-as-a-Service.

Subscription staffing makes world-class marketers, project managers, executive assistants, and more available for the long term, on-demand, allowing businesses to quickly get hand-matched remote talent for the exact number of hours they need each month with the convenience of a simple monthly payment.

The Cost of Hiring (and Not Hiring Well)

It’s gotten so much traction because, frankly, traditional hiring is an expensive headache, and using the gig economy as an alternative is fraught with risk on many levels.

While there are endless costs to running a business, hiring is one of the most expensive line items. Today, the average hiring cycle takes 42 days and costs $4,129!

This makes scaling staff a painful, even risky, experience. For startups, this is especially problematic. After all, 90 percent of startups fail and one of the main drivers of failure is not building a quality team.

With a simple subscription to the guaranteed team members you need, all of these issues evaporate.

Can You Take Advantage of the Subscription Economy?

Boldly found a major problem they could uniquely solve with subscription staff.

Because not only are demanding founders and executives looking for rockstar talent, rockstar talent is looking for meaningful, flexible, and stable remote employment opportunities. Not gigs, but real remote W2 positions with benefits.

The premium subscription model offers a solution to both sides of a major market problem.

It’s easy to look at subscriptions as just a software- or commodity model. However, even a service business like ours has scaled to over 120 expert employees and landed customers like Apple, Facebook, Zendesk, and more.

Want more inspiration?

The state of Louisiana is using a subscription model to affordably tackle a major health epidemic. Instead of buying potentially life-saving drugs transactionally, they’ve brokered an on-demand subscription.

Subscriptions will continue to rule in the new global economy. Research firm McKinsey found subscription revenue rose from $57 million in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016.

The hockey stick is just starting. Where can you take advantage of this model? What are your thoughts on hiring subscription staff?

Updated on May 7th, 2020

About the author: Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Boldly. She's passionate about helping Businesses, Organizations and Executives increase productivity and move their work forward with the right skills and resources. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working remotely, she’s been leading her entire team on a virtual basis for the past decade.