The Role of Employment in Crowdsourcing Still Not Fully Defined
Employment. A complex issue in its own right. And all the more complex for a tool like crowdsourcing that spans almost all countries and industries. While in Berlin at Crowdconvention, I picked up on some stirrings on this topic. And a debate seems to be on the horizon.
Paid crowdsourcing (usually on a per task basis) is just one part of the massive, growing crowdsourcing landscape. But this sector (also known as the crowd labor) gives many people the opportunity to work with no restrictions in the way of location, mobility or time zones. Paid crowdsourcing is a relatively new way to earn money and there isn’t yet a standard for companies who offer this type of work.
Currently, each paid crowdsourcing company works off of their own pricing model . Some of them take into consideration the minimum wages of the country in which they operate or where their clickworkers are located. (And Clickworker is proud to count themselves among them.). Sadly, others seek to drive cost to lowest possible level with imputed wages to workers at ½ or less of minimum wage. We hope that quality requirements end up supporting a minimum wage model; but we shall see.
The bigger the economic importance of the crowdsourcing model, the weightier this issue will become. As he mentioned at the Crowdconvention, Mr. Howe expects growing political opposition. “The response that is coming is loud and trade unions have voices.”
Hari Holopainen of Microtask also forecasted some sort of digital equivalent to trade unions that will campaign for fair pay.
But there are a lot of opportunities to be found in crowdsourcing. With high unemployment rates lingering in the U.S and abroad people with skills are looking to utilize them.
I don’t know what the future holds (as my time in Vegas has taught me well), but I know that, like most things on the Internet, it doesn’t take long to find out who’s doing what (how, when and with whom…). And I expect the best companies will prove themselves over time.
That’s it for now,