vBENCH Launches USA Talent Exchange to Let Businesses Easily Find, Contract, and Pay U.S.-Based Freelancers

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We want to ensure American workers have a platform that lets them explore careers beyond their traditional work commute

vBENCH (http://www.vbench.com) today announced the public launch of the very first, exclusively 100%-U.S. online workplace for technology contractors, freelancers, and independent workers across a variety of professions.
“Fundamental economic shifts are forcing many companies to reevaluate their workforce and bottom-line compelling them to further embrace the contingent labor model,” said J.T. Eberly, vBENCH cofounder. “We recognize the challenges with offshore labor and, more importantly, we understand the impact we can have by helping bring those jobs back home to the USA.”

Uncertainties about the economy, corporate benefits, healthcare, taxes, and labor laws are forcing companies to reevaluate the W-2 versus 1099 ratio of their workforce.  “Onshoring” is gaining popularity as many companies have struggled with “offshoring” (using contractors outside the U.S.) due to the unanticipated costs incurred by language barriers, turnover, security risks, rework, and time-zone issues. Some experts are predicting 40% of the workforce will soon be contingent.

“As that number grows, we want to ensure American workers have a platform that lets them explore careers beyond their traditional work commute, and effectively compete against the cut-rate offshore labor typically found on other online talent exchanges,” said Eberly.

Talent exchanges are benefiting from this trend for increasing numbers of people to prefer working freelance or on temporary contracts, said a recent report in The Economist.  Up to one-third of American workers are now freelancers, contractors, or temps, up from 6% in 1989, according to Accenture.  The Economist said $1 billion of work was done through talent exchanges in 2012, but notes that figure is less than 1% of the estimated $300 billion spent worldwide on contingent workers, “which suggests that talent exchanges are still barely scratching the surface.”
According to a recent MBO Partners report, the U.S. independent workforce increased by nearly one million contractors between 2011 and 2012, and it anticipates up to six million new independents will join the contingent workforce over the next five years.
“Launching vBENCH is very exciting for us, not only because we are improving people’s work lives, but we have uncovered an incredible business opportunity,” said Matt Pundmann, vBENCH cofounder. “We’re at the forefront of a new and growing employment model. Improvements in technology and cloud-based applications have brought flexibility to today’s workplace. We’re enabling people to find jobs beyond their traditional commute and work from the comfort of their home office or wherever they desire. With so many talented professionals right here in the USA, we’re helping businesses minimize the need to ‘offshore.’ vBENCH makes it simple to find U.S.-based talent and manage projects online.”
What vBENCH does for hiring companies:

  • Locates qualified, certified, vetted, and local or virtual resources to solve their biggest challenges
  • Provides an extensive, all-U.S.-based database of contractors, staffing firms, consulting firms,

and VARs with specific skillsets for projects of all sizes

  • Gives direct access to independent contractors, keeping costs down compared to traditional staffing channels, which typically have high or multiple markups on a contractor's rate
  • Empowers a business with an on-demand, flexible workforce; reduces onboarding, turnover costs
  • Has role-based controls for company employees to better manage a “virtual bench” of contractors
  • Avoids hidden costs of offshoring: time difference, language barriers, rework, risk
  • Optional escrow system ensures work is completed and approved before contractor is paid

What vBENCH does for freelancers and independent professionals:

  • Provides a way for them to market their skills to hiring entities
  • Lets them separate themselves from the crowd through better vetting of skills
  • Global talent exchanges have artificially forced down U.S.-based contractors’ rates and have driven work offshore; vBENCH ensures that superior talent gets paid at the rate it deserves

Registered-User Testimonial:  “I’ve been hoping for something like vBENCH to come around for the past 20-plus years of my independent contractor career," said Jim Czuprynski, Oracle technical evangelist and DBA. “vBENCH gives me the power to distinguish my verified skill sets in an all-U.S.-based talent exchange. I feel confident vBENCH will help grow my contracting business by enabling me to reach a broader customer base with the my high-value services.”
About vBENCH
vBench LLC (http://www.vbench.com) has developed an online talent exchange that connects businesses of all sizes directly with the rapidly growing U.S.-based contingent workforce in the fields of information technology, business administration, sales and marketing, design, accounting, and legal. Businesses using vBench are given the tools to hire, manage, and pay U.S.-based contingent workers in a more cost-effective and efficient manner. The vBENCH platform was under development for more than a year until its public launch in October 2013. Founded in June 2012, the company is co-based in Minneapolis and Chicago.
Hiring companies and independent contractors are encouraged to sign up now at http://www.vbench.com. 

About the Founders
vBENCH LLC was founded by two technology-industry veterans:

  • Matt Pundmann, Cofounder.  Originator of the vBENCH concept for an all-U.S-based talent exchange. His idea grew from a need for an easily accessible and affordable pool of local technologists to support his efforts to sell and deliver complex technology solutions to his clients. Realizing the only option to find people was through traditional staffing agencies, which came with an inflated cost, Matt approached JT Eberly with the idea for vBENCH, and the two began building it. His responsibilities are creating brand awareness/recognition and strategic business, marketing, and sales planning. Matt holds a degree in Business from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
  • J.T. Eberly, Cofounder.  One of the visionaries behind the first exclusive U.S.-based talent exchange, and a firm believer that, of the estimated 17 million skilled independent professionals in America, many remain undiscovered, underutilized, and unemployed because of the growing number of talent exchanges promoting offshore talent. His responsibilities are talent/business development, strategic partnerships, and establishing core strategy. JT holds degrees in finance, marketing, and a certificate in entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado.

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