The market for platforms within the gig economy is expanding and taking on an increasingly distinctive role in its matching of supply and demand of labor. This unique position is generally found in the fact that platforms are inclusive employers. Recruiters typically select with bias and based on culture, but platforms offer equal chances for everyone. Platforms create opportunities for people who experience difficulty getting hired elsewhere. Platforms are also used to create matches –for example in ICT– that are verifiably better and faster when compared with traditional channels.

With the growth of this specific added value of platforms, concerns about the functioning of their systems and how to improve them are becoming more and more relevant. Not regarding technical improvements specifically, but rather improvements in favor of the securing of public values and the creation of systems which contribute to the sustainability of these platforms for those who use  them –in the interest of inclusiveness.

One of the most interesting sub-questions is the role of reputation scores. Research shows that the impact of reputation scores on platforms is very important to contractors when obtaining new gigs. The impact of a degree is almost nil, yet reputation is of utmost importance.

The query as to how a system handles reputation scores is therefore extremely relevant. This research is focusing fully on reputation scores, as we’ll be attempting to answer the following three questions:

  • How to guarantee that scores measure what they are intended to measure?
  • Can data be made portable in such a way that it can be used on other platforms? And, what conditions should be created to make it feasible for platforms to organize this data collectively?
  • How to guarantee the continuity of data when a platform, for example, goes bankrupt?

We are deliberately taking a pragmatic and concrete approach to this research. Many studies have taken a theoretical approach, but here we’re looking for ways to support the market with practical and implementable ideas. We have consciously chosen, in addition to collaborating with renowned scientists, to also work directly with partners from the field. We have gathered a strong, multi-faceted group of partners; a multi-disciplinary mix of parties that normally wouldn’t collaborate together very often. In the service of the industry, we’re using this research to validate assumptions, develop practical advice, and present workable scenarios.

Through these efforts, we are supporting the platform sector in maturing further and strengthening its unique position with regard to the matching of supply and demand in the market of flexible labor. Moreover, we’re contributing to a stronger position for contractors (‘empowerment’) within this industry.

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