“Talent Should be Able to Engage Talent” Ft. Peter Johnston, Founder and CEO of Kalo

On this episode, Kalo Founder and CEO Peter Johnston talks about how to attract the top talent when they won’t settle for a W2. Peter and Chad’s discussion highlights the importance of embracing the independent workforce – for the enterprises hiring them, the platforms supporting them, and the legislators governing them.

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Excerpt from the podcast:

Chad Nitschke: Yeah, definitely. And I’m curious, you mentioned some examples I think of why top talent is choosing to be independent, but just based on the users that are on the Kalo platform, what do you guys see and hear in terms of this is why workers want to be independent?

Peter Johnston: Yeah. Great question. I mean, I think first and foremost when … I guess I’ll take a step back and sort of – there’s a spectrum, right. It’s kind of called the gig economy and I love and appreciate all the meaning behind the term, but on the spectrum of sort of the freelancers that work on the Kalo platform and engage with the enterprises that use our software, it’s on a different scale of Uber drivers and people delivering your food. It’s much more on the sort of like, we’ll work with Ideo today and like where the system of record there. So a lot of those freelancers are billing thousands of dollars a day for the projects that they work on, to Google and some of their freelance engineers. And I think the biggest reason is because when they get to that level of talent and when their skills are so specialized and so in demand they realize that they can not only earn more money, but the benefits of having that freedom to really only use their super powers and not have to deal with like the usual administrative burden of a full time job – it’s kind of like are we really using our hard skills more than 25% of our day jobs? Probably not. There’s a lot of kind of like ops and back and forth and admin and I think the biggest reason, and we survey our freelancers pretty regularly, and one of the biggest reasons is still just like freedom of choice to work on what we want. And in particular, what’s becoming bigger and bigger and might speak more to a macro trend of just, I think everyone in the world because of kind of the state of everything right now, particularly in America, they want a little bit more control and independent over their own lives. And a say in what they do day to day. So I think there’s something slightly bigger driving a lot of it. Not to mention, obviously, there’s just tax and pay benefits to being independent. But I think for us the biggest theme is just wanting to work on something meaningful and realizing they can charge a premium if they are a superstar.

Chad Nitschke: Yeah, no, that definitely makes sense. And certainly consistent with what we hear as well. And I’m curious kind of the flip side of that question. So you don’t need to share like names or anything, but I’m curious if you’ve got any kind of war stories for like what not to do if you’re an enterprise in terms of maybe making it unappealing to freelancers.