Bunker is shining a spotlight on leaders in the staffing industry. Today’s spotlight is with Paro, who matches businesses of all sizes and industries with an exclusive network of high-caliber, fully-vetted financial analysts, CFOs, CPAs, bookkeepers, and accountants who have the domain expertise to tackle company-specific challenges on an on-demand basis.
Bunker and Paro formed a partnership in 2018. Since both companies serve workers in the gig economy, it was a natural fit. Paro’s talented finance professionals come to Bunker to find the general liability and professional liability coverage they need to protect themselves and their businesses.
Christopher Parr, Bunker’s Director of Marketing, spoke to Alexa Lemmo, Paro’s Business Development-Partnerships Manager, on the latest trends, news and the future of work:
What was the inspiration for creating Paro?
While working for some of the largest multinational consulting firms in the world, we realized there are numerous inefficiencies and inequalities in those business models. Employees receive only a sliver of pay for the work billed, and the firms’ clients aren’t always getting someone who has in-depth industry expertise. We decided to change that by creating a company that focuses on matching clients with the highest caliber finance experts in their sector.
What are the biggest problems with the staffing industry that Paro is solving for?
Not all finance experts are created equal. When you work with a staffing firm, you get what you get. Paro isn’t interested in putting a body in a chair. We’re interested in bringing our clients peerless talent no matter where that talent lives. If a client in California needs a controller with industry-specific knowledge and experience in large-scale accounting software implementation but that person doesn’t live in California, we’re not going to present a second-tier choice. We will find that expert where they live. This ensures our clients receive the very best finance and accounting support. Not only that, but we ensure each client is matched with an expert who is passionate about that sector/industry.
Tell us about your company’s background and journey to how you built Paro.
Initially, we wanted to build a business intelligence tool for organizations that needed a better handle on their back office data. As we talked about this, we discovered that many businesses lacked accurate financial data that would feed into the tool we wanted to make and that having a tool is useless if that data isn’t in place.
At the same time, we realized that many of us also had a common experience working with large consulting firms: clients are charged at hundreds of dollars an hour, but when you do the math, you realize you’re only making a fraction of that. And then you realize you could do this work from anywhere.
Our focus began to shift to helping businesses with their bookkeeping and accounting, filling in the gaps in their finance department to enable their success. We quickly discovered just how difficult it was to source experts from the various marketplaces—and we knew exactly what to look for in talent!
A need existed for businesses to easily fill in the gaps in their finance departments with expert talent. The solution was clear to us: build a network of the highest skilled, finance experts from every industry to meet the needs of our growing clients and future ones.
How is Paro different than others in your industry?
Our experts are excited to work with clients, passionate about easing pain points, and dedicated to success. There are plenty of talent marketplaces out there, but none of them approach talent like we do. As a managed marketplace, we do the vetting up front. Every expert in our network goes through a rigorous vetting process, including an interview, multi-step competency test, and a sample presentation.
When a client comes to us, we’re able to quickly source the perfect fit from our network. In fact, our process is 20x more effective at finding a match than hands-off marketplaces.
What pain points does Paro solve for enterprise customers?
We build specialized finance teams for our clients. At the enterprise level, we eliminate on-boarding time almost entirely with a network of experts who already understand your business and the tools you’re using. Within an afternoon, you can have a fully-staffed team for any project at any level.
Describe how Paro is helping the gig economy grow.
We’re helping the gig economy grow by taking the guesswork out of business development for the experts in our network. They’re able to focus on projects that excite them, and they trust us to provide income predictability in the face of an increasingly volatile marketplace.
What new financial vertical is Paro focusing on and why?
We’re focused on a holistic approach to transforming the way our clients approach finance. We enter at ground level and take companies through all types of growth, providing foundational bookkeeping support up to go-to-market strategy from a CFO. We’ve built entire teams and supplemented others with bookkeepers, accountants, controllers, analysts, and CFOs—all in an afternoon.
How has the on-demand environment changed the staffing industry?
Many of our clients and experts tell us that marketplaces are overwhelming and difficult to navigate. From both perspectives, there are too many options and too many people volunteering for projects. Wading through that large pool of applicants takes up a client’s valuable time. Meanwhile, highly-skilled experts passionate about your job are lost in the numbers. We believe in sourcing experts who already understand a clients’ business, and we believe in empowering those experts to pursue the projects they love.
How do you ensure your on-demand workforce is compliant?
During the on-boarding process, all our experts are required to obtain insurance and are notified that clients have the ability to ask for proof of insurance at any time.
How has Bunker empowered the Paro workforce?
Bunker provides our network of experts with a seamless option to obtain E&O insurance to better market themselves and assure that they and their clients are covered.
What’s on the horizon? What staffing trends do you see for 2019 and beyond?
We’re very excited about the future and all the ways we can make work more rewarding for our experts. Our online platform automates business management for our experts. This means they spend more time doing the work they love and less time on administrative tasks. We’re continuing to refine the platform to make business administration easier by managing billing and invoices, and ensuring our experts find the work they’re most interested in.
Learn more about Bunker Enterprise, Bunker’s New Compliance Verification Platform: