Crowdworking: opportunity for established job sites?

10 Jan 2017

What Andre Hugo (LinkedIn) couldn’t get off the ground for Naspers in South Africa with M4Jam, namely crowdworking, has quietly blossomed in Germany into what one could call “a sub-vertical for mini-jobs”.

To the point, where a dedicated rating site launched recently, on which crowdworkers (mini-jobbers) can rate the different crowdworking sites in the sub-vertical, such as AppJobber, MyLittleJob (mini-jobs for students), Crowdworker, ClickWorker and MachDuDas.  

The rating site is called Faircrowdwork.org and currently rates TestIO and AppJobber with four out of five stars, and TestBirds, StreetSpotr and Jovoto with three out of a possible five stars.

There is also an organization for the sub-vertical called German Crowdsourcing Association (GCA).

Similar sub-verticals have mushroomed in the U.S. (eg. Innocentive.com, Upwork), and Asia. In Germany, the sub-vertical has a clear and simple business model, which generates income from early on, and one wonders how long before an established jobs vertical in Germany ventures into this sphere.

The business model goes something like this: a company has a need for particular market information (eg. the condition of its outdoor posters in a particular city, or its product position on the shelves of a particular supermarket, or confirmation that its point-of-sale (POS) material is used by a particular supermarket chain as agreed, or a consumer survey in a particular suburb, or a big document to be translated quickly), and asks a crowdworking site to have the task done by its so-called crowdworkers (individuals who have registered on the site for free to do small jobs, often requiring them merely to take photos with their smartphones and send them to the company) for a small remuneration.

The site is paid by the commissioning company, and the site pays its crowdworkers, and is left with a small profit.

Robert Lokaiczyk, co-CEO of AppJobber in Darmstadt (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

According to Robert Lokaiczyk, co-CEO of AppJobber in Darmstadt, companies go the crowdworking route, because the final costs-to-company for jobs are lower than if they had used their own employees for the tasks.  

In Germany alone about 200,000 crowdworkers have registered on crowdworking sites and mini-jobbers earn €144 per month on average. On crowdworking sites focused on product testing, the average monthly income is somewhat higher at €410, according to a recent contribution by the ARD television station (here from minute 12:39 in German).  

So, it’s small money, but for little effort. At this stage, 80 percent of Germany’s 200,000 crowdworkers have real, daytime jobs and use the opportunity to earn extra money in their spare time. No less than 20 percent rely solely on crowdworking.   

According to Michael Gebert, CEO of the GCA, about 75,000 crowdworkers were registered on UpWork alone late last year (here).

AppJobber, owned by the private company Wer Denkt Was, lists so-called supermarket-check jobs in about 1,000 supermarkets in the following countries:

Liste der Länder

Each job pays €5. For instance, at branches of the Irma supermarket in Denmark, Rimi stores in Estonia, Mattöpet branches in Sweden and Dia stores in Spain.

In September last year, AppJobber had 8,000 jobs listed. It claims, Europe-wide 300,000 mini-jobbers have downloaded the IPhone/Android apps and registered to date. The site is confident of continued growth in 2017 – of both mini-jobbers and jobs listed.

Here is how the process works for the mini-jobber on AppJobber.

So, what is holding Germany’s established job sites back? Or will they let the opportunity to make money in the blossoming market for mini-jobs pass them by?

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Christo Volschenk

Christo Volschenk is managing editor of the news on Aimgroup.com and our senior analyst covering Naspers. He brings more than 30 years of experience in business journalism to the team. The last 17 years he focused on classifieds and e-commerce. Apart from working closely with AIM Group, Christo is a freelance journalist, online editor, and translator. Before branching out on his own, he spent 15 years with Naspers in South Africa, where he worked as journalist, economics editor and online project manager. He now spends most his day editing the news reported by 18 colleagues in 18 countries from his base in Stuttgart, Germany.

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