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The Future of Work Influencer Series Part 3: Rob Biederman

  • 5 April 2018
  • Expert Insights

This post is part of our new Future of Work Influencer series where we interview the world's leading experts to get their take on the state of the industry, the top trends to watch for, and what the future holds.

The following is an interview we recently had with Rob Biederman, Co-Founder and CEO of Catalant Technologies.

1. How has your perception of what the future of the workplace will look like evolved in the past 5 years?

RB: I think there has been a tremendous evolution in the future of work over the last five years.

I think five years ago people were largely thinking about the Gig Economy as things like ride sharing and package delivery. Over the last five years people have started reconsidering what kinds of corporate jobs will need to be full-time jobs in the future and which can actually be project based. I think one of the biggest distinctions made over the last five years is that companies are taking a fresh approach not only to the W2/1099 decision, but whether a given body of work is best accomplished with a job description or with a project orientation.

2. What are top technological trends that pertain to the future of work?

RB: The ability to collaborate remotely is critical. And certainly, as we’ve seen on our platform, the presence of advanced machine learning available in a usable desktop format has been super impactful for quickly making matches between “jobs to be done” and people. In the past, that process was time consuming and analog, which interfered with a lot of the potential value creation that you can experience in moving to a project-based orientation.

3. How will AI impact the future of work?

RB: There is a ton of media attention and press around AI destroying jobs. One area that most people think is less obvious, but I think is very clear, is that there may actually be net jobs created on the whole from a better allocation of resources, made possible by AI. If you think about the fact that we have millions of open jobs in the US and millions of unemployed people, even in a really hot economy, I think a lot of that is owed to the inefficient matching that happens because, unfortunately, to a very large extent, AI is not yet a factor in how jobs and people are matched today.

4. How will blockchain impact the future of work?

RB: I would say that the more reputation becomes digital and portable, and people feel even more comfortable than they do today trusting digital authentication and verification I would imagine that will be a very positive driver for companies and individuals to participate in an agile workforce program like Catalant.  

5. What is, in your estimation, the future of work/the workplace?

RB: I think at a high level it is folks with the right skillsets being located and employed in real time, with a precondition of incorporating significantly more flexibly into the workplace. In general, there will be a far more efficient matching of supply and demand of talent.  I also think that the future of work will be people putting work into the gaps in their life rather than fitting life into the gaps in work.

About Rob Biederman

Rob Biederman is the co-founder and CEO of Catalant, the leading technology platform delivering elite business talent on demand. Catalant’s innovative human capital solution matches top business professionals with enterprises to tackle projects flexibly and efficiently. Catalant has built a global network of more than 40,000 boutique consulting firms, custom teams, and independent experts, as well as best-in-class software tools for engaging and managing this market. By serving enterprise clients when they need on-demand talent for a specific initiative, or to close a longer-term talent gap, Catalant is changing the way the world finds the best people for their company's needs, faster.

Based in Boston, Catalant serves thousands of clients, including one quarter of the Fortune 100. Prior to founding Catalant, Biederman was a private equity investor at Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital, where he focused on the healthcare and high-tech industries. Biederman attended Princeton University and graduated from Harvard Business School.

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