RGP Inc., an Irvine-based global business consulting and employment services firm, has launched a new digital staffing platform for professional workers in the gig economy.
RGP (Nasdaq: RGP) said Oct. 18 its new Hugo platform benefits both employers and workers.
“We’re doing the gig environment differently. We’re providing very flexible project-based opportunities,” Chief Executive Kate Duchene told the Business Journal “We’re doing it within the context of employment.”
RGP says the platform offers the protection, certainty and service benefits of RGP’s employee-based model while retaining the freedom and flexibility inherent in the new gig economy.
The name Hugo is short for “human + go.” RGP stands for Resources Global Professionals; the Irvine firm has also operated under the Resources Connection name.
The gig economy refers to business activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector.
As Duchene said of the post-pandemic era: “You don’t need to own full-time certain skill sets. You can rent them.”
RGP says its “W-2 based employee model” relieves businesses of the costly burdens of HR, payroll and tax requirements. The model also offers candidates benefits and membership of traditional employment such as earned paid time off, healthcare coverage, access to development and training, as well as RGP’s community of more than 5,000 professionals around the globe.
“For employers, Hugo allows hiring managers to accelerate projects and timelines through a curated pool of accounting and finance consultants with in-demand skill sets—accessible in just a few clicks,” RGP says.
For candidates, the platform offers a customized user experience helping them match and land gigs with companies ranging from the Fortune 100 to startups.
Shares in RGP had risen nearly 40% this year to $17.50 apiece for a market cap of about $580 million as of early last week, while the gig economy continues to thrive.
Duchene cited an estimate that 52 million people or 35% of the U.S. workforce did gig work in 2020 while by 2027, 50% of the U.S. workforce may be composed of gig or flexible workers.
The Hugo platform is now available to accounting and finance professionals in the New York tri-state region and will be introduced in other markets and industry sectors as the platform continues to roll out.
“You can have the flexibility and the choice and the transparency that you want as a professional but also have the sense of a professional home, and a safety net of healthcare benefits, training benefits, time off etc., of more traditional employment,” according to Duchene.
“Talent wants to work with a lot more flexibility, not just where you work, when you work, for whom you work and on what you work, but to work with organizations that have shared purpose and mission,” the CEO said.
RGP annually engages more than 2,100 clients internationally, including over 85% of the Fortune 100.
Duchene was previously an associate and later a special counsel at Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and has served as CEO of RGP for almost five years.