Customer Spotlight – Almarelo, connecting Baby Boomers to the job market

eXo Platform Blog

Almarelo has built an online marketplace to facilitate working relationships between Baby Boomers and small businesses in the United States. It is designed to meet the workforce needs of any organization while providing an easy-to-use and secure platform for independent professionals.

Almarelo set out on a mission to use the latest advances in technology and changes in business to provide tangible help to individuals and organizations in need of finding alternative work arrangements..

To understand Almarelo’s goal, you should be aware of the large demographic change underway in the U.S. and Western Europe: more than 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age every day in the U.S. alone.

Life expectancy has increased and retirement assets have decreased. So, many of these professionals need to supplement their retirement income to maintain their lifestyle.

Almarelo’s challenge is to educate, enable and empower experienced knowledge workers to join the “gig economy.”
On the other hand, many small and medium-sized enterprises are unable to access the resources they require due to the high costs associated with hiring someone full time. Indeed, over 20% of small businesses would prefer to hire someone on a contract or part time rather than as a full-time employee.

As these challenges and forces grow, the future lies in expanding the boundaries of enterprises outside the traditional employee–employer relationship for knowledge-based work.

Therefore, Almarelo’s platform focuses on providing a rich set of built-in collaboration features so that freelance work, not just discovery, can be done through the platform. Its mission is to remove any obstacles and allow frictionless collaboration, integration and performance by both Boomers and small business clients. And differentiation is key in this growing pool of online platforms. It’s different from traditional job marketplaces, which merely display job listings…

The technologies available today have already started to change the way companies work and organize themselves. Work is becoming modular and skills more accessible. — said CEO of Almarelo

When Almarelo started to evaluate how its platform could be built, it had to make a choice. As a small team, it had the options of building everything from scratch or building on top of an existing platform that already had some of the required featues, particularly social intranet and collaboration tools.

It chose us. First, because we have many social collaboration components that are the cornerstone of Almarelo’s offering. For example, rich profiles were critical to allow freelancers to describe their skills and achievements.

In addition, Almarelo wanted to encourage social networking, collaboration and free associations on specific projects, all of which were part of our product already and are used by many customers.

Besides, we have a long history of delivering projects to large enterprise customers, and so the platform was guaranteed to be able to support the large number of users that Almarelo expected.

In short, we were chosen for our social collaboration features, our openness in allowing it to build and deploy its own applications, our experience and our customizable platform that could be built on.

The first version of the Almarelo platform was built in just over 9 months with the help of eXo consulting services. And thanks to the existing building blocks, this was a fast time to market.

It is now a fully featured marketplace where freelancers can create profiles that include their skills and work experience. They can look for opportunities, find projects and bid on them. The Almarelo platform also helps them to get their clients’ work done by using dedicated project spaces where they can collaborate with tools like calendars, documents, wikis and discussions.

Initial demos and presentations surprised many by showing them how feature-rich the platform was.

Now that the platform is built, Almarelo is preparing for its launch. It is actively working with many associations and groups that focus on retirees and professionals to bring the benefits of the platform to their members. The reception has been very encouraging.

Supported by technology, these workers as well as the businesses will redefine the way we work. — Elie Cohen, Co-founder of Almarelo

Over the next 3 to 6 months, Almarelo plans to onboard 1000 businesses and 3000 to 4000 freelancers. Assuredly, the potential of the marketplace is very large.

Future plans for the Almarelo platform are to add task management, chat and video conferencing to further enhance the collaboration possibilities. Almarelo also plans to facilitate the creation of multidisciplinary teams for projects. Any business will be able to build its own project dream team right on the Almarelo platform. And ultimately, any small business will have at its disposal a very large pool of talented individuals, making it stronger and better able to compete with larger corporations.

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