The New York Times Talks Workforce Automation with WorkMarket

4 min read
Jim Thompson, Sr. Content Marketing Manager
July 18, 2017
The New York Times Talks Workforce Automation with WorkMarket
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WorkMarket’s Director of Product Alex Hunsucker recently sat down with Nick Rockwell, CTO of The New York Times, at a VentureBeat conference to discuss how the venerable media brand is using technology to drive digital transformation and modernize its newsroom.

The session, titled "How The New York Times Is Using Labor Automation To Modernize Media,” addressed the complex and pressing issues that many enterprises face as our culture continues to redefine the role, and meaning, of employment in our lives.

A Modern Partnership for a Global Future

The New York Times enjoys a storied reputation for delivering quality journalism from every corner of the world. To do this, the company employs more than 5,000 active freelancers every year and handles over 40,000 assignments annually. For the past 20 years, however, The New York Times has been using the same outdated system to manage its increasingly dynamic and diverse workforce.

So the media company turned to WorkMarket to lead its workforce management services into the modern era. To Rockwell, ensuring The New York Times and its legions of freelancers work together seamlessly and efficiently is personal. “I happen to know some of them,” he explained, “and when I see them they typically are very unhappy.” Something had to change. And it is.

WorkMarket understood that managing a global workforce of freelancers, many of whom report on dangerous situations from remote areas of the planet, is fraught with logistical challenges. In fact, The New York Times has freelancers in about 100 different countries and pays them in about 50 different currencies. WorkMarket’s platform enables the iconic media brand to pay its agile workforce on time, securely and while fulfilling the unique requirements that define compliance in different parts of the world.

Mobile Solutions for Agile Workforces

“We have about 70 different contracts that we use,” said Rockwell. “There is a mountain of complexities in the contracts.” WorkMarket allows The New York Times to streamline its workflows and save money by standardizing its procedures and protocols for freelancers throughout the company. This empowers its workforce managers to create happier, and more efficient, forward-thinking talent pools from Michigan to Mongolia.

WorkMarket’s Hunsucker explained, “Effectively, our freelancers, when we work with our enterprise customers, know exactly when they are going to get paid — it comes through typically our platform but we also integrate with payrolling services that automate that process whether it is through APIs on our platform. And then they can get that information right there. They can get that payment right up front knowing exactly when they are getting paid, in the currency that they need to get paid.”

It’s all about enabling the freelancers to manage their work and finances through mobile communications. Hunsucker continued, “Often what happens is that they are out in the field — they may be on the road doing some type of work — and directly within the application they’ll get a notification that says hey we have this assignment for you and then they can do everything from soup to nuts from accept the work, complete the work, upload deliverables, submit it. Many of our freelancers get paid directly through their phone and into their bank accounts.”

Integrating the Power of Automation

For companies as historic and as accomplished as The New York Times, there are already sizable workforces and systems in place, which makes modernizing processes a daunting prospect. But WorkMarket’s ability to integrate into existing infrastructures makes implementing workforce automation technology seamless and, just as important, completely secure.

“Most of our large-scale customers actually bring a lot their workforces with them, and use our tools to organize that labor into different talent pools through a host of things such as their skills and backgrounds,” said Hunsucker. “What we really strive to do is scale up that freelancer platform, or that fixed-labor platform, so that you can employ or you can hire thousands of people over thousands of engagements with that information over time.”

For The New York Times, the emphasis of their concerns entailed how to balance the unwieldy scope of their sizable workforce with a streamlined and efficient platform that could handle the individual schedules and needs of their freelancers. WorkMarket, they decided, was the ideal platform to streamline management efficiency while optimizing the productivity of the company’s growing agile workforce.

“It saves us a ton of work. If the process is consistent, predictable — it’s a huge win,” said Rockwell.

To learn more about how WorkMarket can streamline your company’s workforce and increase revenue, visit www.workmarket.com, download our recent 2020 In(Sight) Report, or get in touch with: Mousa Ackall at [email protected] or call (678) 662-7371.