Whatever Lights Your Bulb

Bidding Block

Thanks to our beloved Internet, a new forum in e-cruiting is giving free agents the opportunity to auction their skills. Assuredly the Next Big Thing in the labor market, sites like http://www.ubid4geeks.com and Monster.com's Talent Market offer the swelling pool of free agents--more than 10 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor--an environment in which they finally have the leverage to achieve the respect, pay and work environment they desire.

Posted profiles display the skills, experiences and location preferences of a variety of independent professionals, along with desired hours and rates. Employers can then place their bids during a one- to five-day auction period for a chance to conduct the all-defining interview. "We've moved from an employer-controlled economy to a skill-based economy," observes Jeff Taylor, founder and CEO of Monster.com. "The lack of skilled graduates, the boomer population falling away and e-business's effect on the job market are all rolling out the red carpet for a free agent world."

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Whatever Lights Your Bulb.

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