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The Next Generation of Temp Agencies Low-cost, online-based companies like TaskRabbit and Fancy Hands reimagine short-term help.

By John Patrick Pullen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Anne Ricci was overwhelmed--an all-too-common state for an office manager at a fast-growing startup. This year alone, her San Mateo, Calif.-based company, big-data firm Platfora, has increased its staff from 37 to 60 (and still hiring). With each new employee, Ricci has more to do, from filling printers and stocking pens to maintaining the kitchen and making coffee. She needed help.

But instead of calling traditional temporary-staffing firms like Kelly Services or Manpower, she used San Francisco-based TaskRabbit, a low-cost, online-based take on the traditional temp-services model, to bid out her need for part-time help for an indeterminate length of time.

"As a growing company, we are conscious about overstaffing or understaffing," says Ricci, who ultimately settled on a kitchen helper to come in three mornings per week. "The reason we went with TaskRabbit was for the flexibility to fill that role."

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