The Blog

How to Compete in the War for Top Talent

10th Oct 2016

Rob Biederman - CEO, Catalant Technologies

Over the last couple of months, we’ve traveled across the country meeting with HR directors, CEOs, and folks who otherwise lead non-workplace hiring or contingent workforce hiring. Their struggles can be easily summed up: they want to compete aggressively in a complex war for talent. They want to identify the best performers in their workplace and give them a reason to stick around.

We’ve found that most solutions address the symptoms of these problems, but don’t get to the root causes. The traditional employment model has been outrun. Catalant has reimagined work as a series of varied and concrete projects rather than a fixed relationship between employee and employer that can last for decades.

Catalant’s customer base spans many of America’s most longstanding and well-respected companies. These companies have perfected and optimized their respective business models. But it’s time to bend these business models to reflect the leanings of a new generation. This generation demands, for instance, organic or otherwise wholesome ingredients, a focus on sustainability, and innovative practices of online retail.

To address these demands, Catalant has built a network of 30,000+ of the world’s most talented independent consultants. This network allows innovative leaders at enterprises to solve hiring needs based on the fundamental economic logic of three key tenets: 

  • Flexibility: matching supply and demand of elite talent on a project basis maximizes value for both sides of the market
  • Expertise: a true marketplace is the only way to truly match demonstrated expertise with need
  • Cost: no pricing is fairer than a model built on competitive bidding and a fully unbundled offering



With just a smartphone and internet connectivity, you can quickly find vetted, talented, and incentivized business talent. They’ve often solved the exact problem your business faces for other firms. Catalant leverages modern technology to create an ecommerce-like experience for accessing talent.  An offline business model can’t possibly respond as quickly.


Expert networks are filled with folks with decades of experience in a relevant sector, but folks who are perhaps too experienced to want to dig into your problem and put their experience to work.

After one too many calls with seasoned experts pontificating on their sectors, companies turn to Catalant consultants to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Businesses themselves and consulting firms, can’t possibly employ the breadth of experts needed to answer all of the questions a business faces.


Having identified top performers, we put them to work and give them a reason to stick around. We heard from business leaders and HR directors that they have difficulty retaining top talent. We suspect this is due to antiquated compensation plans and an unchanging scope of responsibilities for workers.

Due to our data-driven approach, Catalant’s model delivers at a cost that leads the right expert to the source. The cream rises to the top in a way that is far more advantageous to both your business and the independent consultant than that of a fixed, unchanging base compensation. Just think—would you want someone working for you who does not want to be continually evaluated? A fixed base compensation, even with incentivized bonuses, is an antiquated way of compensating talent.

Catalant’s ‘series of projects’ approach to work understands just how well folks have performed in the past, and leads you to compensate accordingly.

 We heard from business leaders and HR directors that they have difficulty retaining top talent. Traditional employment just doesn’t offer fun, new projects. Businesses are more likely have their workers pigeon-holed in narrow verticals where they cannot innovate beyond the small cog in the wheel their positions represent, often for decades.

What matters most to employees is having an impact. They want to feel they can move the needle at their companies. Catalant makes quick work of matching top talent to important projects, making consultants feel they are most valued.

It’s not our claim that everything an enterprise does should be filled by flexible talent. But we believe companies will benefit as they move some fraction of work to be done, to a network like ours.


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