ADP’s Acquisition of WorkMarket: Just Moving Pieces Around on the Board or Starting a Whole New Game? (Part 1) [PRO]

ADP, the global payroll and human capital management solution provider, recently announced its acquisition of the enterprise workforce management platform business WorkMarket. Founded in 2010, WorkMarket has evolved over time as a pioneer and key player in the emerging and evolving “enterprise-meets-gig-economy” solution space, without, however, reaching breakout market traction and scale revenue. In juxtaposition, ADP’s broad, global footprint of payroll, HR, benefits and talent management services/technology solutions for both small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises has squarely rested on the payroll and other human capital requirements pertaining to its clients’ full and part-time employees, as opposed to external contingent workers.

Given the rise of the so-called “gig economy” and the increasing importance of external independent contract workers — variously termed independent consultants, freelancers, ICs or gig workers — there would seem to be an obvious inner logic to the match, even though most of the details about the transaction and the rationale for the acquisition are still absent. Taking that into account, this two-part PRO brief examines what we know about WorkMarket and why ADP made the acquisition. It also attempts to discern more of the detailed ingredients in the mix behind the scenes. Finally, this brief provides a viewpoint on what the acquisition could mean for WorkMarket going forward and what it could indicate about evolving market and competitive dynamics within the human capital management — employee and contingent workforce — solution sector.

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