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Taskrabbit looks for more revenue with plans to shake up the temp industry

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TaskRabbit might have popularized the idea of hiring people looking to make money for menial tasks like dogwalking or grocery shopping, but in an effort to capture a more profitable market, the company is going to begin challenging temp agencies by providing businesses with short-term labor.

TaskRabbit screenshotThe company began targeting businesses as customers for its thousands of employees — or rabbits — across the nation during SXSW in March, when it launched TaskRabbit for business. That announcement allowed companies to hire employees on an hourly basis through the service and hire more than one rabbit at once.

But Thursday’s announcement takes this much further, particularly by handling the paperwork for businesses who want to hire temps, and by providing information like resumes to potential employers, who can pick which ones to hire. This is TaskRabbit’s new goal: to shake up the decades-old temp industry. However, the classic TaskRabbit service for consumers will remain unchanged.

The move makes sense, as charging a business a percentage of a month-long salary will likely be a more profitable and stable form of revenue than taking a percentage of fees paid for a few hours of dog-walking, for instance. Plus, TaskRabbit employees said they’d already discovered businesses were trying to use the service for hiring for temporary administrative positions, so making the option official was a no-brainer.

“The temp industry hasn’t had a lot innovation in a long time, said Victor Echevarria, who heads business development at TaskRabbit. “So we’re moving away from the notion of tasks and moving toward the value of jobs.”

The company has taken in a little less than $40 million in funding, and reported that revenue is five times greater than it was a year ago. TaskRabbit already has 15,000 companies signed up for TaskRabbit for business, and expects more to be joining after this new addition.

This new component will allow TaskRabbits to use a LinkedIn connect feature to pull in their resumes to the site, and they’ll be able to write a cover letter when applying for jobs. Potential employers can input information about the job they’re posting and select the corresponding paperwork (1099 contract employees versus those with W2 forms.) TaskRabbit will then show them the candidates for different positions, corresponding resume information, and then provide the required paperwork.

“The biggest challenge was compliance. Businesses who want to hire temps or even want to hire people full-time, there’s a lot of paperwork and headaches involved in having a compliant workforce,” he said. “A large percentage of the work we put into this was creating a legally complaint solution.”