Inside Opus Match: A Conversation with John Flaaten, SVP of Operations and Customer Success

This week, Opus Match marketing assistant Aidan Duclos had the pleasure of sitting down with our very own John Flaaten, Senior Vice President of Operations and Customer Success at Opus Match. John has built up an impressive rap sheet in his career. He’s spent the last few years working at a handful of major companies in the staffing and tech spaces, including 7 years at Wonolo before joining the Opus team. 


Could you tell us a little bit about how you got here and what brought you to staffing?

“Yeah, definitely! My start in staffing began when I joined Wonolo about 8 years ago. My journey started with a fascination around matching – connecting the right talent with the right opportunity. When I joined Wonolo, marketplaces were a new and exciting concept, similar to Uber and other gig-economy platforms gaining momentum. The idea of applying that same business model to staffing intrigued me. The impact of matching the right talent with the right opportunity is significant for both a candidate’s and a company’s success. It’s all a very exciting challenge.”


Talk to us a bit about your time at Wonolo, what made you want to migrate from Wonolo to Opus?

“At Wonolo, I was focused on scaling the operations side of a marketplace, starting from a concept in California and expanding it nationwide, establishing regional marketplaces. Wonolo became a staffing provider across almost every state, requiring significant business operations efforts to grow supply to meet demand. This involved implementing a bunch of different tools and strategies to make the marketplace function effectively, using a combination of people, processes, and technology.

My main work at Wonolo was on the B2B side of the two-sided marketplace. Now, at Opus, the focus is on innovating in the staffing industry at a larger scale, particularly around matching. Opus is building the next generation of AI matching software to address the ongoing challenge of matching supply and demand. This opportunity to focus on one thing – matching – really well is what excites me about Opus. It aligns with my passion and that’s what drew me to the company.”


You’ve had a lot of experience in customer success, what would you say is something that people tend to forget or underestimate when it comes to customer success?

“The key to customer success lies in genuinely understanding client needs and building relationships that last.

Exceeding expectations is another crucial aspect of success. Achieving this requires the ability to adapt to market dynamics, understanding the client’s industry and business factors influencing their decisions. By staying attuned to these factors and being agile in adjusting strategies to align with the client’s needs, a customer success team can consistently exceed expectations.

That aspect of customer success is usually underestimated, but it’s essential for staying relevant in a constantly evolving and competitive landscape. Businesses are dynamic, and the ability to adapt and evolve with them is the key to everything.”


We’ve seen a lot of innovation in the world of AI, where do you think we’re headed in the future from what you’ve experienced?

“In terms of the future of AI in staffing, it’s moving towards more personalized and efficient matchmaking. The power of sophisticated algorithms is clear in so many things now, in our daily experiences with ecommerce, social media recommendations, and website interactions, all contributing to a more customized user experience. The exciting part for me, as a job seeker let’s say, is how AI enhances the personalized matching process with employers.

AI and algorithms will revolutionize traditional manual processes, making conversations about job preferences and aspirations more predictive and tailored to the individual candidates. AI plays a significant role throughout the entire staffing process, offering great opportunities for everyone. Embracing AI should be more common I would say, although data security remains a big part of that discussion. Despite differing opinions on data sharing, I would say that greater data sharing enhances automation and improves outcomes both personally and professionally.”


What is your main focus when it comes to staffing success?

“I try to be very user-centric in the technology we develop. Every feature we implement is designed with the user in mind. Listening to user feedback is crucial; assuming their needs can lead to huge losses, and communication in anything client-focused should be your top priority. By prioritizing user-centric feedback, we can ensure better outcomes across the board.

Although our interaction with clinicians and job-searching users is indirect, I’ve stayed committed to enhancing their experience. I always encourage our clients to prioritize user satisfaction, just because it fosters loyalty and ultimately leads to success. Putting users first is the first step towards building a stronger brand and product.”