In 2012, the market for online contingent work is set to double as more businesses hire and manage workers online for the first time.
a stagnant employment market in 2011, online hiring has grown at a record pace,
up more than 100 percent from 2010, according to Elance, a platform for online
work. The company released its 2011 Online Employment Review, which reveals
that the future of work will be contingent, global and online. As more
companies seek instant access to talent and greater flexibility to run their
businesses, individuals are taking control of their future by building careers
as independent professionals, the report said.
global economies continue to struggle with job creation, online work thrived
this year with 650,000 new jobs posted, and cumulative earnings are set to
surpass $500 million. The number of businesses hiring on Elance and the number
of online professionals working on Elance grew more than 120 percent. Earnings
for online professionals rose in more than 100 countries around the world. In
the United States, earnings rose in 43 out of 50 states, including some of the
hardest hit regions in unemployment, such as Michigan, Nevada and South
year's job numbers suggest a structural change in traditional employment, as
more businesses are adopting online and contingent work as a core business
strategy," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "Fueled by technology, work is no
longer confined to the 9-5 and the office. Knowledge workers are building
independent careers by working online with multiple clients, from their home,
from public spaces or from co-located offices. The ability to gain instant
access to qualified talent with in-demand skills regardless of location is a
global trend that is starting to change the way businesses and people work."
are developing innovative workforce models that blend full-time and part-time,
local and remote, and employed and contracted workers. The practice of hiring
and managing talent online is spreading, and 83 percent of small businesses
surveyed by Elance plan to hire up to 50 percent of their workers as online
contractors in the next 12 months. The 2011 Elance survey of online freelance
professionals indicated that nearly 1 in 3 workers began freelancing to be
their own boss and work on the type of projects they love. The top benefits of
online work cited include the ability to control their own schedule (90 percent),
follow their passion (87 percent) and eliminate the commute (85 percent).
2012, the market for online contingent work is set to double as more businesses
across the globe hire and manage workers online for the first time. The global
demand for U.S. talent has increased steadily over the past year and is set to
grow even faster as online platforms break down global barriers and open up
opportunities for collaboration. In 2011, U.S.-based contractors exported their
services to more than 140 countries, and global hiring of U.S. professionals
saw a significant increase in more than 60 countries.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.