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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 26, 2013

Elance: More businesses using freelancers to expand globally

To date, most freelancers have been hired on a project-by-project basis, for businesses within a similar geographic region. Sometimes, only within the same city. Not any longer - or at least not as much today. According to Elance about 70% of businesses are now hiring freelancers - around the globe - to fill gaps or to expand their base.

by Kristina Knight

In the past, freelancers were hired to help businesses control payroll costs. Now, according to the new Global Online Employment Report from Elance the 'cost savings' reasoning is down 45%. SMBs are now hiring freelancers to fill skill gaps.

New data out from Elance shows more business are looking for remote workers - and willing to pay for it. Both global hiring and freelance wages improved by better than 50% through the first half of 2013. The Elance data suggests technical and creative pros have the best chance of winning freelance contracts.

"Demand for technical and creative freelance talent continues to accelerate on Elance," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "The ability to hire the best available person online, just-in-time is becoming an essential strategy for agile businesses of all sizes."

The data also shows:

• 89% of businesses 'supplement with freelancers' to gain a competitive edge
• Half of businesses are hiring freelancers for long-term commitments
• 45% of businesses look to freelancers to expand into new markets

Data scientists and statisticians are making the most headway into the freelance area, with demand up 200%. Mobile/software app development freelancers are also pushing into the for-hire space, as well and online security pros.

Tags: Elance, freelance trends, freelance work, small business trends, SMB trends

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