SOURCE: Elance


June 13, 2012 09:00 ET

Global Small Business Survey Uncovers Online Workforce Is the New Face of Economic Recovery

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 13, 2012) -

  • 73 percent of small businesses are hiring more online contractors in 2012
  • 84 percent state hiring online contractors provides an edge over competitors
  • Respondents predict 54 percent of their workforce will be online within five years

Elance, the leading platform for online employment, announced results from its annual global survey on small business hiring, revealing a significant shift toward hiring contingent workers, with businesses turning to online talent as an indispensable employment strategy.

"These results are further proof that the online workforce is powering the economic recovery and support our prediction that 1 out of every 3 people hired in 2020 will be hired online," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "Online employment is expanding as a core strategy for companies around the world as they realize the tremendous benefits of hiring talent on-demand."

The Online Road to Recovery
While traditional employment continues to struggle around the world, nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents plan to hire more online contractors this year than in 2011. The increase is driven by the surge in professionals available online -- 40% of companies surveyed claim they can find better talent online than what is available locally. By employing professionals online, businesses are able to stay agile and outperform the competition by hiring the skills they need just-in-time and on-demand.

The New Competitive Edge
According to the survey, 84% of businesses state that online hiring gives them an advantage over competitors, through significant improvements in flexibility, meaningful cost savings and increased productivity. Nearly 70% of businesses experience faster times-to-hire, businesses are achieving an average 53% in cost savings and 55% are able to access talent not otherwise available.

Prophecy for an Online Work World
The next five years will be a tipping point for virtual work as small businesses predict the majority of their workforce (54%) will be online professionals. Web programming, graphic design and content development continue to remain the top three sought after skills by businesses, aligning with findings from the Q1 Elance Global Online Employment Report.

Europe Even More Bullish
European small businesses came out even stronger in support of online work, with 88% claiming it gives them an advantage over their competitors, and 45% stating they find better talent online than locally. Companies in Europe are also at the front of the curve with their prediction that 58% of their workforce will be online professionals within five years.

About the Survey
Elance conducted this online customer survey from May 21 to May 28, 2012, and more than 1,500 businesses participated. To view the full survey results, visit

About Elance
Elance, the world's leading platform for online employment, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud.

For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to talent and the ability to build and manage entire teams online. For independent professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work.

The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit Elance at

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Emily Borders
    Borders + Gratehouse
    Phone: (415) 963-4174 ext. 1
    Email: emily(at)