SOURCE: Upwork


February 18, 2016 07:40 ET

Upwork Debuts Innovations Aimed at Helping Midmarket and Enterprise Companies Tap Into the Growing Pool of Premium Freelancers

Upwork Pro Provides Midmarket Companies With Access to Pre-Vetted Talent, While Enhanced Upwork Enterprise Offering Enables Large Businesses to Build Compliant Freelance Teams

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2016) - Upwork, the world's largest freelance talent marketplace, today announced important innovations aimed at helping larger companies tap into the increasing pool of high-quality freelance talent. The company introduced Upwork Pro, a new talent sourcing offering for midmarket companies and also enhanced service capabilities for Upwork Enterprise, the company's offering for enterprise companies.

Traditionally, it's taken companies around 3 months to hire; today Upwork helps businesses connect with skilled talent faster -- in an average of just 3 days. Upwork Pro provides businesses with access to a pre-screened pool of premium freelance talent to assist with critical development, content marketing, design and customer service projects. Upwork Enterprise enables large businesses to build their own private talent pools at scale while helping them remain in compliance with independent contractor classification laws.

"Businesses continue to experience difficulties accessing the skills and talent they need to meet mounting demands," said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork. "People are central to a business -- there is no more powerful competitive advantage. Upwork Pro places premium talent in the hands of mid-market companies. For large businesses looking to build a freelance workforce at scale, Upwork Enterprise provides the technology, sourcing and talent services in one solution."

Direct access to hand-picked talent to support project needs

Access to quality talent is a company's biggest competitive advantage. Hiring qualified professionals can be time intensive, leaving many companies struggling to find the skills they need. According to a Randstad study, 72% of HR directors, talent and business leaders report talent scarcity as having negatively affected their business.

In a recent study1 of the hiring habits of businesses, approximately 7 out of 10 said they had hired freelancers. Among those using freelancers, the top benefit cited was access to specialized skills, followed by benefits including help getting work done faster and on-demand availability.


Upwork Pro: A new talent sourcing service that matches midmarket companies with hand-picked talent for critical project needs

"Upwork Pro made it easy to quickly hire strong senior engineering talent in a market that we didn't yet understand," said Adrian McDermott, SVP of Product Development at Zendesk. "Using Upwork Pro we were able to streamline our regular recruiting cycle, which is incredibly valuable. The less time spent finding engineering talent, the more time we can spend understanding our customers' needs and building the software they need to deliver better customer relationships."

Upwork Pro, a premium talent sourcing service, helps mid-sized businesses identify top talent quicker by providing access to hand-picked, pre-screened freelancers for long-term project needs including developers, graphic designers, content writers and customer support professionals.

Upwork Pro helps companies address critical talent needs with:

  • Access to premium talent when and where it's needed
    Upwork meets with customers to identify their needs and then helps streamline the hiring process by presenting a hand-selected group of freelancers who have been carefully vetted through portfolio and work history reviews, technical evaluations and live video interviews.

  • Personalized talent sourcing and dedicated support
    Upwork Pro customers are connected with a dedicated account manager to help identify freelancers through talent pools curated from Upwork's global marketplace.The account managers further provide training and consultative support for building remote teams.

Upwork Enterprise: An enhanced solution to build, collaborate and pay a freelance workforce

Nearly 20 percent of Fortune 50, as well as other brand name customers -- including Airbnb, Udemy and Eventbrite -- use Upwork Enterprise, driven by intense competition for talent and a greater need for speed and agility.

"In our industry, having quick access to talent is imperative to ensuring project deadlines and business initiatives are met, " said Jonathan Jeter, Director of Technology Services and Digital Development at TracyLocke, a subsidiary of Omnicom Group Inc. "Upwork Enterprise enables us to find and engage freelance talent quickly, eliminating the need for administrative paperwork while lowering overhead costs. This gives us the flexibility to scale our teams as needed to support growing project demands. We look forward to further leveraging the platform to create a pool of skilled development freelancers that we can use to augment our teams in the months ahead."

Upwork Enterprise enables large businesses to hire at scale by bundling a Freelancer Management System (FMS) with talent services, a robust compliance offering and access to Upwork Pro's premium talent pools to create a carefully vetted, well-curated private talent cloud of qualified professionals as needed.This innovative online talent solution allows enterprises to continue to leverage their existing staffing channels (such as VMS2 and MSPs3) while decreasing overhead, increasing talent quality and reducing time-to-hire.

With this release Upwork Enterprise bolsters its solution with service enhancements including:

  • Industry-leading compliance support
    Upwork Enterprise takes on the responsibility of properly determining worker classification, offering indemnification from misclassification risk. Leveraging data science and Upwork's proprietary compliance workflow engine, an initial classification assessment is generated. This initial assessment is then reviewed by Upwork's compliance team to help ensure independent talent is engaged safely and efficiently.

  • Customized onboarding, reporting and payment options
    Customers can leverage Upwork's proprietary onboarding dashboard to configure tasks customized to business needs such as specific skills testing or background checks giving them full visibility throughout the process. Utilizing Upwork's onboarding and administration features, customers can also manage budgets more effectively by tying POs to freelance contracts and creating custom drill down reports on spend and contract details. 

About Upwork 
Upwork is the world's largest freelance talent marketplace. As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, knowledge work -- like software, shopping and content before it -- is shifting online as well. This shift is making it faster and easier for clients to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals everywhere from having to work at a set time and place.

Freelancers are earning more than $1 billion annually via Upwork. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, California, and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit our website at, join us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

1 January 2016 survey of hiring habits among more than 430 US-based midsize (21-99 employees) and large (100+ employees) businesses. Respondents had to have responsibility for hiring employees and / or freelancers. Survey conducted by independent research firm Quadrant Strategies and commissioned by Upwork.

2 VMS - Vendor Management System

3 MSPs - Managed Service Providers