'Twice as many online jobs for freelancers in 2013'

Online work for the self-employed is primed for “explosive growth” in 2013, with more than a doubling expected in the stock of such freelance opportunities.

Releasing the forecast, freelance job behemoth Elance said the “key drivers of online work’s growth” would align with the needs of businesses of all sizes over the coming 12 months.

The appeal of instant access to high quality talent will combine with the speed of hiring – and the cost savings available – to result in “disruption” to the staffing industry as a whole.

The site added that there are therefore four predictions for online work in the next year:

1. Service hiring will double online in 2013

Online work is transforming the services sector as companies are circumventing the traditional agency model to hire world-class talent directly. The transformation started in 2012 with demand for creative talent skyrocketing 58% over the past year.

2. 1 in 4 university students will work online in 2013

Freelancing is the new normal for students as they discover that online jobs are both more lucrative and more rewarding than what's available on campus.While building their future, many are choosing to continue freelancing after graduation day so they can travel and explore other opportunities while earning a stable living.

3. Unemployment will be overstated by 5% in 2013

The trend of consuming what you need on demand, exemplified by popular services such as Airbnb and Zipcar, has now shifted to employment, as small businesses are able to hire teams online and use them fractionally on an as-needed basis. The availability of top talent online enables smaller companies to compete against larger businesses by hiring on-demand. The rise in fractional employment has another positive: The economy isn't as bad as it appears. The unemployed and underemployed are going online to earn extra money, and these jobs aren't reported in the employment figures today.

4. Companies of all sizes will hire twice as many online workers in 2013

As small businesses have discovered, hiring online results in cost savings, faster time-to-hire and access to top talent that is not locally available. Eighty-five percent of small business respondents from the Elance Global Business Survey predicted that hiring online provides them with a competitive advantage. While this trend has already been embraced by entrepreneurs and small businesses, online hiring will become a vital business strategy for enterprise companies as they hire virtual teams as an extension of their onsite employees.


17th December 2012

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