Global Business Survey 2012

We recently surveyed over 1,500 businesses around the world hiring on Elance. This data provides a unique glimpse into the hiring practices of global businesses in 2012 and their predictions for the future of work.


Online Gives
Competitive Edge
One remarkable statistic from the survey: 84% of businesses said that hiring online gives them an advantage over competitors. What's the nature of that advantage? Three benefits ranked highest: cost savings, faster time-to-hire, and access to talent not otherwise available.
Hiring is Up
in 2012
Almost 3/4 of businesses will hire more freelancers in 2012 than 2011. Online freelancers make up the majority of these new hires. The top three most demanded professionals for these companies are web programmers, designers and content developers.
54% of Workforce
Online in 2017
On average, survey respondents predict 54% of their workforce will be online in five years. They find that talent online is better than or equal to what's available locally, and in part, are leveraging online workers to do work that they would have done themselves or not done at all.

Online Advantage

Companies hiring online gain competitive advantage.

By hiring online, I have an advantage over my competitors.

Cost savings drives advantage.
Talent and time-to-hire are other major benefits.

"I have talent from all over the world at my fingertips."

"Provides small businesses with a way to address very specific skill gaps at a low cost and within tight timeframes."

"Makes your company bigger, faster, and more competitive for less capital."

Hiring Outlook

Companies are bullish on hiring freelancers; online is the majority of new freelancer hires.

Overall, are you planning to hire more freelancers in 2012 than 2011?

Programmers and designers are most sought after hires.

Looking ahead to the next six months, what types of online freelancers will be the most valuable to your business?

Future of Work

54% of workforces will be online in five years on average.

Looking ahead five years, can you estimate the percentage of your workforce that will be online freelancers?

Quality of talent online is better or equal to local talent.

For the skills you need, how would you compare the quality of talent for online freelancers to the quality of talent you can find locally?

Online is enabling companies to do more.

‌ If you had not hired on Elance, what would you have done instead?