Announcements

Elance-oDesk Shocks An Industry As First Ever Online Business Included in US Staffing Company Ranking

The business world is buying into online work, literally putting their money where the best talent is more accessible today — online. Elance-oDesk is the only online business—and the first ever—to be included in the annual listing of the top U.S. staffing firms by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA).

Ranked 29 out of 124 companies listed, Elance-oDesk’s position is remarkable not only because of the innovation in staffing it indicates, but also because it already outranks 75 percent of the traditional firms.

“Staffing Industry Analysts changed its 2014 U.S. staffing and talent engagement market share report to include online staffing companies. Based on revenue managed through their system, Elance-oDesk is the U.S. market leader in the online staffing category,” stated Timothy Landhuis, senior research analyst.

According to SIA, companies spent $1.3 billion on online staffing last year. Elance-oDesk accounted for more than half of that at $750 million.

Online work lets businesses find talent when they need it, hire on demand and work directly with these professionals—a change from traditional staffing firms, which act as intermediaries between organizations and the freelancers they want to engage.

This gives businesses of all sizes control and flexibility. SIA predicts the online staffing industry could grow to $47 billion by 2020.

This shift is making it faster and easier for businesses to hire for the skills they need, when they need them, while freeing professionals to work anytime, from anywhere.

“An average job on our platform fills within three days and about a quarter of jobs fill in 24 hours or less,” said Jon Diller, VP of Enterprise Solutions at Elance-oDesk. “Our customers are delighted by this efficiency because it helps them get to work faster.”

Click here if you’d like to learn more about how to get started hiring online.

For Your Continued Protection, Elance Responds Quickly To Industry-Wide Warning.

As you may have heard, the OpenSSL Project issued a Security Advisory on April 7th. The alert was regarding a possible weakness in encryption software used by two-thirds of all web servers in the world.

Nicknamed “Heartbleed”, the issue could potentially allow attackers to retrieve information from encrypted SSL endpoints.

We take security very seriously, and as of 11am PDT on April 9th we have completed the necessary fixes to eliminate these vulnerabilities. This includes patching all web infrastructure possibly affected by Heartbleed. The team has scanned our infrastructure and found no other points of potential vulnerability, and we’ll continue to actively monitor the situation.

Although we have no evidence of any Elance accounts being affected, as a precaution and best practice we do strongly recommend that you change your password.

Thanks,
Simon Yeo,
VP of Technical Operations,
Elance

Update On Last Week’s Denial-Of-Service Attack

Elance is now up-and-running following a series of denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks which occurred Monday through Wednesday of last week. These attacks prevented some users from accessing our website and caused intermittent issues that interfered with normal site functionality.

We know that Elance is a marketplace you’ve come to trust and rely upon, and we have invested in new technology to help thwart future attacks.

During the attack, your personal information was safe at all times and no data was compromised. You can learn more about DDoS attacks here.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences you may have experienced.  During the outage we sent an email to all recently-active clients and freelancers. The note explained the situation and asked for people’s consideration regarding delays in communication and work delivery.

We hope your jobs are now running normally. If you are still experiencing issues, please report them here. If you have any difficulty accessing our site in the future, you can always check for real-time updates on Twitter (@Elance) and Facebook. Thanks again for your support and understanding.

Well Done Elancers! Over $1 Billion Earned on Elance.

Today we’re excited to announce another remarkable milestone for the Elance community. Freelancers have now earned over $1 billion (yes that’s with a “b”) in the Elance marketplace.

This impressive figure speaks volumes about the amazing quality of our freelancers. It’s also testament to how Elance is truly connecting the world through work. Yea! We’re delighted to help bring unprecedented opportunities to Elancers around the globe.

Online work continues to rise.

Speaking of which, what does the future hold for Elancers? If our 2013 Global Online Employment Report is any indicator, there’s no end in sight for the acceleration of online work. The demand for talented freelancers is escalating dramatically from day to day, week to week, year to year.

Well beyond a “niche” market, online freelancing is here to stay and a major force in today’s workplace. A recent Wall Street Journal video interview of Elance CEO Fabio Rosati helps exemplify the impact online work is having globally. We’re also excited to see an impressive surge in work on Elance Private Talent Clouds, as more and more large companies and enterprises hire freelancers through Elance. Having just launched in September of 2013, work on Private Talent Clouds promises to be an increasing opportunity for freelancers in the days to come.

Keep up the great work everyone. And we’ll continue making Elance the best place to work on this planet.

Congratulations To Our Big Idea Contest Winner

After whittling down an impressive list of over 800 amazing and inspiring contestants to our 8 Finalists, the Elance Big Idea Startup Competition winner was announced today at our Grand Finale competition.

And the winner is … (drumroll please) … :

Labster

Our Finalist from the Copenhagen region (and located in Copenhagen as well), Labster is an internationally focused company dedicated to the development of pioneering online tools for teaching science globally. They partner with top universities and their leading faculty to create and develop innovative, scientifically advanced laboratories.

As the winner of our Big Idea Startup Competition, Labster has won $10,000 in Elance credits – as well as a meeting we’ll soon arrange with a top venture capitalist. They’ve also won a 10-year subscription to accounting services from Billy’s Billing -- a sponsor of our contest.

According to Labster CEO Mads Tvillinggaard Bonde (who presented at our Grand Finale), the freelance work will go a long ways to grow their business.

“We will use the award of $10,000 Elance credits to expand our platform to the next level by implementing detailed analytics and feedback to students and teachers,” Mads explained. “Elance makes it possible for us to hire domain experts that can rapidly co-create what we need together with our team, while our in-house developers can focus on our core products.”

We’re sure the awesome freelance talent, funding get-together and accounting assistance will go a long way in bringing Labster’s big idea to life. Good look from the team at Elance.

A big success. Thank you.

We want to thank everyone who participated in the Big Idea contest.

This ranges from the many startups who submitted ideas to our esteemed judges. We also want to thank people who voted online, and everyone who attended live events. And last but not least, thanks to folks who followed the action here on our blog or through social media. We hope you all enjoyed the competition as much as we did.

Gracias, and look for additional startup events from Elance once we catch our breath (whew!).

Vote For Our 8th (And Final) Big Idea Pitch Finalist

Congratulations to the 7 regional winners of our Big Idea Startup Competition. Now it’s your turn to vote for the 8th Finalist. Here’s how it works:

Check out quick 2-minute video pitches from our 5 remaining Wildcard Semifinalist, then vote for your favorite Big Idea. One winner advances to our February 6 Finals, competing for $10,000 in Elance credits (plus a meeting with a top VC).

You can cast your ballot once per day through February 4, so vote now. Also spread the word by using hashtag: #bigidea

The judges have spoken. Meet your other 7 regional Finalists.

With 800+ amazing entries, narrowing the field was no small task. But after a preliminary round, and heated live competitions at events around the globe yesterday, our 7 distinguished panels of judges selected the best-of-the-best:

 

Melbourne/Australia region:

Claire Dicarlo, Buzz Movie Makers

http://www.buzzmoviemakers.com.au/

Buzz Movie Makers teaches kids how to make their own movies!

 

Copenhagen/Denmark region:

Tamara Tjitrowirjo, Labster

http://www.labster.com/

Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Save the World.

 

Berlin/Germany region:

Steffen Maier, Glean

http://www.getglean.com/

Glean is making real-time feedback, recognition and coaching meaningful and fun at work.

 

London/UK region:

Gordon Marsh, Cirro Labs Limited

http://www.cirrotest.com/

Product aids software development collaboration and automated testing.

 

SF region:

Jack Yu & Nori Yoshida, Reputology

https://www.reputology.com/

A review monitoring and reporting platform for business.

 

Chicago region:

Anthony Navarro, Liven It Up

http://livenitup.com/

A full service event planning company that manages over 100 events a years.

 

NY region:

Sean O'Brien, TextPride

http://textpride.com/

Assists brands looking to distribute their content through mobile and social messaging.

 

Be sure to follow the Finals competition via social media (and use the hashtag: #bigidea) on February 6, as we’ll share up-to-the-minute details through online channels.

Thanks to everyone who competed yesterday.

The regional Semifinals were inspiring, and the Elance team couldn’t be more impressed by the startups who presented. Your Big Ideas are sure to have an impact soon. So good luck to one and all. Ditto for those who threw their hat in the ring for the first round. Well done.

Now show your admiration for our Wildcard Semifinalists and vote for the final spot.

Our Big Idea Contest Goes Social Now

Startup fever is spreading worldwide, fast, as our Big Idea Competition is now underway. The global Semifinals are in full-swing around the world, with U.S. events happening tonight.

While we’ve run out of room for folks to watch today’s competition live (thanks to everyone who reserved a seat at one of our 7 locations tonight), we will keep the conversation going in real-time through our specially-created social media page.

Here’s where you can follow the Big Idea Contest, pitch-by-pitch and surprise-by-surprise, as our regional judges narrow the field all day and night on January 30:

https://apps.facebook.com/promosapp/5484751

You can join the conversation as well, using the hashtag: #bigidea

Don’t forget that from now through February 4, you can also vote online for our Wildcard winner. Help us choose the final spot to compete for $10,000 in Elance credits and a meeting with top venture capitalists.

See you online and at the polls.

Payoneer® And Elance Sponsor Global Freelancer Events. Join Us!

Elance is thrilled to team up with the global payment solution Payoneer, co-sponsoring free and informative sessions for freelancers around the world. Elance is excited to be joining forces with Payoneer for these events. They’re now making the payment process easier and more cost efficient in 200+ countries, offering a full-range of flexible payout options for freelancers.Payoneer logo

Sure to be both entertaining and invaluable, the events include free training sessions, introductions to Elance and Payoneer, success stories, panel discussions with local guest speakers and a wonderful opportunity to network with the teams and fellow entrepreneurs.

There will also be drawings for Apple iPad Minis, plus free refreshments.

Yup, we’ll bring food and beverages too, as well as other prizes. Plus at each event, Elance will be honoring top-performing freelancers from that region. So don’t miss the boat. Register below for an event near you and take your career to the next level:

Cairo, Egypt on February 1

Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 8

Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 20

Manila, Philippines on February 22

See you there!

40 Big Idea Competition Semifinalists Selected, Preparing For Next Round On January 30th. Join Us!

Thanks to the 800+ startups and small businesses who entered our Elance Big idea Competition. The submissions were incredible, and narrowing the field was next to impossible for our judges. But after much discussion and deliberation we’ve now selected the 40 Semifinalists who’ll advance to the next round.

Without further ado, here are the 40 Semifinalists!Elance Big Idea Competiton badge

New York City:

Francine W., Airsafe Carryon

Aaron R., Hunger Construction

Bruce K., Metis LLC

Rasheid S., Smarter Vote

Sean O., TextPride

Chicago:

Jacques A., Commogri, Inc.

Anthony N., Liven It Up Events

Colin B., Pronto Plate

Dominic B., savvo digital sommelier solutions

Michelle K.

San Francisco:

Andrea F., Hive Network

Nicu L., Ironzilla

Grace W., Kiko Labs

Jack Y., Reputology

Evelyn H., Roonga, Inc.

London:

Chris P., Cally

Gordon M., Cirro Labs Ltd

Gary M., eCommWeb Limited

Nidhima K., MyBeautyCompare

Leke B., SignTech Paperless Solutions

Copenhagen:

Mads E., Ateo

Carlos G., Discue

Nicolai L., DIVE.in

Mikael T., Labster

David D., M-PAYG

Berlin:

Mathieu S., Cipasso

Sergiej R., CleanAgents

Bas K., Glean

Luca M., GruvIt

Polina M., umoli UG (haftungsbeschränkt)

Melbourne:

George O., Blueteq

Claire D., Buzz Movie Makers

Nathan G., Servomate

Simon W., SwyftPay

Luke E., Yohkoe

Wildcard:

Yu A., Explorer Junior

Ivan R., Hook

Alexei C., Newzmate, Inc.

Lawrence Y., Purifyy

Reto L., Testing Time

Congratulations to those moving on and thanks again to everyone who threw their hat in the ring. You knocked our socks off.

Next steps for competitors (and for you).

If you love watching a heated contest, circle Thursday, January 30th on your calendar. That’s when Elance and our local partners will host live events at seven cities around the globe (there will also be a “wildcard” contest for those unable to personally attend one of our competitions, where you can help choose the winning Finalist … stay tuned for details).

Each live event will feature five local Semifinalists battling it out, pitching their ideas. But only one startup will advance to the Finals from each region! Plus there will also be speakers, prizes (from us and from local sponsors), refreshments, networking and a good time had by one and all. Each region’s Finalist will also win an Apple iPad from Elance, further sweetening the pot. Here’s where to register to attend your local event:

Attend New York City competition

Attend Chicago competition

Attend San Francisco competition

Attend London competition

Attend Copenhagen completion

Attend Berlin competition

Attend Melbourne competition

Between now and January 30th our 40 Semifinalists will be using their $2,500 in Elance credits they earned to build-out their Big Ideas. Which means each pitch will be meaty and complete – with real examples of what’s possible with a great idea and the savvy to hire online freelancers. It’s sure to be exciting, as each region will select one winner who will advance to the February 6 online final.

Congrats to all our Semifinalists! Use the links above to register, and we’ll see you at a local competition near you later this month.

News From Elance’s Trust & Safety Team.

As the New Year unfolds, our Trust & Safety Team continues to work diligently to make Elance the best place to work on earth. Here are some updates from Jeff Chen, our Senior Director of Trust & Safety.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Hello Elancers. Happy 2014! As a company we continue to be supremely focused on ensuring that Elance remains the world’s most trusted workplace. This includes attracting the highest-quality businesses with the most desirable jobs. We’re doing this in no small part through programs like our Payment Protection coverage, freelancer reputation metrics & profiles, secure workrooms & payments and more.

In 2014 we’ll continue to improve Elance services and features, focusing on promoting and rewarding freelancers who: A. Provide great quality service, and B. Maintain lasting relationships with their clients. Here are a few updates you’ll see reflected in the coming weeks:

1. Profile Completeness: New changes.

To further establish quality in our marketplace, we’re also making changes to how freelancers on a Basic (free) Membership plan access their Connects. If you’re not familiar, Connects are used by freelancers to submit proposals on open jobs. Prior to this change, those of you with Basic Memberships received 40 monthly Connects upon signing up on Elance. You can still access all 40 Connects but now you must build a more complete Elance profile before doing so.

Beginning January 15, 2014, the following actions will give you access to all of your Connects:

     • Enter your Basic Profile Information – get 10 Connects

     • Complete 80% of your profile – get 10 Connects

     • Verify your phone number (it’s free) – get 10 Connects

     • Pass 2 or more Skill Tests (they’re free too) – get 10 Connects

Total = 40 Connects

This is a one-time step. Meaning, after following these steps to get all 40 Connects, you won’t have to worry about it again. Moving forward you’ll be able to access all 40 Connects monthly.

The great news is that many freelancers already have completed the necessary requirements, and won’t have to do anything to get all 40 Connects. For new freelancers, or those who haven’t completed their profiles, go to your profile page and start checking off your next steps shown in your profile meter.

Why are we making this change? Elance wants to reward freelancers who are committed to doing work on Elance, while making it easier for businesses to find the best talent. Plus, adding to your profile will allow you to stand out, better surface your talents, and increase your chances of being seen and getting hired. See our help page for more detailed information.

2. Reputation Metrics: Recent and on-going changes rewarding high-quality and lasting client relationships.

Last year we improved the way a freelancer’s Level and Recommend Score are calculated and displayed to clients. You’ll see us continue to make updates. The most recent update, which went live this week, increases the number of points given to freelancers who create and build long term client relationships. As before, the key to success on Elance is maintaining high client satisfaction. And now you’ll get even more credit for long term client relationships. You should see this already reflected in your stats.

Thanks again for making Elance the world’s most-trusted workplace.

Jeff

 

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