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UKCompanies Embracing Online Freelancers on Elance

UKCompanies Embracing Online Freelancers on Elance

55% increase in online hiring on Elance by British firms in the last year

UKis the eighth largest freelance economy in the world on Elance

Londonbusinesses hire the most Elance contractors in the UK, followed by Birmingham, Reading and Edinburgh

As the tough economic situation continues to bite, UK companies are increasingly turning to the web to hire freelance workers. Data from Elance, the leading platform for online work, shows a 55% increase in the hiring of web freelancers by UK businesses on their site since Q3 2010. This is matched by 53% increase in spend by European businesses in total, with the biggest growth coming from Italy (87%), Norway (69%) and France (64%).

Elance’s first ever European Online Employment Report revealed that more work is moving to the cloud across all industries, with the UK leading the way as the top hiring European country and the third biggest hiring country worldwide in Q3. With British freelancers also flocking to the web to work, the UK is now the eighth largest online freelance economy in the world. European contractors are in particularly high demand, with Ukraine, Russia, Romania and the UK heading the contractor earnings league table.

While the UK is leading the way during a time when the traditional employment market is sluggish, the trend towards hiring online workers is truly a global phenomenon, with a 107% increase in new businesses adopting online hiring models across the world in the last year. Globally, Elancers earned 51% more than a year ago, with a record $38 million earned in Q3 2011 alone.

“The UK is at the forefront of the online worker trend in Europe,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “Across the country, businesses are embracing the flexibility that a freelance workforce offers and contractors are snapping up opportunities to work online at a time when traditional employment routes are flat-lining. This global trend frees businesses up to recruit the best people for the job in a quick and efficient way. Across our platform, companies are using freelancers to change the way they work and succeed like never before.”

Notable hiring trends over the last include:

Londonbusinesses hire the most Elance contractors in the UK, but Birmingham (89%), Reading (59%) and Edinburgh (40%) are all seeing impressive growth. When compared to European capitals, London is also on top, followed by Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Demand for creative services is booming with a 192% increase in the UK in Q3 2011 and a 214% increase across Europe for contractors on Elance with creative skills including graphic design, multimedia and writing skills.

Engineers are building momentum, with the demand for engineers growing on Elance: Chemical Engineering (155%), Network Engineering (45%), Civil Engineering (36%), Electrical Engineering (28%) and Mechanical Engineering (13%). CAD skills also saw greater demand: AutoCAD (32%), ArchiCAD (60%) and Rhino CAD (7%).

Legal professionals are also increasingly popular on Elance, with lawyers specialising in Tax Law (69%), International Law (27%) and Employment Law (13%) all seeing significant increases during Q3 2011.

Customer service agents and virtual assistants on Elance have earned 58% more than last year in Q3.

Experts with 3D multimedia skills saw a sharp increase this quarter, with 3D Studio Max up 61%, 3D Modeling up 28% and 3D up 13%, as businesses seek another dimension for creative and visual storytelling. Similarly, demand for video skills such as After Effects rose 24%, Videography went up by 33%, Final Cut Pro saw a 26% increase and demand for Video Editing went up 21%.

Mobileis still hot with worldwide businesses fuelling a 32% increase in demand for iOS skills, spiking a 25% growth in demand for those with iPad-specific skills. Android has extended its market share lead and saw a 14% surge in demand.

Support for managing customer relationships remains popular, with experts seeing a 35% rise in demand, while SugarCRM (9%) and Data Interpretation (29%) also experienced increases, indicating heightened focus on CRM and customer data.


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