Global freelancing website, Upwork recently announced that more than $4 billion of cumulative work has been completed through its platform and an annualized gross services volume run-rate of $1.5 billion.
Between the years 2016 and 2017, Fortune 500 companies via online freelancing platforms grew 26% according to the Oxford Internet Institute. Because of the growing enterprise adoption – in the last twelve months, 28% of Fortune 500 used Upwork – Upwork has plans to significantly increase the size of its enterprise sales team in the coming year. Enterprise businesses such as Airbnb, Dropbox, GE and Samsung posted more than 30,000 projects on Upwork in 2017.
“For companies to survive digital transformation they must rethink their talent models. Hiring is hard and will only get harder, with extreme competition for talent and positions at enterprise companies open more than 40 days on average,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Gender, Education, and Work. “Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Innovative companies are helping to make this mission a reality as they adopt more agile approaches to sourcing talent — finding the skills they need online among the growing workforce of independent professionals.”
According to the upcoming Future Workforce Report 2018, nine out of 10 hiring managers are open to working with freelancers rather than making temporary hires through a staffing firm. McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2025, talent platforms could add $2.7 trillion, or nearly 2%, to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Traditional staffing models no longer fulfill many of our business needs,” said Cathleen Nilson, Head of Finance Innovation and On Demand Talent at Samsung. “Remaining competitive today means being agile, getting projects done in days or weeks, not months. In 2017, using the Upwork platform, we’ve achieved 58% administrative time savings and a six times faster talent onboarding process compared to the Managed Service Provider (MSP) model, with 52% cost savings. I really believe this is the future of work. Given the proven operational excellence, we will continue to expand On-Demand Talent platform usage in 2018.”
“At GE, we disrupt ourselves—fundamentally rethinking the way we do business, embracing new technology and leaning into talent innovation,” said Dyan Finkhousen, president, and CEO of GENIUSLINK™ and Director of Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing for GE. “Our customers engage with talent networks in new ways – often accelerating programs by at least 50% and increasing productivity and cost savings. Upwork is an essential partner to make that happen at scale.”
Freelancers who work via Upwork include:
- Americans beyond major job centers:“Living in Flint Michigan, job opportunities are limited. With two school-age children at home, moving or commuting multiple hours into Detroit isn’t an option. Upwork gives me the ability to spend time with my family while allowing me the freedom to choose the projects I work on. With Upwork, location is a thing of the past.” – Melody Richmond, Founder of Richmond Concept, a remote creative agency
- Millennials who see this as the future of work: “Freelancing is the future of work because it gives people the freedom to work on their own terms. Because of sites like Upwork, I was able to grow my own business while I was in high school and college. Today, my business is thriving, and I get to work on things that deeply interest me,” said Usama Riaz, a Top Rated Web & Mobile Developer
- Skilled professionals who left corporate America to become independent: “Freelancing has empowered me to branch out on my own. In just a short time on Upwork, I was getting month long waiting lists for my services. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the largest companies in the world. I like to tell my kids anything is possible. With Upwork, there are no limits to the work I can do.” David Kittle, freelance industrial designer
- People unable to come to an office due to a health challenge: “When a cancer diagnosis forced me to take on a desk job, I was worried about my ability to find work in the little rural town I live in. Upwork gave me the flexibility to work from home while I recovered and be there for my children. I have now been freelancing for almost eight years and I plan to continue as long as I can.” Cheryl Titus, freelance customer support specialist
Edited by Victoria Haviland
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