The Freelance Model for Enterprises is an interesting study from Tower Lane Consulting. The key take away is businesses are planning to hire more contingent workers (freelancers, etc.) over the next year.
The study focused on mid-sized firms with 50 to 1000 employees. The key results are:
- Over 60% of the respondents plan to hire more freelancers next year
- 75% said they use freelancers because they need different skill sets at different times
- 88% use freelancers on projects lasting less than one year
- 66% said they have their freelancers work on-site
These results are consistent with other surveys, which also show a growing interest in hiring more contingent workers.
The study also reports about 30%-40% find the process of locating, hiring and paying freelancers to be difficult and/or cumbersome. Because of this 68% of the respondents said they would be interested in a tool that made it easier to hire, manage and pay freelancers.
No doubt not by coincidence, the company that sponsored this research - Elance - recently announced a tool to help mid-sized companies do just that.
Elance calls their new tool the Private Talent Cloud and it's a private version of the public Elance platform, allowing companies to create and manage their freelance talent pool.
Elance's announcement came shortly after MBO Partners (an Emergent Research client) and Work Market announced a similar offering called The Managed Contractor Cloud. And shortly after Elance, oDesk announced their version, called Private Workplace.
The Staffing Industry Analyst blog has a nice summary of these announcements.
The bottom line is all these companies recognize that businesses of all sizes want to hire more contingent workers - and they're creating products to them do so.