oDesk Online Work Survey: Fall 2012 Global Results
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oDesk Online Work Survey: Fall 2012 Global Results

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oDesk®, the world’s largest and fastest-growing online workplace, releases its Fall 2012 Online Work Survey, conducted by independent research firm Genesis Research Associates. The global study of ...

oDesk®, the world’s largest and fastest-growing online workplace, releases its Fall 2012 Online Work Survey, conducted by independent research firm Genesis Research Associates. The global study of 2,839 businesses that have hired online captured experiences and predictions regarding hiring and the future of work. Findings reveal a belief that “the majority of contractors will be working online by 2020.” For full survey details, including an infographic, please visit: https://www.odesk.com/info/Fall2012OnlineWorkSurvey/

The study’s key findings also indicate that:
• 58% of respondents plan to at least double their spending on online workers in 2013
• 94% agree with the statement: “Within 10 years, the majority of businesses will have blended teams of online and on-premise workers”
• 95% agree that in the future, getting hired will be “more dependent on having the right skills than on location”
• Three-quarters say it would have been difficult to hire a local, on-premise worker to fill the need for which they hired their online worker

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  • Hi Alice and Dip - if you haven't found your own work from home business, please go to this free blog and see how the fast start might work for you. I started on oDesk April 2013 and have had more job offers than I can possible handle. See how I am doing it here: http://go.executiveinsweatpants.com/home-based-consulting-starter-kit/.
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  • Somebody show me how it works. I really need an extra Job.
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  • OEAs:Ability to get skilled people at competitive price and speed of filling resource gap quickly (UK) Agility and the ability to respond to client needs and increase the workforce as needed (UK) Best skill set matching availability with proven track record/feedback and competitive pricing (US) Hard to hire someone with right skillset at right price in the Bay Area (Bay Area) Looking for cheaper alternative to local hires (Bay Area)
  • OEAs:It's extremely difficult to find qualified, skilled people in the UK for our operation.  Our online workers have the right skills, professionalism, work-ethic and price! (UK) I hired qualified medical professionals which would be impossible for me to do locally (UK)Access to programmers that had skills and reliability that I could not find in Hawaii (US)The creative work required for my projects requires extensive searches beyond my locality (US) My animation project was stalling because of the lack of talent in my city. Which left the overall project at the limited time of the one or two individuals in the city that has the skill set to complete the work we needed (US) I had/have a project that requires special skills that are not readily available in my area (Bay Area)
  • OEAs:Fill a specific skill set need as quickly as possible while keeping overhead costs at a minimum (US) Finding people with right skills who can start immediately regardless of location (US)
  • OEAs:Some jobs, like building a site (if you don't know the right people), can cost much more when done locally. Our first site would never have been built if we didn't work with someone online(UK) I don't write complex code and needed a project done asap. If I have to work through it it will take me about a week of research. The online worker did it in a few hours and the whole project was completed in a day at very low cost (UK)I needed someone with experience using a software system that is not common in my region. ODesk provided applicants worldwide that could assist in completing my project. Therefore, I was able to quickly and easily fill the position and complete the job (Australia)I don't know anyone in my area that makes Applications, so going on O-desk made it the easy choice. I found some workers are more expensive than others, but it all depends on what you’re looking for.Just getting access to people with a specific skill set, in my case Zend PHP and graphic design. There is a shortage of these skills readily available in Sydney.(Australia) The cost of hiring a software engineer would be unaffordable in my region. I can hire software engineers for affordable rates on sites like Odesk (Bay Area) I need ruby on rails and mobile talent that is inexpensive relative to SF Bay Area rates. I also find that I can test out the talent easily and not feel I am committed too much initially (Bay Area)
  • OEAs:I've hired developer and he did project in 3 days, which was estimated in 2 weeks by me (UK) I started hiring because I needed workers immediately.  I needed people that were qualified and ready to work.  Turnover is high so I need access to many people who want to work and need little to no training. (US) Ability to hire on a needs basis instantly and having the best at the task instead of generalists (US) Couldn't find people with the right skills locally and quickly (Bay Area) Needed to put together a quick team of different talents and saved me time doing so (US) Fast hiring at economical rates and flexibility of short-term/part-time hiring (US) There is a great ease of hiring an online worker vs in-person. Not only is the time to interview lessened, you can try out the services quickly and determine if there is a fit for the position quickly (US)
  • OEAs:Allows my company to grow without increasing costs associated with premises, etc. (UK) The affordability and ease of using odesk is amazing (US)
  • OEAs:Off load non critical work to free up internal resources on higher priority issues (UK)Cost effective work force to complete ongoing daily tasks and the ability to grow with minimal financial risk (UK) Cheaper scalable workforce, so I can take on more projects and bigger projects (Australia) Specific skills set available at very competitive price and ability to hire for project only (US) Ability to stay small and agile, but do very big things when opportunities arise (Bay Area) Flexibility to hire as needed to scale capacity to meet workload demand (US) Speed, Being able to have them work on a project while I sleep. And then while they sleep, I get to refine my needs...  12 hour difference in timezones means 24 hours worth of work.Convenience. Searching, interviewing outside of office hours. Ability to have employees work on weekends. (US) Having staff conduct work after hours for our company so in effect our business would run 24 hours. When tasks have been set before close of our business, companies overseas have finished work by the time we return to our business in the morning. (Australia)
  • OEAs:I required a specific skill set for a one-off task which was most easily sourced online (UK)We have been able to tap into a new market and trial things never before possible in my location (UK)Wide range of multi skilled people from around the world all in one place and reasonable costs (UK) Geography was not important, but rather the technical skills and professionalism of the worker (US) I can get the best talent from across the globe with no constraint of having them permanent hire (US) The hiring of contract work from a large (global) pool of skilled and rated workers (US) I had a project idea that I would only be able to do if I could hire workers at an economical rate.  If it wasn't for oDesk I would have to scrap the project (Australia) The ability to take on more projects as well as projects in languages we are not proficient in (US)Could not have even started my current project due to cost constraints without an online worker (US) Exposure to talented people over the world (Australia)I work elsewhere and hold a part time business. With ODesk I can have someone else help me when I'm busy tocomplete projects faster. I also hire people in areas that I am weak, to help in the overall quality of the final products. (US) I needed someone with experience using a software system that is not common in my region. ODesk providedapplicants worldwide that could assist in completing my project. Therefore, I was able to quickly and easily fill theposition and complete the job. (US)
  • OEAs: Our budget is too small to be able to afford a staff in our area. By hiring workers abroad we are able to create new projects and products that in turn help our economy out. We have grown to be able to pay employees locally as well (US)
  • OEAs: One of my online workers has proven to be so knowledgeable and skilled that I have deputised her to run my staffing requirements including hiring, coaching and training.  She lives 10,000 miles away and I have never met her! (UK) I wanted to be able to build a reliable team of specialized workers without any overhead (US) I have found a couple of diamonds in the rough, and a couple have become my permanent solutions(Bay Area) Long-term, dependable relationships that are helping our business grow in a tough economy (US) All our software has been built by virtual employees, we don't like to call them online workers (US) Online workers are critical to all aspects of our business with out them there is no business (US)
  • OEAs: The ability to hire quality Information Systems people at an excellent rate(US) To solve specific problems in the most timely manner possible. Cost benefits are secondary (Bay Area) Excellent talent at reasonable prices (US) Quality, Quality & Quality work! Experts in specific areas I needed. (US) I had no idea about seo work and needed to hire someone to help me. I got way more then that. My company wentfrom 12 visitors a month to 6,000 a month. (US) You can find people who WANT to work and are willing to work quickly. Offline you can ask around and try to findsomeone to do something but they never seem to actually WANT to work as a contractor. Everyone offline expects toget paid more and have lower expectations. On Odesk, people are actively seeking the employment you offer and aredelighted to work for you. I love that I can tell them what I need and the deadline and they just do it. I also love that I cansee their work. I have never been worried though that people on Odesk aren't working hard! It seems to attract peoplewho want to work hard and I was also able to be selective in my hiring because I had sometimes hundreds ofapplicants. (US)
  • OEAs: I was living in a small community at the time with a limited talent pool. Commuting from a larger city was possible, butwould have consumed too much time. So using remote workers was very desirable. (Bay Area)
  • OEAs: Quite simply I've been able to realise my dream and vision for a startup company. Without Odesk this wouldn't have been possible. (UK) The single most important aspect of hiring online is being able to contract workers with cutting edge skills for areasonable price. That is the biggest differentiator for my small business. (US) I am a new start up and don't have the funds to hire locally. I would not be so far along my plans if I couldn't hire online staff to assist (Australia) Reasonable contractor rates. US developers would have cost too much for me, as a student (US)As a start up company it was critical to us to get cheaper quality work, cheaper than we would have ever gotten it locally here in the US (US) As a startup company, hiring online workers is the best option to test the market with limited liability (US)New business startup would be too expensive to undertake without access to online workers (US) as as startup business we had no budget for the high initial costs of employing workers. Hiring through oDesk gave us access to better talent at drastically less cost (Australia)
  • OEAs: Flexibility to scale and launch faster (Australia)We have become as competitive as much larger operations (UK) Able to give an affordable product compared to competitors(US) Has made my business possible to function and compete with large corporations (US) Support to provide a prompt, efficient service to my clients and increased profitability. (Australia) By hiring oDesk contractors, my business has a strong competitive advantage compared to local competing businesses. Due to the efficient and cost effective nature of hiring online workers, I am able to offer my clients myservice quicker, higher quality and lower price. My business would not work without places like oDesk. (Australia)
  • Q.10I How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Online workplaces (like oDesk) are helping businesses like mine to launch products or services fasterQ.10H How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Online workplaces (like oDesk) are helping businesses like mine to grow their revenues fasterOEAs: Ability to grow company quickly and cost effectively (UK) Speed to get a specific job done if we didn't have the skills to do it ourselves (UK) Flexibility is certainly the main benefit... it certainly helps being able to take on extra workers as and when we need to (UK) Without my contractors I would not have been able to grow my business so quickly as they have been able to get on and source leads and do 90% of the sales process for me. This has been invaluable (UK) Affordability. Flexible hours. High Skills. Multiple options to choose from. (Australia)Without hiring the person I would not have an app - which is now available WORLD WIDE!!!(Australia) It's happening on a daily basis. Whether it's the fantastic developers I've been working with or the designers that have been able to provide me with fantastic designs that I then can present to my clients. (Australia) By hiring oDesk contractors, my business has a strong competitive advantage compared to local competing businesses. Due to the efficient and cost effective nature of hiring online workers, I am able to offer my clients myservice quicker, higher quality and lower price. My business would not work without places like oDesk. (Australia)
  • OEAs: The ability to recruit for single jobs rather than a full time employee made it practical for me (UK) A varied source of specific technical skills, each unique, are available without having to constantly retrain in-house staff (UK) Content writing for SEO where overseas writers are much more competitively priced. This has helped our agency grow exponentially over the last few years (UK) Online workers seemed to be more responsive and also more competitive with the economic growth (US) Our entire business would not exist if not for online workers, period (Bay Area) All my workers are online, so everything they do is critical (Bay Area) My budget for my new business is small. without low cost workers, I would be unable to get to first base. (Australia) It's the old adage, worker smarter not harder. I noticed my business grow exponentially when I hired others to do work I was incapable of. It gave me more time to concentrate on doing the things that I was good at (UK)
  • OEAs: Quick easy access to a diverse talent pool at affordable prices (UK) I'm currently working on a new iOS game. The game needs to look great, so I hired a really talented designer from Brazil who is on oDesk. I also needed someone to build the game so again I turned to oDesk and found an awesome programmer who lives in Ukrai(UK) As an overworked teacher, I needed to free up my personal time and energy by using an assistant to do menial professional and personal tasks for me (US) Needed a journalist / copywriter for press release urgently. I fulfilled my needs within 48 hours ready for distribution. I now rely on this service for marketing requirements: Web development, testing specialists, Q&A, expert resources at my finger (Australia) As a student, I get my lectures (mp3 file) transcribed to Word files. This drastically reduces the amount of time I spend listening to lectures and gives me time to do all the extra work I need to get through. (Australia)
  • OEA: Flexibility to try new things without a huge bd/research/testing budget(UK)
  • workers?

oDesk Online Work Survey: Fall 2012 Global Results oDesk Online Work Survey: Fall 2012 Global Results Presentation Transcript

  • Online Work Survey:Fall 2012 Global ResultsConducted by Genesis Research Associates
  • Methodology• Survey was conducted by independent research firm Genesis Research Associates and commissioned by oDesk• Objective: Understand the evolution of hiring and staffing on a global scale, among businesses hiring online• Fielded online in fall 2012 and released in October 2012• Audience: Businesses that recently hired online workers on oDesk• N = 2839 Global• Sampling error: +/- 1.8 points globally 2
  • Agenda• How important is talent to a business’ success, and how painful is it to access?• How does online hiring compare with traditional hiring?• What is the economic impact of online work?• What kinds of businesses use online workers?• What is the future of online work? 3
  • A quick primer on online work• Any skill that can be done on a computer • Tech, design, legal, admin, translation, etc.• Simulates working in an office • Except that work is done in an online workplace so it can be anytime, anywhere• Relationship-based, quality work • Directly managed, 1:1 work 4
  • How important is talent to abusiness’ success, and howpainful is it to access? 5
  • Businesses need talent, but say traditional hiring is painful 90% say access to talent 70% agree traditional is important hiring methods are painful 47% Very important Agree 42% Critical Agree strongly 43% 28% 10A) How much do you agree or disagree with each of9) How important to your business success is the ability the following statements?to hire people with the right skills when you need them? “Traditional methods of hiring and staffing are painful”Base (total respondents): 2839 Base (total respondents): 2839 6
  • Why is traditional hiring difficult? Talent scarcity is almost on par with cost Factors contributing to the difficulty of hiring on-premise (Distributed out of 100)Expense/cost “My animation project was 33% stalling because of the lack of talent in my city.” – U.S. Hard to find 30% talentTime it takes 20% “Its extremely difficult to find qualified, skilled people in Not flexible 17% the UK for our operation.” – UK 29D) Please distribute 100 points across this set of 4 issues to indicate how much each one contributes to the difficulty of hiring on-premise workers. Base (total respondents): 2839 7
  • They already believed traditional methods weren’t working Actively looking for a new way to hire when they found out about online work No 36% Yes 64%11) At the time when you first found out about online workplaces (like oDesk), were you actively seeking a new way tohire?Base (total respondents): 2839 8
  • How does online hiring comparewith traditional hiring? 9
  • 76% say online work helps solve the talent availability dilemma Online Workplaces Enable Businesses to Choose the Best Talent Instead of Settling for What’s Available Locally 42% 34% 15% 8% 1% Agree strongly Agree Neutral/No Disagree Disagree opinion strongly10C) How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? “Online workplaces (like oDesk) enable meto choose the very best talent for my needs instead of having to settle for whatever talent is available locally”Base (total respondents): 2839 10
  • Online Hiring is MUCH faster“There is a great ease of Median Days to Hirehiring an online worker vs.in-person. Not only is thetime to interview 23.9lessened, you can try outthe services quickly anddetermine if there is a fit forthe position quickly.” – U.S. 2.8 Online worker On-Premise worker18) How long does it typically take to hire an online worker? Please estimate how much time usually passes betweenwhen you first start looking for someone to hire and when the new worker is officially hired and under contract.Base (total respondents): 283929A) How long does it typically take to hire an on-premise worker? Please estimate how much time usually passesbetween when you first start looking for someone to hire and when the worker is on-board and starting to work.Base (total respondents who have hired on-premise workers): 1286 11
  • Online is “easier” and “less stressful” than on-premise 82% say online hiring is easier 53% 29%68% say on-premise hiring is more 40% 28% stressful Much more Somewhat more30) In general, how would you compare hiring on-premise workers versus hiring online workers?Base (total respondents who have hired on-premise workers): 128631) In general, how would you compare hiring on-premise workers versus hiring online workers?Base (total respondents who have hired on-premise workers): 1286 12
  • Online work helps overcome traditional hiring challenges Importance in Decision to Hire Online Workers 72% say provides more flexible staffing (scalable for variances in business… 19% 53% 72% say faster hiring 18% 54% 67% say allows me (or my in-house staff) to focus on higher-level skills 20% 47% 62% say can find specific skills that would be difficult to find locally 22% 40% Very important Important14) How important were each of the following in your decision to hire online workers?Bases (total respondents): More flexible (2056), Faster (2041), Higher-Level Skills (1907), Find Specific Skills (1760) 13
  • A bold prediction: By 2020… the majority of contract workers will be working online (86%)*33) Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statement about business.Base (total respondents who had an opinion): 2142* Percentage corresponds to those who agree out of respondents who had an opinion 14
  • What is the economic impactof online work? 15
  • Online work expands the labor market:Only 17% would have hired locally What Would Have Done if No Appropriate Online Worker Worked extra 37% hours Hired on- premise Delayed/cance 21% worker led project 17% Something else Done 83% something 16% else Not sure 10%20) Thinking about the most recent time that you hired an online worker, if you had not found an appropriate onlineworker, which of the following best describes what you most likely would have done?Base (total respondents): 2839 16
  • Hiring workers from anywhere is seen asgood for their own country’s economy “By hiring workers abroad we are able to create new projects and products that in turn help our economy out. We have grown to be able to pay 72% employees locally as well.” – U.S. 28% Agree Disagree10K) How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? “The fact that businesses like mine havethe ability to hire workers from anywhere in the world is good for my countrys economy.” Results shown among thosewho have an opinion.Base (total respondents who had an opinion): 1953 17
  • Online workers are considered long-term team members Role of Online Workers in Respondents’ Companies Staff/tea Long- Short- m Outsider term term 69% 31% 84% 16% “One of my online workers has proven to be so knowledgeable and skilled that I deputised her to run my staffing requirements including hiring, coaching and training. She lives 10,000 miles away and I have never met her!” - UK 28) Do you try to build long-term relationships with27) Do you consider online workers part of your individual online workers, or do you just hire whoever isstaff/team or are they outsiders? available at the time to fill your short-term needs?Base (total respondents): 2839 Base (total respondents): 2839 18
  • In choosing workers, quality trumps cost Importance in Choice of Which Online Worker To Hire 82% say past work… 32% 50% 78% say star ratings 26% 52% 72% say pay rate 21% 51% 70% say portfolio 25% 45% 66% say references 19% 47% 49% say skills test scores 11% 38% 33% say education 6% 27% Very important Important15) And, how important are each of the following issues to you when you choose which online worker to hire?Base (total respondents): 2839 19
  • What kinds of businessesuse online workers? 20
  • About half are suburban or rural Company Location 52% 37% 11% Urban area Suburban area Rural area “I was living in a small community at the time with a limited talent pool. Commuting from a city was possible, but would have consumed too much time. So using remote workers was very desirable.” – US (Bay Area)39) Which best describes your companys primary location?Base (total respondents): 2839 21
  • Most say they are “start-ups” Start-up Not a start-up 58% 42% “Quite simply Ive been able to realise my dream and vision for a startup company. Without [online work] this wouldnt have been possible.” - UK41) Do you consider your company a start-up?Base (total respondents): 2839 22
  • Almost 90% see online workers as a competitive edge “…made my business possible to function and compete with large corporations.” – U.S. 88% say "Online workers make 40% 48% me more competitive in general" 76% say "Online workplaces let 34% 42% me choose the best talent" Strongly agree Agree10E) How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? “Access to online workers makes mycompany more competitive in general”Base (total respondents): 283810C) How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? “Online workplaces (like oDesk) enableme to choose the very best talent for my needs instead of having to settle for whatever talent is available locally”Base (total respondents): 2839 23
  • Online work grows businesses faster 85% say "Online workplaces 40% 45% help launch products faster" 80% say "Online workplaces help businesses grow revenues 33% 47% faster" Without my contractors I would not have been able Strongly agree Agree to grow my business so quickly - UK10I) How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?“Online workplaces (like oDesk) are helping businesses like mine to launch products orservices faster”Base (total respondents): 283910H) How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?“Online workplaces (like oDesk) are helping businesses like mine to grow theirrevenues faster”Base (total respondents): 2839 24
  • Online workers seen as a long-term business strategy Long-term Temporary “Its the old adage, work strategy solution smarter not harder. I 84% 16% noticed my business grow exponentially when I hired others to do work.” - UK26) Which of the following best describes how you feel about the role of online workers in your business?Base (total respondents): 2839 25
  • What is the future of onlinework? 26
  • Businesses are hiring about 3 online workers per year average Total Hired Past 12 Months 31% 22% 17% 16% 14% 1 2-3 4-5 6-10 >103) In total, how many online workers have you hired in the past 12 months (either through oDesk or any otherway)?Base (total respondents): 2839 27
  • What do they need help with? Skills Most Difficult to Find Locally Web development 37% Software development 32% Design or multimedia 24% Writing or translation 17% Sales or marketing 13% Tech Networking/IS 9% Non-tech Administrative/clerical 8% Professional services 5% Customer service 5%32) Which types of workers do you think are most difficult to find in your local area?Base (total respondents): 2839 28
  • Rapid adoption: 2/3rds hired for more than one skill, 2/3rds within 3 months Online Hire History How Long After 1st Hire to Hiring Different Skill >1 yr 9% 6-12 mos 10% >1 3-6 mos 15% 1 Type Type 32% 68% 1-3 mos 26% 1-4 wks 28% <1 wk 11% 17A) About how long after you hired your very first online worker17) Have you hired online workers with different types of did you first hire an online worker with a different skill set?skills, or have you only hired one type of online worker? Base (total respondents who have hired more than 1 type ofBase (total respondents): 2839 online worker): 1928 29
  • High demand: 95% plan to increase or maintain online hiring Next Year vs. Last Year – Number of Online Hires Same number 32% Fewer 5% More 63%19A) Do you expect that you will hire more or fewer online workers in the next year than you did in the pastyear?Base (total respondents): 2628 30
  • Most expect to increase spend on online workers in the next year 94% say they’ll spend the Of those spending more, 58% same or more say they’ll spend at least twice as much Less Same >2x 33% 6% amount 23% 2x 25% 50%-75% more 28% More 71% About 25% more 13%19B) In total, do you expect that you will spend more or less on online workers in the next year than you did in the past year?Base (total respondents): 262819C) As compared to your spending in the past year, how much more do you think you will spend on online workers in thenext year?Base (total respondents who will spend more in the next year on online workers): 1868 31
  • By 2015, most expect at least 50% of their workforce to be online Percent who say at least half their workforce will be online in 2015 24% 24% 19% 16% 16% 1% More than 75%About 75% About 50% About 25% Less than 25% None19D) In 2015, what percent of your companys workforce do you estimate will be online workers?Base (total respondents): 2628 32
  • Predictions • “In the future, hiring will be more dependent on having the right skills than on location” (95%) • “In 10 years, most businesses will have blended teams” (94%) • “In the future, new employees will bring online workers as part of their own work teams” (91%)*33) Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about business.Base (respondents who had an opinion): Right skills (2507), Blended Teams (2407), Bring Online Workers(2096)* Percentages on this slide correspond to those who agree, out of those who had an opinion 33