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Future Workforce Report:
How Companies Embrace Flexible Teams to Get Work Done
February 28, 2017
© Copyright 2017 Inavero, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Table of Contents
2
Topic Page
Study Objectives 3
Research Methodology 4
Key Findings 5
How Hiring Managers Build Their Teams 8
How Teams Leverage Freelancers 18
Current Hiring Manager Perceptions of Freelancers 29
Profile of Respondents 36
Appendix 42
Study Objectives
Upwork commissioned Inavero, an independent research firm, to conduct a
study of workforce hiring in the U.S., focusing on knowledge work, with
these objectives:
1. Understand the state of the workforce today and future talent
demands
2. Establish a blueprint for the evolution of work
3. Explore how teams are leveraging freelancers
4. Examine new areas ripe for hiring innovation
This deck is organized in sections to detail results on each objective.
3
Research Methodology
• An online survey of 1,004 workforce hiring decision makers obtained
through a third-party, independent online sample.
• Data collected December 1, 2016 – December 10, 2016 by independent
research firm Inavero.
• This is the first year the survey has been conducted.
• Overall margin of error of ±3.09% at 95% confidence level.
4
Key Findings
5
1. How hiring managers build their teams
• 76% of hiring managers say their success depends on getting access to top
talent.
• Three times as many hiring managers felt hiring had gotten harder in the
past year than those who felt it had gotten easier. Hiring difficulty
increased for nearly all roles in 2016.
• 63% have someone on their team who works a significant portion of their
time remotely.
• Nearly half (48%) of companies utilize at least some form of a flexible
workforce (temporary workers, freelancers or agency workers).
• Two in three (65%) companies plan to grow total headcount in 2017.
Key Findings
6
2. How teams leverage freelancers
• Over half (55%) of those who leveraged freelancers last year expect to
increase their usage in 2017.
• Freelancers are most typically utilized to scale up quickly for a project
(56%) or to leverage skills not currently in-house (49%).
• Freelancers help get more work done and grow the overall pie by filling
opportunities that would otherwise go unfilled.
• Nearly two-thirds (64%) of hiring managers believe they use freelancers at
least somewhat strategically, yet 77% believe there is at least some room
for improvement in their strategic utilization of freelancers.
Key Findings
7
3. Current hiring manager perceptions of freelancers
• More hiring managers are satisfied with the skills of freelancers than the
skills of their most recent full-time hires.
• Top benefits of hiring freelancers are flexibility and access to hard-to-find
skills.
• Top concerns with hiring freelancers are compatibility with existing teams
and fears around accountability.
• Yet, just 11% of hiring managers expressed dissatisfaction with these
aspects when rating their most recent freelancer hire.
• 60% of hiring managers expect that freelancing will continue to increase.
8
How Hiring Managers Build
their Teams
Hiring managers depend on access to top talent
9Q3.6. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements. (n=998)
My Department’s Success Depends on Getting Access to the Talent we Need
76%
feel access to talent
drives their success
Hiring difficulty has increased for nearly all roles
10
Q2.6. In your opinion, how hard has hiring been this year, compared to prior years? (n=964)
3 times
as many hiring managers said hiring was more
difficult in 2016 than said it was easier
Trying to Find the Right Talent Stresses me out
The average position has been open for more than a
month and it’s stressing many hiring managers out
11Q3.6. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements. (n=987)
50%
Feel stressed trying to find
the right talent for their team
Many teams have open positions, with product,
development and marketing positions open longest
12
Q2.5. Thinking of the specific hiring need you are most familiar with within each skillset, how long have each of the
following roles been open? (n=885)
88%
of hiring managers have
openings on their teams
Location is not an important factor in driving
success of new hires
13
Only
1 in 10
hiring managers
believe physical
presence in office is
important to a new
hire’s success
Q3.7. Please rank each of the following attributes in terms of their importance to a hire’s ability to successfully work for you.
(n=899)
Most departments have at least some experience
with team members working remotely
14
35%
of departments have freelancers that
conduct a significant portion of their
work from a remote location
56%
of departments have
full-time/permanent employees that
conduct a significant portion of their
work from a remote location
Q4.10. Do you have any team members who conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location? (n=985)
63%
of departments have remote team members
Technology enables higher engagement for remote
workers
15
83%
of departments utilize
more than one type of
technology to engage
remote workers
Q6.5. Which of the following types of technology does your department utilize to help effectively engage remote workers? (n=146)
65%
Two in three departments
plan to grow total
employee headcount in
2017
Departments utilize a range of talent
16
Q2.2. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in
2017? (n=865)
48%
Nearly half of departments use temporary workers,
freelancers, or agency workers
7 in 10 departments utilize flexible and/or remote
workers
17
63%
of departments have team members
that conduct a significant portion of
their work from a remote location
48%
of departments of departments use
temporary workers, freelancers, or
agency workers
Q2.2. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect
to have in 2017? (n=865)
Q4.10. Do you have any team members who conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location? (n=985)
72%
of departments use some combination of temporary workers,
freelancers, agency workers and/or remote workers
How Teams Leverage Freelancers
18
Majority of hiring managers who used freelancers in
2016 expect to increase usage this year
19
Freelancer Utilization in 2017 Among Those Who Used Freelancers in 2016
Q2.2. (Those who had freelancers in 2016) Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How
many do you expect to have in 2017? (n=293)
Q3.5. (All respondents, if more) What is the primary reason you will be using more freelancers in 2017? (n=223)
4 times
as many hiring
managers plan to use
more freelancers in the
coming year than plan
to use fewer.
Hiring managers find freelancers through a variety
of resources
20
77%
of managers use more than
one resource when finding
freelancers to hire
Q3.1. You said that you had hired freelancers (independent contractors, solo entrepreneurs, etc) in the past year. Which of
the following are ways in which you found the freelancers you hired? (n=155)
Nearly half of hiring managers used online sources
to find freelancers in 2016
21
Q3.1. You said that you had hired freelancers (independent contractors, solo entrepreneurs, etc) in the past year. Which of
the following are ways in which you found the freelancers you hired? (n=155)
46%
used online resources to find
freelancers in the past year.
Freelancers most typically utilized to increase capacity
or fill skills not currently found within team
22
Q6.2. Which of the following types of situations do you typically utilize freelancers/independent contractors? (n=154)
Q4.4. (Those who have hired freelancers both online and through other means) Once the role was filled, how long did it take
for that person (freelancer) to be fully contributing to the team? (n=64)
Managers reported that
freelancers hired via online
sources started contributing
to their team
40% faster
than those hired via offline
sources.
Hiring managers leverage freelancers across a wide
variety of skillsets
23Q2.4. Within the past year, which of the following types of roles have you been involved in trying to fill? (n=335)
Note: Percentages reflect only those that said they hired for each role in 2016
52%
of hiring managers who
hired freelancers hired
them for 2 or more types
of roles
Companies favor qualifications over cost with
freelancers
24
Companies are
6 times
more likely to hire the most
qualified freelancer than the
least expensive
Q3.2. Thinking of the most recent freelancer you were involved in hiring, which of the following was true? (n=156)
4 in 5 hiring managers report an increase in their
team’s productivity due to hiring a freelancer
25
80%
of managers report
increased team
productivity due to a
recent freelancer hire
Q4.7. How did your most recent freelancer hire impact your team’s productivity? (n=154)
Q4.9. You said productivity was increased due to the freelancer you most recently hired. In which of the following ways was
productivity increased? (n=120)
Freelancers help get more work done and grow the
overall pie
26
84%
of departments
would delay, cancel,
or extend current
workloads
Q4.8. If you had not been able to find a freelancer to hire for your most recent project, which of the following would have
likely occurred? (n=1,003)
Hiring managers most frequently use freelancers
for 2 week – 3 month project durations
27
Project Length
Q6.4. In the past 12 months, which of the following types of projects have you hired freelancers to work on? (n=151)
64 percent of hiring managers believe they are
using freelancers strategically
28Q6.3. Generally speaking, how strategically do you think your department utilizes freelance workers? (n=999)
How Strategically Department Currently Utilizes Freelancers
77%
believe improvement could be made
64%
of managers feel they are using
freelancers strategically
29
Current Hiring Manager Perceptions
of Freelancers
Hiring managers rate skills of freelancers above
those of their most recent permanent hire
30
Q4.5. How would you rate your most recent full-time, regular hire on each of the following attributes? (n=959)
Q4.6. How would you rate your most recent freelancer hire on each of the following attributes? (n=155)
Flexibility and quick access to hard-to-find skills
top the perceived benefits of hiring freelancers
31Q5.2. What do you think are the biggest benefits of hiring a freelancer/independent contractor compared to an employee? (n=875)
Accountability and compatibility with existing team to
list of hiring managers concerns
32Q5.3. What are your biggest concerns in hiring a freelancer? (n=869)
Full-time, Regular Hire
Freelancer Hire
Full-time, Regular Hire
Freelancer Hire
Yet, few hiring managers express dissatisfaction in
these areas with recent freelancers they’ve hired
33
Full-time, Regular Hire
Satisfaction with Most Recent Hires’ Team Interactions
Satisfaction with Most Recent Hire’s Work Ethic
Satisfaction with Most Recent Hire’s Drive & Self-Motivation
Q4.5. How would you rate your most recent full-time, regular hire on each of the following attributes? (n=959)
Q4.6. How would you rate your most recent freelancer hire on each of the following attributes? (n=155)
Freelancer Hire
Only one in 10 hiring managers expressed dissatisfaction
with their recent freelancer’s interactions with team
members
Personal experiences with freelancing change
perceptions
34
59%
of hiring managers have
personal experience freelancing
and/or know someone who does
Q5.1. Which of the following experiences have you had with freelancing? (1,001)
Q5.2. What do you think are the biggest benefits of hiring a freelancer/independent contractor compared to an employee? (875)
Hiring managers are almost unanimous that
freelancing is here to stay
35Q5.4. Which Of The Following Do You Believe Are True About Freelancers? (n=892)
60%
of hiring managers
who have hired
freelancers expect
freelancing to
continue to grow
36
Profile of Respondents
Respondents represent companies of all sizes
37Q1.1. Which Of The Following Best Represents Your Company’s Total Revenue For Calendar Year 2016? (n=983)
Respondents come from a variety of industries
38Q7.1. Which of the following best describes your organization’s primary industry? (n=1,003)
Note: Only ten most common industries are shown
Around half of respondents are managers and the
other half are leadership
39Q1.3. What best describes your role in the company? (n=1,004)
Q7.2. What is your current age? (n=997)
Respondents span across multiple generations
40
Q7.4. Which of the following best describes your gender? (n=1,002)
The gender split among respondents is fairly equal
41
42
Appendix
This Study Commissioned by
Upwork:
Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. As an increasingly connected and
independent workforce goes online, knowledge work —like software, shopping and
content before it— is shifting online as well. This shift is making it easier for clients
to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals
everywhere from having to work at a set time and place. Freelancers are earning
more than $1 billion annually via Upwork. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain
View, Calif., with offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway.
43
This Study Conducted by
Inavero:
Inavero is a global leader in human capital management research. The firm powers
satisfaction and thought leadership studies for hundreds of top firms within the
space and leverages more than 300,000 survey responses annually to provide insight
into the millions who work in the gig economy and the companies who hire them.
44
© Copyright 2017 Inavero, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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2017 Future Workforce Report: How Companies Embrace Flexible Teams to Get Work Done

  • 1. Future Workforce Report: How Companies Embrace Flexible Teams to Get Work Done February 28, 2017 © Copyright 2017 Inavero, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. Table of Contents 2 Topic Page Study Objectives 3 Research Methodology 4 Key Findings 5 How Hiring Managers Build Their Teams 8 How Teams Leverage Freelancers 18 Current Hiring Manager Perceptions of Freelancers 29 Profile of Respondents 36 Appendix 42
  • 3. Study Objectives Upwork commissioned Inavero, an independent research firm, to conduct a study of workforce hiring in the U.S., focusing on knowledge work, with these objectives: 1. Understand the state of the workforce today and future talent demands 2. Establish a blueprint for the evolution of work 3. Explore how teams are leveraging freelancers 4. Examine new areas ripe for hiring innovation This deck is organized in sections to detail results on each objective. 3
  • 4. Research Methodology • An online survey of 1,004 workforce hiring decision makers obtained through a third-party, independent online sample. • Data collected December 1, 2016 – December 10, 2016 by independent research firm Inavero. • This is the first year the survey has been conducted. • Overall margin of error of ±3.09% at 95% confidence level. 4
  • 5. Key Findings 5 1. How hiring managers build their teams • 76% of hiring managers say their success depends on getting access to top talent. • Three times as many hiring managers felt hiring had gotten harder in the past year than those who felt it had gotten easier. Hiring difficulty increased for nearly all roles in 2016. • 63% have someone on their team who works a significant portion of their time remotely. • Nearly half (48%) of companies utilize at least some form of a flexible workforce (temporary workers, freelancers or agency workers). • Two in three (65%) companies plan to grow total headcount in 2017.
  • 6. Key Findings 6 2. How teams leverage freelancers • Over half (55%) of those who leveraged freelancers last year expect to increase their usage in 2017. • Freelancers are most typically utilized to scale up quickly for a project (56%) or to leverage skills not currently in-house (49%). • Freelancers help get more work done and grow the overall pie by filling opportunities that would otherwise go unfilled. • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of hiring managers believe they use freelancers at least somewhat strategically, yet 77% believe there is at least some room for improvement in their strategic utilization of freelancers.
  • 7. Key Findings 7 3. Current hiring manager perceptions of freelancers • More hiring managers are satisfied with the skills of freelancers than the skills of their most recent full-time hires. • Top benefits of hiring freelancers are flexibility and access to hard-to-find skills. • Top concerns with hiring freelancers are compatibility with existing teams and fears around accountability. • Yet, just 11% of hiring managers expressed dissatisfaction with these aspects when rating their most recent freelancer hire. • 60% of hiring managers expect that freelancing will continue to increase.
  • 8. 8 How Hiring Managers Build their Teams
  • 9. Hiring managers depend on access to top talent 9Q3.6. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements. (n=998) My Department’s Success Depends on Getting Access to the Talent we Need 76% feel access to talent drives their success
  • 10. Hiring difficulty has increased for nearly all roles 10 Q2.6. In your opinion, how hard has hiring been this year, compared to prior years? (n=964) 3 times as many hiring managers said hiring was more difficult in 2016 than said it was easier
  • 11. Trying to Find the Right Talent Stresses me out The average position has been open for more than a month and it’s stressing many hiring managers out 11Q3.6. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements. (n=987) 50% Feel stressed trying to find the right talent for their team
  • 12. Many teams have open positions, with product, development and marketing positions open longest 12 Q2.5. Thinking of the specific hiring need you are most familiar with within each skillset, how long have each of the following roles been open? (n=885) 88% of hiring managers have openings on their teams
  • 13. Location is not an important factor in driving success of new hires 13 Only 1 in 10 hiring managers believe physical presence in office is important to a new hire’s success Q3.7. Please rank each of the following attributes in terms of their importance to a hire’s ability to successfully work for you. (n=899)
  • 14. Most departments have at least some experience with team members working remotely 14 35% of departments have freelancers that conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location 56% of departments have full-time/permanent employees that conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location Q4.10. Do you have any team members who conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location? (n=985) 63% of departments have remote team members
  • 15. Technology enables higher engagement for remote workers 15 83% of departments utilize more than one type of technology to engage remote workers Q6.5. Which of the following types of technology does your department utilize to help effectively engage remote workers? (n=146)
  • 16. 65% Two in three departments plan to grow total employee headcount in 2017 Departments utilize a range of talent 16 Q2.2. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2017? (n=865) 48% Nearly half of departments use temporary workers, freelancers, or agency workers
  • 17. 7 in 10 departments utilize flexible and/or remote workers 17 63% of departments have team members that conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location 48% of departments of departments use temporary workers, freelancers, or agency workers Q2.2. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2017? (n=865) Q4.10. Do you have any team members who conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location? (n=985) 72% of departments use some combination of temporary workers, freelancers, agency workers and/or remote workers
  • 18. How Teams Leverage Freelancers 18
  • 19. Majority of hiring managers who used freelancers in 2016 expect to increase usage this year 19 Freelancer Utilization in 2017 Among Those Who Used Freelancers in 2016 Q2.2. (Those who had freelancers in 2016) Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2017? (n=293) Q3.5. (All respondents, if more) What is the primary reason you will be using more freelancers in 2017? (n=223) 4 times as many hiring managers plan to use more freelancers in the coming year than plan to use fewer.
  • 20. Hiring managers find freelancers through a variety of resources 20 77% of managers use more than one resource when finding freelancers to hire Q3.1. You said that you had hired freelancers (independent contractors, solo entrepreneurs, etc) in the past year. Which of the following are ways in which you found the freelancers you hired? (n=155)
  • 21. Nearly half of hiring managers used online sources to find freelancers in 2016 21 Q3.1. You said that you had hired freelancers (independent contractors, solo entrepreneurs, etc) in the past year. Which of the following are ways in which you found the freelancers you hired? (n=155) 46% used online resources to find freelancers in the past year.
  • 22. Freelancers most typically utilized to increase capacity or fill skills not currently found within team 22 Q6.2. Which of the following types of situations do you typically utilize freelancers/independent contractors? (n=154) Q4.4. (Those who have hired freelancers both online and through other means) Once the role was filled, how long did it take for that person (freelancer) to be fully contributing to the team? (n=64) Managers reported that freelancers hired via online sources started contributing to their team 40% faster than those hired via offline sources.
  • 23. Hiring managers leverage freelancers across a wide variety of skillsets 23Q2.4. Within the past year, which of the following types of roles have you been involved in trying to fill? (n=335) Note: Percentages reflect only those that said they hired for each role in 2016 52% of hiring managers who hired freelancers hired them for 2 or more types of roles
  • 24. Companies favor qualifications over cost with freelancers 24 Companies are 6 times more likely to hire the most qualified freelancer than the least expensive Q3.2. Thinking of the most recent freelancer you were involved in hiring, which of the following was true? (n=156)
  • 25. 4 in 5 hiring managers report an increase in their team’s productivity due to hiring a freelancer 25 80% of managers report increased team productivity due to a recent freelancer hire Q4.7. How did your most recent freelancer hire impact your team’s productivity? (n=154) Q4.9. You said productivity was increased due to the freelancer you most recently hired. In which of the following ways was productivity increased? (n=120)
  • 26. Freelancers help get more work done and grow the overall pie 26 84% of departments would delay, cancel, or extend current workloads Q4.8. If you had not been able to find a freelancer to hire for your most recent project, which of the following would have likely occurred? (n=1,003)
  • 27. Hiring managers most frequently use freelancers for 2 week – 3 month project durations 27 Project Length Q6.4. In the past 12 months, which of the following types of projects have you hired freelancers to work on? (n=151)
  • 28. 64 percent of hiring managers believe they are using freelancers strategically 28Q6.3. Generally speaking, how strategically do you think your department utilizes freelance workers? (n=999) How Strategically Department Currently Utilizes Freelancers 77% believe improvement could be made 64% of managers feel they are using freelancers strategically
  • 29. 29 Current Hiring Manager Perceptions of Freelancers
  • 30. Hiring managers rate skills of freelancers above those of their most recent permanent hire 30 Q4.5. How would you rate your most recent full-time, regular hire on each of the following attributes? (n=959) Q4.6. How would you rate your most recent freelancer hire on each of the following attributes? (n=155)
  • 31. Flexibility and quick access to hard-to-find skills top the perceived benefits of hiring freelancers 31Q5.2. What do you think are the biggest benefits of hiring a freelancer/independent contractor compared to an employee? (n=875)
  • 32. Accountability and compatibility with existing team to list of hiring managers concerns 32Q5.3. What are your biggest concerns in hiring a freelancer? (n=869)
  • 33. Full-time, Regular Hire Freelancer Hire Full-time, Regular Hire Freelancer Hire Yet, few hiring managers express dissatisfaction in these areas with recent freelancers they’ve hired 33 Full-time, Regular Hire Satisfaction with Most Recent Hires’ Team Interactions Satisfaction with Most Recent Hire’s Work Ethic Satisfaction with Most Recent Hire’s Drive & Self-Motivation Q4.5. How would you rate your most recent full-time, regular hire on each of the following attributes? (n=959) Q4.6. How would you rate your most recent freelancer hire on each of the following attributes? (n=155) Freelancer Hire Only one in 10 hiring managers expressed dissatisfaction with their recent freelancer’s interactions with team members
  • 34. Personal experiences with freelancing change perceptions 34 59% of hiring managers have personal experience freelancing and/or know someone who does Q5.1. Which of the following experiences have you had with freelancing? (1,001) Q5.2. What do you think are the biggest benefits of hiring a freelancer/independent contractor compared to an employee? (875)
  • 35. Hiring managers are almost unanimous that freelancing is here to stay 35Q5.4. Which Of The Following Do You Believe Are True About Freelancers? (n=892) 60% of hiring managers who have hired freelancers expect freelancing to continue to grow
  • 37. Respondents represent companies of all sizes 37Q1.1. Which Of The Following Best Represents Your Company’s Total Revenue For Calendar Year 2016? (n=983)
  • 38. Respondents come from a variety of industries 38Q7.1. Which of the following best describes your organization’s primary industry? (n=1,003) Note: Only ten most common industries are shown
  • 39. Around half of respondents are managers and the other half are leadership 39Q1.3. What best describes your role in the company? (n=1,004)
  • 40. Q7.2. What is your current age? (n=997) Respondents span across multiple generations 40
  • 41. Q7.4. Which of the following best describes your gender? (n=1,002) The gender split among respondents is fairly equal 41
  • 43. This Study Commissioned by Upwork: Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, knowledge work —like software, shopping and content before it— is shifting online as well. This shift is making it easier for clients to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals everywhere from having to work at a set time and place. Freelancers are earning more than $1 billion annually via Upwork. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway. 43
  • 44. This Study Conducted by Inavero: Inavero is a global leader in human capital management research. The firm powers satisfaction and thought leadership studies for hundreds of top firms within the space and leverages more than 300,000 survey responses annually to provide insight into the millions who work in the gig economy and the companies who hire them. 44
  • 45. © Copyright 2017 Inavero, Inc. All Rights Reserved.