Small businesses hiring more online workers

“We found it was easy to find these specialists or people that we could hire for a certain amount,” said McConnell, the CEO of Qittle.

“We didn’t have the extra overhead and we just got the project done. It’s really easy for us to ramp up our needs or pull back using contractors. If we had an internal staff it’s pretty hard to fluctuate like that said McConnell.”

Qittle’s preference to hire workers in the cloud is reflected in Elance’s recent survey that shows 83 per cent of small businesses plan to hire half their workers online within the next 12 months.

Only 10 percent of those surveyed plan to hire predominantly onsite workers (90 per cent). Elance, a marketplace for online workers, has posted more than 600,000 jobs ranging from programers to virtual assistants.

Small businesses prefer to hire online because of flexibility, speed and economy of the process cost, according to Fabio Rosati, the Chief Executive Officer of Elance. “So if you’re a small business owner, you can think of a hybrid model of hiring (online and onsite workers),” said Rosati.

“You can think about what skills and what talent you need onsite. You can also decide what skill set you need to be in the cloud which is much more cost-effective and much more flexible.”

Elance’s Online Employment Report shows the number of businesses hiring online has increased 107 percent since last year. Elancers earned 51 per cent more last year and earned a record $38 million in Q3 2011.

Rosati said more and more companies will decide to hire in the cloud. “I predict that at some point 99 per cent of businesses will have between 5-10 percent of their hiring done online because it makes so much sense.” But for McConnell, hiring online is the only way to go. Qittle plans to only hire workers from the cloud.

“As a business we’d rather stay small and nimble and we’d rather contract out through individuals or businesses.”

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