Freelancing could become as big as outsourcing industry
For the hungry, talented and skilled Indians looking for work and income, there is a new job market that has opened up, that is booming and also paying well.
Over 1.2 million of 3 million plus users on http://www.freelancer.com come from India, making it the number one freelancer country on their website. “India is by far the biggest freelancing nation in the world,” says Matt Barrie, CEO, Freelancer.com.
It is the same story at http://www.oDesk.com, a global online job market place that connects independent contractors to projects being posted by companies across the world. Of the total man-hours of projects grabbed, India is second to the Philippines on the website.
But the good news is that Indians are probably doing higher-end work – because their yield per hour is much higher. Of more than $78 million earned on oDesk in the first quarter of 2012, the company says the largest recipient was India that got 20-30% of the payments. Their business from India has grown eight times since 2008.
“This is the new hidden economy, beyond borders, where people work and go everyday,” says Barrie. The trend is set to intensify, going forward. At a time when many economies, including the US and Europe, are dealing with slowdown and staring at uncertainties, MNCs are increasingly shy of hiring full-time employees.
Most are working on a two-pronged strategy to deal with talent requirement. Some are reaching out to independent workers through these online websites to get their one-off projects executed. And some are also leaning towards temp hiring to tide over staff shortages.
Temp industry in the US is booming – according the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it added nearly 5,00,000 workers between June 2009 and 2011, representing more than 90% of the non-farm job growth in that period.
oDesk.com CEO Gary Swart says: “The opportunities are unlimited. All work that can be done in front of the computer can move online.” He says at least one-third of the global workforce could be hired online by 2020.