Australian business owners have been quick to recognise the benefits of using online freelancers rather than hiring people on a permanent basis. They're typically cost-effective and can plug skill gaps to drive business growth.
“Australia is the world’s number-one country for hiring online talent when the figures are adjusted per capita,” says Kyri Theos, Australian Country Manager of Upwork, an online freelance talent marketplace. “About 200,000 businesses are using our platform.”
There’s nothing new about using freelancers or contractors as a cost-effective way of hiring staff when they're needed. What’s new is the speed and ease with which business owners can access them. Millions of freelancers with computer-based skills seeking employment, from a freelance web designer to a software engineer, programmer, accountant, customer service specialist and more.
“This levels the playing field for people who have limited access to talent because they’re based outside major commercial centres,” Theos says. “It also helps to fill nationwide skills gaps – for example, about 40 per cent of all jobs posted on Upwork by Australian businesses are for IT and programming roles.”
A McKinsey Global Institute report, 'A labor market that works: Connecting talent with opportunity in the digital age', suggests online talent platforms can help to improve efficiency and productivity. The authors have calculated that companies adopting these online jobs platforms could increase their output by up to nine per cent and reduce the cost of recruiting talent, and of human resources generally, by as much as seven per cent.