5 Tips To Hire Smart for Smart Growth: Hiring Is An Investment

Last week I struggled to take a photograph of the crystal awards for the Small Business Influencer Awards event, and I could not get it done right. So I hired a photographer to help. This is yet a VERY small anecdote and lesson learned when you hire.

1. You don’t have to hire a full time employee on salary. Instead hire a consultant, even long time, so you can manage your own cash flow while still getting the expertise you need.

2. Stop trying to save money by doing things yourself and hire for expertise and time savings.

Elance released the results of an annual survey which showed some pretty interesting insight.

  • 83% of businesses plan to hire at least 50% of their workers online in the next 12 months, and nearly half of all businesses plan to make 90% of their hires online. Only 10% of respondents plan to hire 90% onsite and 10% online in the next year, showing strong business interest in expanding internal teams with professionals in the cloud.
  • 64% of businesses have not hired any new full-time equivalent employees in the past 12 months, and only 15% plan to hire a full-time employee or employees in the next 12 months. In contrast, the outlook for online hiring shows promise: 84% of respondents made at least two online hires over the past year, and 75% of businesses plan on increasing or maintaining the level of spend on hiring online professionals over the next 12 months.
  • A new type of entrepreneur is on the rise, moonpreneurs. An impressive 36% of respondents are working traditional on-site jobs in addition to starting or running a business on the side.
  • Businesses cited experience as the most important criteria for hiring an online employee with feedback/ratings at 64% and work samples/portfolio a close-second at 63%. Only 30% of businesses cited cost as the most important factor for hiring online. Interestingly, the survey also revealed that a degree from a top university is not an automatic edge for landing a job, with less than 2% of businesses indicating that as a top hiring consideration.
  • While small businesses are tapping into online talent for literally hundreds of unique skills and talents, entrepreneurs weighed in on their businesses’ most valuable online professionals for the past 12 months. These MVPs included Web programmer/developers (73%), Graphic Design/Multimedia Experts (63%) and Writers/Content Creators (39%).
  • Online workers play a key role to businesses today with 86% of survey respondents indicating that online contractors are a vital part of their business success.

The full press release is here:

Businesses Gain More Mileage with Hybrid Hiring Models

Growing numbers of companies are planning to scale up their online hiring after reaping the benefits of a flexible, on-demand team of experts. Eighty-three percent of businesses plan to hire at least 50% of their workers online in the next 12 months, and nearly half of all businesses plan to make 90% of their hires online. Only 10% of respondents plan to hire 90% onsite and 10% online in the next year, showing strong business interest in expanding internal teams with professionals in the cloud.

Online workers play a key role to businesses with 87% of survey respondents indicating that online contractors are a vital part of their business. Several key drivers that motivate businesses to hire online are: cost savings (85%), flexibility to scale up and down (73%) and faster time to hire (60%). In fact, 94% experienced at least a 25% time savings by hiring online while 76% have cut their times by 50% or more. In addition, 89% of respondents have realized a significantly reduced time for project cycles while 66% sliced half or more off project completion times.

Experience Trumps Age and Cost in Online Hiring

While cost is commonly assumed as the number one reason companies hire online, businesses indicated that the top criteria for hiring online is experience shown through feedback/ratings (64%) and work samples/portfolio (63%). Only 30% of respondents cited cost as the top consideration for hiring online.

The survey also revealed that a degree from a top university is not an automatic edge for online professionals, with only 1% of businesses indicating that as a top hiring consideration. Further defying long held assumptions, none of the businesses cited age as the most important criteria for hiring online and 2% cited location.

Forecast Sunny for Hiring in the Cloud

With much of the country focused on job growth and hiring trends, the news from the traditional employment sector has brought little comfort. The survey revealed that 64% of businesses have not hired any new full-time equivalent employees in the past 12 months, and only 15% plan to hire a full-time employee or employees in the next 12 months.

In contrast, the outlook for online hiring shows promise: 84% of respondents made at least two online hires over the past year, and 75% of businesses plan on increasing or maintaining the level of spend on hiring online professionals over the next 12 months.

It’s Not Who You Know, But What You Do

Having a presence on the web is no longer just nice to have, but an essential business strategy. While businesses are tapping into online talent for literally hundreds of unique skills and talents, many are finding value in professionals who can contribute to the development, design and content germane to doing business online. Survey respondents cited Web Programmers/Developers (73%), Graphic Designer/Multimedia Experts (63%) and Writer/Blogger/Content Creators (39%) as the most valuable online professionals to their business in the last 12 months.

Working on Their Own Terms

Multitasking extends beyond the digital age as the survey revealed many professionals are moonlighting as entrepreneurs. Thirty-six percent of business respondents say they are starting or operating a business while working full or part-time traditional onsite jobs, while 57% of respondents own their own business as their full time job.

About the Study

Elance conducted this survey from August 16 to August 19, 2011. More than 300 U.S.-based Elance businesses participated in the online survey. For more information on the survey and to view results, visit http://www.elance.com/q/online-hiring-trends-2011.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • Anonymous

    Could you expand on this? What are others saying about how they hire/fire? I could really use as much information as possible on this topic. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Could you expand on this? What are others saying about how they hire/fire? I could really use as much information as possible on this topic. Thanks.