What is online outsourcing? what it means for freelancers?

online workers

Online Outsourcing

What is outsourcing?

“Outsourcing is the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal stuff and resources” Dave Griffiths

Online Outsourcing

“Online outsourcing or freelancing platforms match employers (firms and individuals) and workers to perform work online. The process of finding a job, performing the job and being paid for the job all take place online.”  SAORI IMAIZUMI

In 2013, at least 145 online outsourcing marketplaces or platforms were identified globally, although the true number is likely to be higher. Some of these platforms are very large: 17 million registered users at Freelancer and 9.7 million at Upwork. About 10 percent of registered workers are active.

The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel are the top five hiring countries on oDesk (now part of Upwork)—the largest online freelancing platform. the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel are the top five hiring countries on oDesk (now part of Upwork)—the largest online freelancing platform.the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel are the top five hiring countries on oDesk (now part of Upwork)—the largest online freelancing platform.

Why Outsourcing?

The benefits of online outsourcing for workers:

1- They can access jobs with higher wags than many can access in their home countries.

2- They can work flexibly from home.

3- It enables workers to earn extra money besides regular jobs.

4- Workers can always select only the work they love to do.

5- Most online freelance platforms doesn’t require education certificates, unlike traditional hiring process for internal workers.

Figure 1: Main advantages and disadvantages of online work: Results from survey on Microworkers.com

online workers

Source: Survey of online workers on microworkers.com, where the majority of workers are from developing countries, especially South Asia. The survey was done as part of the background work for the World Development Report 2016.

The benefits of online outsourcing for employers:

1- Outsourcing reduce costs.

When internal stuff performs the work, the company will have to afford the costs of the facilities in which internal stuff will work. The rent of the office, electricity bills, … etc. Where as the costs to outsource the activities can be relatively way cheaper.

2- No long term commitments required with workers.

3- The ability of finding a high talented workers from any where in the world.

4- Fastest work turn over.

Many freelancers work even in holidays and any time of the day. This actually makes hiring a freelancer for a task is better than giving it to an internal worker. The internal worker will only work during the work time of the day and will not work in holidays absolutely.

5- Faster hiring process.

Employers can get an online worker hired, and start working on the job in literally a few minutes. While hiring a new internal worker to do the job might requires a few days in the best scenario.


Challenges of online outsourcing.

For employers

There is many challenges affects the success of the hiring process. There are also many challenges affects the quality of work they get. For example:

  • Well, lets face the fact that most freelancers in the world are from developing countries. Actually a study done by Payoneer shows that 40% of freelance jobs offered worldwide is taken by Indian freelancers only.
  • Although freelance platforms adopt different ways to verify the freelancers skills. It is too difficult to make sure online workers have the enough skills to have jobs done with good quality. In fact it is a big challenge for employers to test and verify the freelancers skills before using them.
  • Also the work turn over is a challenge it self because outsourcing work online can’t be directly supervised.

For online workers

there is challenges too, for example:

  • Inexperienced freelancers might be a victim to fraud because they are not aware of how to guarantee that employer is willing to pay.
  • Time control is not easy at all. So it is a big challenge for any freelancer to control his working hours especially for those who work from home.
  • Distraction elimination is another challenge. When you work from any where you are your supervisor so you probably wouldn’t be able to avoid distraction.
  • Marketing your work. When you work for others as an internal worker you never care about marketing. But working for your own, you have to market for your services in order to sell them, and this is a great challenge.




The workforce in the biggest economies are rapidly heading to online outsourcing because its great benefits. So there lies a very promising opportunity for freelancers from all the countries to hunt.

Although we listed a long list of challenges or disadvantages of online freelance, it doesn’t make full time local work any better. Actually all the challenges discussed earlier can be easily beaten. For example employer can always ask the freelancer to do a sample work to make sure he got the required skills to do the job. Also freelancer can always manage their time and learn how to promote their services.

Finally, there is a lot of tips written by experienced freelancers and clients to help others overcome these challenges, we are listing some bellow:




India’s Freelance Economy is Booming in 2016

Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem in India

Since India has the second highest number of freelance professionals (about 15M), standing next only to the US (approx 53M). These 15M Indian freelancers take up a whopping 40% of total freelance jobs offered worldwide. Hence this clearly manifests the dominance of Indian Freelancers over their western counterparts.

Contract Hiring in India is Catching up

When we say that the US has 53M freelance professionals, it’s important to note that half of them work on contracts as consultants with one or more companies at a time. While India’s contract workforce is in nascent stages; however, India is catching up with the west as startups actively seek out senior professionals from various industries to work on contract – something they could not afford on full-time payroll .

Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem in India

India has the fastest growing startup ecosystem and the third highest number of technology driven startups worldwide, trailing behind only the US and the UK.

Burgeoning Startup Ecosystem in India

Most In-demand Skills for Freelancers in India in 2016

  1. Cloud and Distributed Computing.
  2. Content Marketing.
  3. User Interface Design.
  4. Graphics Design.
  5. Digital and Online Marketing.
  6. Web Architecture and Development Frameworks.
  7. Perl / Python / Ruby.
  8. Data Presentation.
  9. Mobile Development.
  10. Algorithm Design.
  11. Social Media Marketing.
  12. Game Development.
  13. Shell Scripting Languages.
  14. Middleware and integration software.
  15. PR and Communications.

The growing startup ecosystem in India, consequently growing demand and affinity of people for contract hiring, abundance of skilled professionals in India. Followed by growing Internet penetration and skyrocketing number of Internet and Mobile Internet users along with India’s reserved pool of women workforce. These are clear indicators signaling that the year 2016 has potential to twirl and refresh the freelancing scenario in India.


By: Prakarsh @Payoneer Blog

SIA: We have identified 145 online staffing platform businesses around the world

Staffing platforms

staffing platform

  • We have identified 145 online staffing platform businesses operating around the world. This including 33 “witkeys” (the Chinese variant of online staffing). There are actually likely to a larger number of tiny platform businesses we have not detected yet.

Annual spends of online staffing platforms

  • In 2013, only a fairly small number of these online staffing business processed annual spend of more than $25 million, with the now-merged Elance-oDesk being the industry giant by far with combined spend of $750 million. In 2014, however, more platforms should cross the $100 million level of annual spend.
  • All platforms globally processed an estimated $1.4 billion-1.6 billion of gross spend (dollar value of work completed and paid for) in 2013. 2014 seems to be shaping up to be another year of very strong double digit growth in this segment.


SIA (Stuffing Industry Analytics) is the Global Advisor on Staffing and Workforce Solutions

The Changing Place of Britain’s Workforce (by PeoplePerHour)

UK freelancers

Across Great Britain, the South West of England had the highest rate of home workers

Great Britain Workforce

The Changes in UK Workforce

The Office for National Statistics reported last year that there are now 4.2 million ‘home workers’ in the UK, which is almost double the number in 1998 when these figures first started to be recorded. This means that almost 14% of the UK workforce now utilities one of these more ‘flexible’ options.

In fact, according to research we conducted in August 2015, this new generation of self-employed workers chose this type of role due to the flexible hours it offers, the freedom to be one’s own boss, along with the creative challenge and potential for success/satisfaction being key drivers.

The growth in ‘home workers’ has also given rise to a dramatic change in where the UK’s growing ‘Creative Economy’ is able to reside. Gone are the days where freelancers flock to London in order to build up a network of contacts to ensure a regular stream of work. Meaning that workers are increasingly able to move from the shadow of the UK capital to live wherever they want.

The UK’s Anywhere Worker

The growth in the ‘Creative Economy’ has sparked a movement of workers from London and the South East to liveThe UK’s Anywhere Worker and work further afield around the UK, while still being able to provide their expertise to the capital’s economy – as well as extending their support to other areas of the country too.







Most productive cities outside the capital

Most productive cities outside the capital

10 effective Tips to help you to be more productive (People per Hour Blog)


10 Tips to help you to be more productive

1. Build a framework

Start off by blocking hours for work, rest and play. Plan a typical week based on your commitments so that you get a balance of work, rest and play.

Why? Because you’ll become more productive.

2. The Habit Loop

When you have your structure mapped out, then you can start to build healthy habits into each and every day. Forming healthy habits helps you become more productive.

In his book The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhigg breaks a habit into a three-stage process. I like to refer to these as the three Rs:

Reminder: Start with a reminder of the task you need to do; e.g. set a reminder in your calendar to work on a particular task at a certain time of day.
Routine: Follow a routine to complete that task; e.g. make a checklist of the steps you need to complete your task so that you have a consistent approach
Reward: Give yourself a reward; e.g. have a coffee or spend 5 minutes on social media – whatever floats your boat.

3. Work in your best time of day

If you want to be a productive freelancer, then you’ll have to find your best time for working. That’s the flexible thing about freelancing – you can choose your most productive hours. No more attending meetings or presenting lectures when you feel half asleep.

If you’re not sure when you function best, then monitor yourself for a week.  Note down when you were feeling more energised, compared to when you were feeling more sluggish.

4. Focus on one thing – prioritise your tasks

When you start freelancing you soon realise that there is a heap of stuff to do. It’s not just a case of writing or designing or creating. Unfortunately, there’s admin, finances, and marketing to consider too.

• Don’t get overwhelmed.
• Don’t get bogged down with a long list of outstanding tasks.
• Don’t try multitasking.

Focus on one thing at a time. Look at all your tasks and ask yourself, “What is the most important thing I need to do right now?”

There will only be one thing that is the most important. So do that first. You’ll feel empowered when you’ve completed it.

Then, and only then, look at your list of tasks and pick the next most important thing.

5. Eliminate distractions

Once you’ve zoned in on your one thing, working at your best time of the day, then the last thing you need is a distraction.

• Putting a sign on your door, then do it.
• Switching off your phone, then do it.
• Closing email and social media, then do it.

6. Set time limits on your tasks

When you allocate a specific time to a specific task, then you’ll become more productive.

Rest, Here are three ways you can take a regular break:

  • The Pomodoro Technique For each Pomodoro (interval), you work on a task for 25 minutes and then take a break of 3-5 minutes. After four Pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. 

Whatever work and break interval you choose, make sure you do something different in your break
  • The Rule of 52 and 17 A recent study showed that people were most productive when they took regular breaks. Although the numbers seem a little random, it turns out that working for 52 minutes, then taking a break for 17 minutes, before getting back to work, returned the best results.
  • The Power Nap Scientists have proven that taking a 15-20 minute power nap can boost your energy levels. If you find yourself becoming sluggish and unable to think clearly then maybe a power nap will help you

7. Get your sleep

We’re all different. Some people need 8 hours sleep each night so that they can function properly throughout the next day. Others can manage on much less.

The key is to make sure your body has the right amount of sleep so you can maintain your energy and concentration levels throughout the day.

8. Maintain a healthy diet

Food plays an important part in maintaining your energy levels. If you eat too much food, then your body has to work harder to digest it, and as a consequence, your energy levels drop. And then you become less productive.

When you start to feel sluggish, it’s easy to think a quick fix of coffee and chocolate is the answer. But there are plenty of other foods which are proven to boost your energy levels (without expanding your waistline).


9. Drink plenty of water

Opinions vary on how much water we should drink each day to stay hydrated. The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 litres, or half a gallon.

10- Exercise your body

In short, when we exercise, our brains produce chemicals that make us feel good. And when we feel good our energy levels rocket, which means we become more productive.

by  Danny Donchev


Guru: 10 Profile Mistakes That’ll Cost You The Gig


As a freelancer on Guru.com, you really are one in a million. One in 1.7 million, to be more precise! How can you stand out to employers and win more jobs? Start by avoiding these common profile mistakes and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.

Mistake #1: Viewing Your Profile As An Afterthought

Providing employers with an accurate profile is the first step of getting hired. If your profile is lacking, employers have no way of judging whether you have the skills and experience they need. In fact, if you don’t add any services, you might as well not have an account because employers won’t be able to find you on Guru!

Help clients get to know you as easy as possible by providing a profile that has character. Upload a quality profile photo (logos are OK but not as effective). Introduce yourself and your company, and spell out what you can do for employers by adding services. Remember to include keywords so your services show up for relevant searches.

Mistake #2: Letting Your Profile Get Stale

Once you’ve completed your profile, you can’t simply let it set. Your profile should reflect your current skills and best work at all times. If you haven’t updated it in over a year, it’s probably out of date.

Keep your profile fresh to attract new employers. Add new work collections to your portfolio and attach them to your services. Revisit your work terms regularly. Ask employers to leave you feedback every time you finish a job. Expand your offerings by identifying current in-demand skills and taking skill tests to prove your knowledge.

Mistake #3: Writing Generic Titles & Descriptions

If your services look identical to everyone else’s, you will have a difficult time getting hired. Focus on why you’re different or unique. How do the services you offer relate to your unique vision? Anyone can master a skill, but not everyone can offer the expertise that you’ve built up in your body of work.

Put yourself in an employer’s shoes. Use the same language they would when looking for a freelancer like you. Search for jobs that interest you, and see what keywords employers use in the descriptions. Make sure you include those terms in your service descriptions. The more you use a given keyword, the higher you’ll rank for it!

You can also take a look at what other freelancers are doing. Search for services that are like yours, and study those that are ranking well.

Finally, attach work collections to your services so employers see an image alongside your services.

Mistake #4: Lack of Personal Brand

Your profile is where you get to express who you are and how you work. The language you use is important when developing your brand, and pitching incorrectly will cost you clients. Too informal and you could come across as unprofessional, while too formal could prove too impersonal for some employers’ tastes.

Keep your intended audience in mind. How do they want to be talked to? Try to write in a way that speaks to them and their needs. If you want to work with larger companies, a formal tone is a safe bet. However if you work in a creative industry you can use a more informal tone.

Mistake #5: Empty Portfolio

Unless you show examples of your work, an employer may not feel confident in hiring you. The work collections in your portfolio help attract attention to your services. Attach a work collection to a service and its cover image will show next to that service in search results.

If you don’t have any previous freelance work to show, get creative. You can create work examples just for your portfolio. For example, if you are starting a freelance writing business you can write a sample blog post even if an employer didn’t hire you for it.

If the type of work is not visual, you can create a work collection and upload a word document, PDF or video explaining the work you did. Talk about the employer’s needs and how you met (or exceeded) their expectations. For the work collection’s cover image, design a simple image that spells out your service or represents it. For example, if you offer accounting services you could upload a photo of coins on top of a book.

Mistake #6: Cluttered Portfolio

On the other end of the spectrum, putting everything you’ve ever done in your portfolio isn’t the best strategy. If you show too much, employers could be overwhelmed and miss your best work.

Select the work you display in your portfolio with care, and organize it by project or client. Try to represent each of your services with at least one work collection. You should be equally proud of each and every piece you add. Quality over quantity!

Mistake #7: Grammar Errors

The quickest way to scare off an employer is to use poor grammar on your profile. They might assume you are as careless in your work as you are in your writing. Not to mention, poor grammar can make it hard for employers to understand you. Communication is key to success as a freelancer, so you need to be able to clearly state your work terms and expectations.

Proofread everything you write on your profile and check for these common grammar mistakes. Not a native English speaker? Consider asking a fellow freelancer who specializes in English translation to help.

Mistake #8: Lack of Confidence

If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Employers want to work with freelancers who assure them that they will deliver quality results.

While you shouldn’t pretend to have skills you don’t, never talk down about your abilities. Prove your skills by taking skill tests and adding your best work in your portfolio. Avoid using phrases like, “I’m just getting started” or, “I hope to one day achieve…”.

Mistake #9: Charging Too Little For Services

It is a common misconception that freelancers have to price their services low to succeed. Many freelancers begin by undercharging for their work — and then get stuck in an endless cycle of mediocre gigs.

Charge what you are worth! To start, take a look at what other freelancers are charging for similar quality and type of work. Then figure out what you need in order to support the lifestyle you want using this handy calculator. As long as you’ve completed your profile, an employer will have plenty of proof that you can do what you say. The more information and work collections you add to your profile, the easier it will be to justify your fees.

Mistake #10: Marketing Yourself as “We”

If you are a one-person shop, make sure your employers know this even if you run your freelance business under a corporate name. You don’t want to give the impression that you have an entire staff working on various roles when it’s just you. Be clear on who you are, what you do, and what you don’t do.



Anna Bassham

Communications Manager

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