The tough news: businesses created only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in 12 months, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.2%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Signs of hope: when it comes to new employment, if there are heroes in our midst, they may be among the small businesses that are seeking an online workforce.
According to a recent small-business survey conducted by Elance, a leading global platform for online employment, 73% of the more than 1,500 small businesses polled in May 2012 said they planned to hire more online workers this year than in 2011.
That could drive a thriving online job economy. So, let’s take a deeper look at what’s happening with small businesses in the online hiring sphere, consider why, and think about what it may mean for the future.
The 1-in-3 Equation: Small Businesses and Online Talent as a New System
The snapshot of the survey suggests that small-business owners are not only flexing their hiring muscles but also turning to the cloud for job creation.
Why is this happening?
One reason for the increased attention to online workers may be that qualified professionals are increasingly making their talent available online.
Evidence: 40% of the companies surveyed claimed that they could already find better talent online than what was available locally.
“These results . . . support our prediction that 1 out of every 3 people hired in 2020 will be hired online,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance.
Cloud’s Edge: The Future of Employment Competition
If Rosati is correct, his numbers suggest that job-seekers would do well to pay attention to what small-businesses are saying about new and future hires.
Eighty-four percent of businesses surveyed stated that online hiring gives them an advantage over competitors. They talked about significant improvements in flexibility, meaningful cost savings, and increased productivity.
Furthermore, nearly 70% of the businesses polled indicated that they experienced faster times-to-hire and 55% said they are able to access talent not otherwise available.
It may be that the next half-decade is the determining timeframe, when it comes to the cloud and how job-seekers find new work.
In the survey, more than half (54%) of the businesses that answered the questions said that the majority of their workforce would soon be comprised of online talent — meaning everything from Web programming to design and content.
And this is just in the United States. Numbers in Europe skewed even higher, when it came to questions about online hiring and the next five years.
It’s the wave of the future, said Rosati, and it’s happening as close-by as the keyboard.
“As more companies realize the tremendous benefits of working with flexible, on-demand professionals,” he said, “online employment will expand as a core business strategy for businesses around the world.”
That could be great news, and a prompt for would-be members of the next-gen workforce: get into the cloud, and get busy with small-business. Good luck, job hunters!